Monday, January 18, 2016
Book Review: Love and Leftover by Sarah Tregay
Author links: Goodreads - Website
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Purchase links: Amazon - Book Depository - Adlibris
Description (from Goodreads):
Romantic and bittersweet, Love and Leftovers captures one girl's experience with family, friends, and love. Dragged to New Hampshire for the summer, Marcie soon realizes that her mom has no plans for them to return to Marcie's father in Idaho. As Marcie starts at a new school, without her ragtag group of friends called the Leftovers, a new romance heats up, but she struggles to understand what love really means.
Perfect for fans of romances like Anna and the French Kiss and those by Sarah Dessen as well as readers of poetry, Love and Leftovers is a beautiful and fresh take on love.
I have wanted to read this book for such a long time! It is narrated in verse, it touches on issues of first love, family dysfunction and friendships. It is described at the perfect book for the fans of Anna and the French Kiss and Sarah Dessen. You can just imagine my disappointment the moment I started to read this and began to realize that I am not enjoying this book AT ALL!
Marcie is stuck in New Hampshire. What was supposed to be a summer spent in a family cabin has turned into fall, and the beginning of the school year. Ever since Marcie's father left home and entered into a relationship with another man, Marcie's mother has treated showering and going outside as optional. Marcie misses her friends and her boyfriend Linus and is desperate to connect with someone. That is when J.D. shows up and gives something positive for Marcie to think about in this new home away from home.
The setting for the novel and the character relationships intrigued me, but as things start happening, I started to like this less and less. I get that Marcie is desperate to find someone to spend time with, but the way she approaches finding that connection continually bothered me. She is young and a bit clueless, which is understandable, but at the same time I was extremely frustrated with her and found it very difficult to keep going with this book. For me, there needs to be at least a glimpse of something to catch into, something to relate with, but unfortunately, there was no glimpse with Marcie. The way she treats both J.D. and Linus made uncomfortable and her tendency to use other people for her own comfort just didn't work for me... at all.
J.D. and Linus are no saints either. Especially Linus acts uncomfortably childishly towards the end of the novel (I do get that he is a child, but hey...) and the way J.D. treats Marcie is not really fair to other people in his life (and not really for Marcie either). I am all for flawed characters, but I just feel like this book did not really justice the flaws of the characters, or explain then in a way that would have been satisfactory for me.
There is so much going on in here, and though I love verse format in general, I feel like the author has taken too much to handle with such format. None of the characters feel very developed and thus it is very difficult to connect with them. I love contemporaries that mix coming-of-age stories with family story lines and romance, but here things just didn't work for me at all.
Respect for the decision to use the verse format, but other than that, this was definitely not for me AT ALL.