Review: Love and Leftovers by Sarah Tregay

Publication Date: December 27th, 2011
Format: Hardback, 448 Pages
RATING: 4 out of 5 Stars
My wish
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.

Summer vacation turned almost semi-permanent, it was supposed to be just a break. But Marcie’s mom couldn’t seem to get over a mild case of the funk so the summer vacation turned into seven months. All of a sudden, Marcie is having to be the adult – the one to do everything while her mother buries herself in depression brought on by a recently failed marriage. Meanwhile, back in Idaho, the Leftovers seems to be moving on without her. Loneliness surrounds Marcie in New Hampshire that she turned to a boy with an easy smile and coffee and doughnuts. If only she didn’t have boyfriend waiting in Idaho, or if she could have another best friend in New Hampshire, or if only her father would realize his mistake and take them back. But life is not about granted wishes. Marcie will learn the hard way that love isn’t as easy as what everyone painted it to be.

This was probably the most descriptive verse novel I’ve read so far. There were more conversations and more detailed account of Marcie’s feelings which padded the readability and unputdownable factor of this book. I love how the author took me to different strata of sentiments while reading this novel. I was frustrated, annoyed, angry and eventually I fell in love with the concept of the imperfections of the relationships. Love is never easy; the realization of having this feeling toward another person is a journey. You don’t just see a person and instantly realized you’re soul mates. And really, isn’t that the best thing about love? The roller-coaster ride that pulls you into peaks and valleys until that sudden stop when everything becomes clear and your heart beats a mile a minute for what seems like hours?

At first, I had a hard time with the idea of Marcie/Linus or Marcie/JD. It felt like she belong to neither boys. There was a point in the novel where I wished she was alone. Because it was hard to see her self-destruct. It was easy to root for JD because who doesn’t want a boy who looks like David Beckham with a Prince Harry smile? And Linus, is just…well I liked his intensity and who doesn’t want a rocker boy with a heart of gold? I loved the eventual ending of this book. I loved watching Marcie grow up and realize that life is a two-way road – a give and take. If she wanted all the relationships in her life to work, she has to actually work for it.

Love and Leftovers is a book that anyone can relate to, not so much verbatim but when have we not found ourselves  wishing there was a giant eraser that we could use for all the mistakes we’ve made in life? Marcie’s second chance isn’t something serendipitous, she stood up and faced her errors and gave herself that chance. I wish I have her guts.

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