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Love and Leftovers by Sarah Tregay

I don’t expect to be reviewing many books here at Writing Whimsy, but as a writer querying my verse novel, I thought it would be nice to occasionally share other books I’d recommend. Starting off with Love and Leftovers was an easy choice.

LoveandLeftovers book cover

It should be obvious but I adore novels in verse, and combine that format with a charming cover and a plot that caught my interest and I’m not sure what distracted me from reading Love and Leftovers by Sarah Tregay the moment it was released. I finally picked it up nearly a year after it was released and devoured the over 400 pages on one November day like it was nothing. Not long after I saw it on a holiday wish list and instantly knew I had to purchase it as a Christmas present for my book-loving friend Ambur. For me, one of the best signs of a good book is one you can’t wait to share with others, and Love and Leftovers definitely fits that bill.

It’s the story of teenage Marcie who has been dragged away from Idaho with her mom all the way to their family summerhouse in New Hampshire after a messy split from her dad. Marcie leaves behind her friends, a mixed group of people called the Leftovers, including her emo, music-playing boyfriend. It soon becomes obvious that she won’t be back in time for school in September. Instead, she starts at a new school and instantly finds a connection with a new boy that makes her wonder about her long-distance relationship. But with her parents as a messed-up example of love, it’ll be up to Marcie to figure out what she really thinks, and, more importantly–what she feels.

I really appreciated the frank and unafraid way that Tregay dealt with sex in her novel. Sometimes in young adult it feels like the author is pretending that teens never think about it, and while that can definitely work with certain storylines or characters, Marcie’s perspective felt genuine and refreshing. I’d describe Tregay’s verse in the same way, straightforward but profound, it was easy to read and I enjoyed every page of it. Marcie had a lot going on and although I didn’t always support her actions, I always understood where she was coming from.

Ultimately, Love and Leftovers is both heart-warming and bittersweet, it’s a story of friendship and family and falling in love. Tregay’s debut novel is deep, rich, and full of heart and I absolutely adored her writing. Her upcoming 2014 novel, Fan Art, is written in prose, and I will probably read it but I definitely hope to see verse from Tregay again in the future.

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