Title: Love and Leftovers
Author: Sarah Tregay
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release date: December 27th 2011
Genre: Contemporary YA; romance
Source: Won an ARC from Kate at Ex Libris - thanks!
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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?
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Verse novels are incredible. I just cannot understand how an author can convey a story and so many emotions with so few words. But when it's well done, it definitely works. And the verse writing in Love & Leftovers is very well done. The writing is perfect - it flows nicely and lets you get lost in the story, but also makes you stop and think with some amazingly beautiful lines. I love that about verse novels. (And I love how productive I feel when I can finish a book in such a short time.)
I loved the writing, but I'm not so sure about the story. There were aspects of it that I loved, like Marcie's parents' divorce. That whole topic is handled very well - I liked reading about her mom, who is suffering from depression and struggling with, well, everything, since her husband left her. Marcie's relationship with her mother and its development is interesting to read about. So is her relationship with her father, who, as Marcie has now found out, is bisexual, and living with his new boyfriend. Marcie's dad, as well as his boyfriend Danny, are made of awesome and super-fun to read about.
I also loved the whole idea of the Leftovers. Calling this group of friends the Leftovers is genius! Each of them is unique, and all of them together are very entertaining. I especially loved Katie, since she's basically two of my best friends mixed together. Emily is a very interesting character as well, and I would have loved to know some more about her story.
The only thing I didn't like about Love & Leftovers is Marcie. In the beginning, I could still relate to her, but for most of the book, she made me so. Freaking. Mad. I just wanted to shake her the entire time! She is whiny and annoying. She has the perfect boyfriend - seriously, Linus is every girl's dream. He's sensitive, adorable, and he writes super-sweet love songs for her! What more could a girl want!? Instead of appreciating that Linus doesn't pressure her into doing anything, she whines and goes on and on about how their relationship has no passion. And even if that's true... Marcie doesn't feel the need to tell Linus about this - instead, she goes and cheats on him with J.D. J.D. and Marcie together made me so angry. Argh! J.D. is the hot jock who's sweet to Marcie but who everyone knows has a steady string of girlfriends already. But Marcie doesn't care, and cheats on her adorable, perfect boyfriend back home with... this guy. Maybe it's just because I'm kind of in love with Linus, but God, Marcie pissed me off.
Sorry about that rant. Except for the fact that our main character and the whole cheating-without-real-consequences storyline frustrated me, I really did like this book. It's cute and fun, and the writing is lyrical and beautiful. I loved some of the smaller storylines, like Marcie dealing with the divorce, and her friends the Leftovers (who are all way better people than Marcie). I enjoyed this book, but my problems with the main character kept me from really loving this book like I wanted to.
What do you think of novels written in verse?