Love And Leftovers By Sarah Tregay [Review]

Books written in verse can easily go terribly, terribly wrong. When YA books are written in verse, however, it often makes them more accessible; you really feel like you’re flipping through a teen’s journal.

In Love and Lefotver, Marcie’s whole life is uprooted when her dad comes out. Now he has a boyfriend and her mom is having a mental breakdown. She drags Marcie from her home in Idaho to her mom’s childhood home in New Hampshire. At first Marcie pines for home and all that goes with it- her best friend Katie, her boyfriend Linus, and her group of misfit friends that call themselves the Leftovers. But when school starts in New Hampshire one of the cute, popular boys starts paying attention to her, and despite her boyfriend back home, she can’t deny she’s interested in him as well. And just as she’s settling in to life in New Hampshire, her dad comes to bring her back to Idaho, where the life she left might not be waiting for her.

I loved how unpredictable this book was. I didn’t know until the very end which guy she’d end up with, or if she’d end up alone. The author also does a great job of portraying a teen wrestling with two different emotions about her situations. She loves her mom and realizes she’s in a dark place she might need help getting out of, but she’s also frustrated with her for not being the mother and taking care of her. She loves her father and knows he loves her, but she hates him for what he’s doing to her family.

I also really appreciate when a YA book works in technology in a realistic way. From the IM conversations between and her best friend, to her boyfriend’s band’s YouTube videos of songs written in her honor, Internet culture is woven in without the self-consciousness some books suffer from.

There were a few issues I took with this novel. The story of her friend who had had a baby and decided to give it up, but was still struggling with the decision was an interesting plot line, but in the end it seemed too removed from the main story and just diverted attention away from it. On the other hand Katie’s story of falling quickly in teen lust seemed to feed the main narrative, giving Marcie something to envy even as she didn’t quite understand it.

Even at over 400 pages this book is a quick read, one that really brings you in, up close and personal with the protagonist. I’d suggest it to fans of Sonya Sones, Tregay does a great job with the writing in verse.

Love and Lefotver will be released on December 27th, 2011. You can pre-order it on Amazon.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars | Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books | Pages: 448 | Source: ARC

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