Monday, December 3, 2012

love & leftovers

love & leftovers
Sarah Tregay
ISBN: 978-0062023582
Katherine Tegan, 2012

Plot Summary: Marcie’s mom dragged her from her home in Idaho to their summer home in New Hampshire for the summer to get away from her father who turns out to have a new 20-something year-old boyfriend, Danny. When a summer away turns into fall and it looks like they aren’t going back, Marcie has to face the facts that her mom has permanently run away from their former lives and she is forced to begin all over again at a new school leaving behind her emo boyfriend Linus and the Leftovers—her group of misfit toy friends. While struggling with her depressed mother and missing her boyfriend and best friends, Marcie makes some new friends, including J.D., a nice boy she’s just going to be friends with figuring she’ll be stuck in New Hampshire indefinitely. However, when she ends up doing some pretty physical stuff that makes it seem that she and J.D. are headed toward more than friends, she decides she needs to break up with Linus who, when she thinks about it, doesn’t seem to really love her anyway so it’s good for them to both move on. When her mother finds condoms in her room, she calls Marcie’s father and demands that he come and get Marcie and take her home. Soon she’s reunited with her friends and Linus, who she never got a chance to break up with. Loving Linus confesses his love for Marcie and she confesses what she did with J.D. causing Linus to break up with her which causes a huge rift in the Leftovers. Can Marcie get her relationship with her friends back on track? Can she show Linus he’s the one she truly loves?

Critical Evaluation: Honestly, I don’t usually go for free verse poetry books, but I read good reviews about this book and decided to give it a try. Marcie is one of those good intentioned girls that makes bad decision after bad decision after bad decision. Confused over Linus’s apparent lack of physical passion for her and the stress of a long distance relationship, she convinces herself that she and Linus aren’t meant for each other and cheats on him with J.D. and is too scared too break it off with Linus. Throughout the book she grows as a character. When she bares her heart to him and he realizes she didn’t actually sleep with J.D. they realize they can move on and fix their relationship. It is a well-written, romantic portrayal of high school love.   

Reader's Annotation: When Marcie’s life gets turned upside down and she finds her summer vacation away turning into a permanent stay in a new town at a new school, she is faced with the tough decision of whether or not she and her boyfriend, Linus, are really meant for each other. Especially once J.D. starts noticing her.  

Author Information: Raised without television, Tregay started writing her own middle grade novels after she had read all of the ones in the library. She later discovered YA books, but never did make it to the adult section. When she’s not jotting down poems at stoplights, she can be found hanging out with her "little sister" from Big Brothers Big Sisters or stressing over performance classes at a model horse show. She has both a Bachelor’s and Master’s of Fine Art in graphic design, and her obsession with typography and layout naturally translates into formatting poetry on the page. She lives in Eagle, Idaho, with her husband, two Boston Terriers, and an appaloosa named Mr. Pots (Tegay, n.d.).

Genre: Realistic Fiction (written in free verse poetry)

Curriculum Ties: N/A 

Booktalking Ideas: Read portions of Marcie’s entries that deal with the isolation and nervousness felt when transferring schools or when starting a new relationship.  

Reading Level/Interest Age: 14+ 

Challenge Issues: Gay parents, underage drinking, underage sexual relations, sexual acts described (orgasms, being “felt up”, getting a hard on, etc.)

Challenge Defense: If this book were challenged, I would make sure the library has a Challenge Defense File ready for such a situation. Inside the Challenge Defense File, librarians and the public could find:

·        A copy of the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights. (Can be found and printed from ALA’s website at
·        A copy of the American Library Association’s Freedom to Read Statement (Can be found and printed from ALA’s website at
·        A copy of the library’s own selection policy (my library, the La Vista Public Library, has a policy but it is not online so I can’t link to it as an example).
·        A copy of the library’s citizen’s complaint/reconsideration form (my library, the La Vista Public Library’s, form is called the City of La Vista Service Request form).
·        Copies of reviews—both good and bad—from reputable library and publishing services to justify why a book was selected for inclusion in the collection. These include not only reviews from such journals as School Library Journal, VOYA, Horn Book, Publishers Weekly, and Booklist, but also any mention of books on YALSA lists and other copies of articles about any awards or nominations such books may have received.
·        Include a short rationale file for other coworkers so if the librarian in charge of selecting materials is not available when a challenge occurs the other staff members have some information to go by (the rational would include such information as a short summary, what could be challenged, reviews, awards and nominations, etc.)
·        Include for staff members a copy of “Strategies and Tips for Dealing with Challenges to Library Materials,” a document written by the American Library Association. Make sure that staff reviews this document periodically so they are prepared and know how to face such situations. (Can be found and printed from ALA’s website at

Reason for Inclusion: A quick, well-written and honest realistic novel written in free verse.


Tregay, S. (n.d.). About Sarah Tregay. Retrieved from

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