Leftovers – Laura Weiss
published January 2008, 232 pages
From the back cover –
Blair and Ardith are best friends who have committed an unforgivable act in the name of love and justice. But in order to understand what could drive two young women to such extreme measures, first you’ll have to understand why. You’ll have to listen as they describe parents who are alternately absent and smothering, classmates who mock and shun anyone different, and young men who are allowed to hurt and dominate without consequence. You will have to learn what it’s like to be a teenage girl who locks her bedroom door at night, who has been written off by all the adults around her as damaged goods. A girl who has no one to trust except the one person she’s forbidden to see. You’ll have to understand what it’s really like to be forgotten and abandoned in America today.
Are you ready?
My thoughts –
I really, really liked this YA novel, much better even than Weiss’s first, Such a Pretty Girl. Blair and Ardith (love that name, btw) just seemed so real, such truthful portrayals of teenage girls, that their story seemed heartbreakingly common. They both were raised in abusive homes, although the abuse both suffered was of two completely different types. Blair lived in a home where every single thing she did was controlled by her parents, the image they were trying to uphold was more important than her personhood or their family’s happiness, while Ardith lived in a home where she was basically invisible – drunk parents, parties all the time, and a brother who both ignored and tortured her at the same time. The sad thing about this story is that I know these kinds of families are not that unusual in today’s world – I knew plenty of girls who have suffered similar teenage years, in one way or another. Just reading Blair and Ardith’s stories was very emotional, I was sucked into their lives from the first words, and to be honest, I didn’t much care about the conclusion, about the “unforgivable act” they committed together. Yes, what they did was pretty terrible. But set against the backdrop of their heartbreaking lives, I wouldn’t call it unforgivable by any means.
I’d definitely suggest reading this book for yourself, even if you are not typically a YA fan, this one will get you. It’s very well written, and such a crazy good portrayal of teenage girls living in pain. Such a great one.
Also reviewed by: Becky at Becky’s Book Reviews
3 thoughts on “Review – Leftovers”
I have found that I really like YA fiction. This one sounds right up my alley. I’m going to check this out.
Wow! I’ve been reading more YA books than usual since I started reading book blogs and doing my own reviews. This one sounds really interesting.
I want to read this. I’ve heard awesome things about it. Great review!!