Author: Sarah Tregay
Pages: 451 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: December 27, 2011
is to fall
cranium over Converse
in dizzy, daydream-worthy
(If only it were that easy.)
When her parents split, Marcie is dragged from Idaho to a family summerhouse in New Hampshire. She leaves behind her friends, a group of freaks and geeks called the Leftovers, including her emo-rocker boyfriend, and her father. By the time Labor Day rolls around, Marcie suspects this "vacation" has become permanent. She starts at a new school where a cute boy brings her breakfast and a new romance heats up.
But understanding love, especially when you've watched your parents' affections end, is elusive. What does it feel like, really? Can you even know it until you've lost it?
Excluding Shakespeare, I don't read poetry...ever. I didn't know that's what this book was when I first added it to my to-read, but when I did find out I didn't think it was fair to dismiss it based on a writing style I've never tried. Therefore, Love & Leftovers became my introduction to novels in verse. It took some getting use to, but I did like how it was straight to the point without much filler. Each line, every word, had a purpose and added something important to the story.
Marcie's life is a mess. She just found out her father is gay, gets swept across the country with her depressed mother, is torn away from her best friend and boyfriend, and feels utterly alone. Enter sexy J.D. who fills that whole in Marcie's heart, but also brings in a whole new bag of problems. Hormones are raging, emotions are tangled, and sense is muttled. Marcie is just trying to belong somewhere, rather than being a leftover, and to someone and be in love.
Within Love & Leftovers' few words, the author manages to deal with many issues that teens and young adults face: love, loss, family issues, sex, sexuality, friendship, honesty, and depression, just to name a few. I was surprised by how much emotion and honesty was conveyed in all of the short poems. I could definitely identify with some of Marcie's struggles as she tries to sort out her relationships and feelings. I also loved all of the secondary characters. They each felt so real and unique, despite only having a handful of lines each.
Overall, this was a very enjoyable read. It's quick, fun, and has some unexpected depth which was very welcome. I'll definitely be checking out more novels in verse in the future.
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