(Image from Barnes & Noble)Marcy Foster's one of those not-anything girls - she's not model-pretty; she doesn't have any mad athletic skillz; she's not musical or crafty or particularly smart. The 15-year-old's just not ... anything. She's a leftover. But, thankfully, not the only one. Marcy's got a group of Leftover friends, including her "emo-sensitive rocker" boyfriend, Linus, and her anime-obsessed BFF, Katie, who make life in Boise, Idaho, bearable. With her posse by her side, Marcy's getting along just fine, even when her parents' marriage starts to crumble.
Then Marcy's mother suggests a little road trip. It's supposed to be a summer getaway, a little girls-only breather at their lake house in New Hampshire. It's supposed to be fun. Only Marcy's mom won't get out of bed, Marcy's lonely and bored, and, the closer Labor Day gets, the more permanent the situation is becoming. As much as Marcy longs for her old life in Idaho - the one that's seeming more remote by the day - she knows her mom needs her. Plus, there's a boy. J.D. Gallagher's sweet, fun and, most importantly, not in Idaho. Marcy wants to be faithful to Linus, but that's not as easy as it sounds. Not with J.D. so available.
As Marcy struggles to deal with her mother's depression, the anger she feels at her cheating father, and her own romantic entanglements, she'll come to some startling conclusions - about family, about friendship and about what it means to truly love someone.
Love & Leftovers (available January 1, 2012), a debut novel-in-verse by Sarah Tregay, is a quick, hopeful read about one girl's battle to find her place in the world. Especially when the one she's always known is disintegrating before her very eyes. Marcy's an empathetic character with a strong, genuine voice that will draw readers into her world and make them care about what happens in it. Her hardships ring true, as do her reactions to them. She's flawed, but likable and convincing. While the story deals with some difficult subjects, it is, in the end, a sweet, warm-hearted tale about the things that are most important in life. Love & Leftovers is a strong debut that makes me wonder just what else its author has hidden up her sleeve.
(Readalikes: Reminded me of Playing Hurt by Holly Schindler and a little of Back When You Were Easier to Love by Emily Wing Smith)
If this were a movie, it would be rated: PG-13 for language (one F-bomb) and some sexual innuendo/content
To the FTC, with love: I received an ARC of Love & Leftovers from the generous folks at Katherine Tegen Books (an imprint of Harper Collins). Thank you!