Publication Date: 27 Dec 2011
Series or Standalone: Standalone
Format: Paperback (ARC)
Sarah Tregay – Blog
Sarah Tregay – Twitter
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
that this is a summerhouse
(meant to be lived in
only during the summer).
This review does contain spoilers…you have been warned.
I was excited when I first received a copy of Sarah Tregay’s Love & Leftovers as I’ve been on a bit of a contemporary kick and the cover, while not fabulous, was cute. Then I flipped it open and my heart stopped a bit when I saw that it was a novel in verse. I’ve never been a huge fan of this format (which is odd when you take into consideration that I adore poetry) but as a novel I prefer more words. I was chatting with someone on line who summed up my thoughts on verse novels when they said that it seems like its chosen when an author just doesn’t have enough words or talent to make for a full novel. I’m not sure if that is true with all verse books, but it seems to be the case with the few that I have read. The only good thing that I can say for novels in verse, at this time, is that they are quick reads.
So, admittedly, I was a bit biased against this book before I even started it but I had begun to see so many rave reviews I thought that maybe this verse novel would be the one that really turned my thoughts around on this format. Then I began to read and had absolutely no connection what-so-ever with any character in the book. In fact, I pretty much hated the main character of Marcie. She wasn’t overtly dislikable but she does cheat on her boyfriend, then proceeds to lie by omission and then pout when he finds out and in the end gets everything that she wants. She also never seems to learn or grow from the mistakes she makes. She hits a rough patch yes, but she just mopes through it and then everything rights its self and its back to being all sunshine and roses in her world.
Her mother was mostly absent and pretty darn selfish and her dad just wasn’t very believable to me as a homosexual….or bisexual as he later claims. This could be because we never really get to see him interact on a romantic level with his live-in boyfriend. I also really didn’t like how her dad seemed to tell her how it was ok she cheated since she was lonely and that was the very same reason that he tossed 12 years of marriage out the window and cheated on her mother. But he was wrong to marry her as he wasn’t fully committed and mostly just wanted to have a child. Say what? I also thought it really bizarre for her father to send her condoms….just in case she wants to sleep with the guy she just met and is cheating on her boyfriend with. Um…yeah…I just can’t picture a dad doing that. At least, none of the dads that I’ve ever met.
Then you have Marcie’s friends back home who are all too willing to just turn their backs on her the 1st moment she does something wrong. While I don’t agree with Marcie’s choices and would be put out if my best friend did the same I wouldn’t turn my back on her because of it. While the friends do all eventually meet up, they forgiveness scenes just come across as very 2D. None of the characters really seemed to have much depth and I think that could be in part because of the verse format. Free verse doesn’t seem to really allow for real in depth thoughts or getting to know a character. I don’t think I’ll be rushing to read another verse novel anytime soon but I haven’t given up on this format just yet.
People who thought differently from me (click the blog name for the full review)
Book Chic Club – “I really enjoyed this book-in-verse. It’s an interesting, unique exploration of what love is, which was a nice break from a lot of love triangles and insta-love that goes on in a lot of YA novels these days.”
Books With Bite – “ I just love the way this book is written. Written in a beautiful format of verse poem style, the reader gets a great connection to the main character Marcie and watches her world fall apart. I love getting to know a character through short paragraphs but filled with so much emotions.”
The Bookish Babes
– “Love and Leftovers was a complete, beautiful, full story told in these small, heartbreaking segments that completely drew me in.”
Between the Pages
– “Love & Leftovers,
was a very well written book about self-discovery. The words flow through you, and leaves your heart wanting so much, for Marcie to find where she belongs in her world.”
YA Librarian Tales
– “Love & Leftovers is a satisfying story, even for those who, like myself, aren’t big fans of novels in verse. This book has a an easy likeability to it and since I am a sap for romance, well, this story was right up my alley.”