Love & Leftovers
by Sarah Tregay
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published December 27th 2011
by Harper Collins
Book source: publisher
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.
I picked up Love and Leftovers from Harper Collins over the holiday and found it to be a nice, fresh break from heavy reading. Even at over 400 pages, since it’s written in verse it’s a quick nicely flowing read, similar to the style of Lisa Schroeder. Marcie and her family are living in Idaho where she has the perfect emo boyfriend who is somewhat shy and studious with a rock band made up of a group of her friends called the leftovers. They don’t quite fit in with the rest of the groups at their school but they stick together and make the perfect fit amongst themselves. Life shifts one day when Marcie and her mother run into Marcie’s dad with a another man who is more than “just a friend.” Mom decides it’s time for a divorce and heads back to her hometown in New Hampshire with Marice in tow.
Sarah Tregay does a great job contrasting the life of Idaho versus the life on the Eastern seaboard, describing the humorous accent “like buttah.” JD, a popular member of the football team takes an interest in Marcie as the new girl at school and she shifts from being a leftover to being one of the popular crowd. All the while Marcie’s mom has taken a spiral for the worst and is battling severe depression. Without becoming heavy handed the story addresses teenage sexuality, coming of age, divorce, depression, teen parenting and codependency. I really liked the way Marcie’s mother’s issues were written in a realistic fashion that accurately portrays how parental depression can influence a teen. While battling to function daily, her mom doesn’t have the skills to cope with what’s going on with Marcie who has just recently discovered she has hormones and questions- a lot of them.
I also liked the way her dad and his partner handled Marcie. Dad coming in to answer her questions while his boyfriend takes up running alongside Marcie to get to know her. Even though I don’t agree with some of their answers I like their open lines of communication. Obviously she has a lot of navigating to do and both she and her boyfriend make some pretty stupid choices. But overall, the tone remains light. I will say this is definitely a book for older teens as there is moderate swearing including the “f” word and very open discussion of sex, condoms, birth control, sexual orientation, and exploration. It is heavy handed in the hormone department so parents may want to check it out. I like that the author compares how the mother and father each handle or don’t handle Marcie’s tough questions. Thanks so much to Harper Teen for the advanced reading copy!
Raised without television, I started writing my own middle grade novels after I had read all of the ones in the library. I later discovered YA books, but never did make it to the adult section. When I’m not jotting down poems at stoplights, I can be found hanging out with my “little sister” from Big Brothers Big Sisters or stressing over performance classes at a model horse show
I have both a Bachelors and Masters of Fine Art in graphic design, and my obsession with typography and layout naturally translates into formatting poetry on the page.
I live in Eagle, Idaho with my husband, two Boston Terriers, and an appaloosa named Mr. Pots.
Fire and Ice is giving away our advanced reading copy of Love and Leftovers to one of our readers! To enter fill out this form. Giveaway ends January 16, 2012. Must be 16 or older and have a US mailing address.