Reviews for Love & Leftovers

Booklist Reviews 2012 January #1
This debut novel in verse effectively captures the angsty life of 16-year-old Marcie Foster. After her father leaves her mother for a 27-year-old man, Marcie and her depressed mom move from Idaho to a family summer home in New Hampshire. Here Marcie falls for J. D., a boy who is an irresistible cross between Prince Harry (his hair) and David Beckham (his abs). Only problem: Linus, her emo-rocker boyfriend 2,000 miles away. Seven months later, Marcie moves back to Idaho with her father, confesses to Linus, and has to deal with the fallout. Marcie funnels her pain into writing poetry-- "there is no three strikes / when it comes to dating. / One heartbreak and that's it."--and her poems, which vary in form, are what compose this verse novel. While the subjects cover typical teenage problems, including breakups, friendships, and parental issues, Tregay adds depth with her ability, in just a few words, to palpably express both the emotions of love and the physical longings that go along with it. This first novel may make teenage readers' hearts beat a bit faster. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2012 Fall
Marcie's Dad comes out as gay, and she moves from Idaho to New Hampshire with her depressed mother. Missing her boyfriend and crew of friends nicknamed "the Leftovers," she struggles to acclimate (and remain faithful). She returns to Boise midyear, but everything is different--including her. The first-person verse narration wrought with satisfying angst makes Marcie's woes and joys palpable.

Kirkus Reviews 2011 October #1
A girl cheats on her boyfriend, regrets it and writes it all in poems in this new verse novel. Marcie moves to New Hampshire with her depressed and inattentive mother when her parents split. Her dad, it seems, is gay and has begun life with a new boyfriend. Marcie wants to return to Idaho and her friends, the "leftovers" in her high school, including her own boyfriend, musician Linus. Meanwhile, however, she meets drop-dead handsome J.D. and allows an innocent friendship with him to become a romance. When she does return to Idaho to live with her father, her relationships with both Linus and the other friends she left behind have changed. Tregay's choice to write in verse works well, her spare but effective language artfully evoking what otherwise might be a conventional high-school romance. Personalities stand out well, especially Marcie, Linus and J.D. Marcie's loneliness and guilt drive the story until its resolution. The father's completely accepted gay relationship, although mostly in the background, adds an element of interest. It all feels realistic and makes for an interesting, attractive novel. A verse novel with real depth to accompany all that white space. (Fiction. 12 & up) Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2011 November #4

Poems, IM conversations, and emo love songs make up Tregay's emotionally turbulent debut novel in verse. Sophomore Marcie Foster unwillingly moves from Idaho to her mother's childhood home in New Hampshire after her father leaves her mother for a male bartender. Marcie is resentful until she realizes the move could be a chance to remake herself, escaping the image of a "Leftover" who doesn't fit in. When she begins a heated relationship with popular athlete J.D., cheating on Linus, her sensitive musician boyfriend back home, she questions her nonphysical relationship with Linus ("I wonder/ if my boyfriend is gay./ That would explain/ why he never once/ took off/ my/ clothes"). Seven months later Marcie returns to Idaho, and things are more confusing than ever. The formal variety of Tregay's poems creates an immediacy that should maintain readers' interest and sympathy for Marcie. With multiple shredded relationships and friendships, there's more than enough angst to go around, as Marcie rages against the decisions her parents have made, as well as her own. Ages 13-up. Agent: Upstart Crow Literary. (Jan.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2012 January

Gr 8 Up--After bumping into her husband with his boyfriend at the grocery store, Marcie's mother decides to stay at the family's summer home in New Hampshire rather than return to Idaho with him. The teen's life is turned upside-down; she has to start over at a new school away from her friends, The Leftovers, and from her "emo-sensitive rocker" boyfriend. Things start looking up when she meets a good-looking jock who brings her breakfast and takes her to the homecoming dance. Then, when she seems to be settling in, her severely depressed mother thinks she will be better off in Boise, and Marcie is whisked back to her old life, where she comes to understand her father better and questions her relationship with her boyfriend. Told in verse, the story takes a realistic look at the emotional roller coaster that is first love. Marcie doesn't always make sensible decisions, and she hurts her boyfriend and alienates her friends, but her actions are believable. The Leftovers are an easily relatable crowd: a poetic rock-star wannabe, a manga-drawing tattooed best friend, a geeky swimmer, and a cheerful Girl Scout, to name a few. The author does a terrific job of keeping the plot moving by using poetry to her advantage. Reluctant readers will appreciate the brevity while poetic souls will appreciate the format.--Kimberly Castle-Alberts, Stark County District Library, Canton, OH

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