Author: Sarah Tregay
Expected publication: December 27th 2011 by HarperCollins Children's Books
Source: ARC courtesy of publisher for review
Summary: "My wish
is to fall
cranium over Converse
in dizzy, daydream-worthy
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?
Love and Leftovers is a beautifully written story of one girl’s journey navigating family, friends, and love, and a compelling and sexy read that teens will gobble up whole."
Thoughts: When I first heard about Love & Leftovers, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. The title alone hooked me in. And though there are a few enjoyable moments, I just felt like the story fell a little flat to me.
Let's start off with the first half of the book. The pacing ran a little slow for my taste. Though it's written in verse, the author uses a lot of explanations, even for situations that played little to no relevance in the overall story. Also, in my opinion, the first half of the book should not be called Love & Leftovers. Oh no, what it should really be called is Lust & Cheaters. I felt like the main character, Marcie, spent the majority of her time feeling sorry for herself. Obviously she has a lot of reasons to be upset. There's the problems between her parents, the fact that she had to leave all her friends and move across the country, and also the fact that her mom is in a constant depressive state. Nonetheless, I would have liked to have seen Marcie turn a bad situation into something good.
Then she meets J.D. He brings her donuts, talks to her and actually seems to like her. The thing is, she's still dating Linus back home. She thinks she wants to break up with him, but doesn't want to do it through an email or over the phone. Apparently the best solution is to spend more time with J.D. and ignore the problem all together. I have to say, the relationship between J.D. and Marcie grew rather quickly and out of nowhere. Personally, I never felt any real connection with them. I mean, other than physical attraction, what did they really have? Did they even really know each other? It didn't seem like it.
Now, the second half of the book? That's where the fun begins. Eventually Marcie has to pay for her crimes, and this is when it happens. Though I did feel bad for Marcie, I was ultimately pleased with how the story turned out. There's confrontation, drama, betrayal, and even a bit of redemption. I started to finally enjoy Marcie's character. She finally turned that bad situation around! I may have struggled with the first half of the book, but I easily breezed through the second half. I still have one vital question I feel was left unanswered, but since this is a standalone, I guess I'm left in the dark.
Overall, I did enjoy Love & Leftovers, but I didn't love it like I originally thought I would. Fans of Lisa Schroeder and contemporary YA should still check it out, if only for a few of the beautifully written verses. It's a quick, sometimes sweet-sometimes bitter, yet easy read you can easily finish in a couple hours.