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What We Left Behind (Harlequin Teen) Hardcover – October 27, 2015
2016 Book Awards
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"Characterization is poignant and razor-sharp... Emotionally astute." -Kirkus
"With vividly drawn characters and killer prose, this is Robin Talley's writing at its best. I couldn't put it down. What We Left Behind perfectly portrays the tumultuous and scary (but exciting!) time transitioning between high school and college, when teens begin to find out who they really are." -Miranda Kenneally, bestselling author of Catching Jordan
"What We Left Behind is a honest and searing love story, impressively complex and nuanced in its examination of the evolution of a long-distance relationship. A lot of words will be used to describe Robin Talley's follow-up to the acclaimed Lies We Tell Ourselves: Important. Brave. Necessary. They will all be true, and everyone should read this book." -I.W. Gregorio, author of None of the Above
"Robin Talley beautifully captures the feeling of falling in love, falling apart, and finding your truth in this powerful novel. Toni and Gretchen's journey will make readers feel all the feels. An important read about strength, self, and discovery." -Tess Sharpe, author of Far From You
"This title is a must-read for high school Gay Straight Alliance members...Toni's genderqueer identity contributes a fresh perspective to LGBTQ fiction. Recommended for all collections." -School Library Journal, starred review
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Top Customer Reviews
Here’s the thing: There’s a lot of negativity about this book, mainly about the use of genderqueer, that takes away the positive aspects of this book, the things that make it so important, and truly shine. Despite the “misuse” of the genderqueer label, there are tons of other terms that are relevant and so crucial to be aware of when talking about the LGTBQIA community.
READ THIS BOOK IF:
You want to learn about the various terminology, and intricate associations with gender in the LGBTQIA community.
You’re looking for a complex contemporary full of unique, and diverse characters.
You’re in search of an on the cusp evolution from high school to college. Mature YA-New Adult.
The story is educational in that it spreads awareness of the terms and to question how to address people properly in the LGBTQIA community, especially those where it is not clear. It can be embarrassing but it is courteous and important to ask how they’d like to be addressed. For people who are not up on their gender and LGBT studies, this could be extremely enlightening.
You can feel every ounce of anxiety and confusion from both Toni and Gretchen. The fear of confession, of being rejected, and not knowing who they want to be. Gretchen and Toni were together for so long that they forgot how to be without each other, they were more half of a whole than individuals, this is highlighted in Gretchen’s character.
Gretchen and her group of friends were entertaining, fun, and got through hard discussions without digressing into a philosophical spiel.Read more ›
WHAT WE LEFT BEHIND kind of straddles the line between Young Adult and New Adult. Toni and Gretchen are eighteen, just starting their first year of college. That’s an important time for a lot of people, because it’s the first time you’re on your own, with the chance to explore your interests and start to figure out who you really are. I think the author captured the chaos and freedom of that time quite well, when you’re trying new things, juggling old and new friendships, distant parental expectations, and maybe even an ongoing relationship.
I like just about everything in WHAT WE LEFT BEHIND, but a few things stand out. One is the relationship between Toni and Gretchen. Very rarely do YA books show the meat of a relationship — so much of the time, a book is focused on getting the characters together. In WHAT WE LEFT BEHIND, Toni and Gretchen have been a couple for two years. So they’re sure they can handle the distance between Boston and New York City. For a couple that loves each other as much as they do, a few hundred miles is no big deal. Nevermind the fact that Gretchen didn’t tell Toni she applied to NYU, instead of following Toni to Boston. That’s fine, because they don’t fight. But when you don’t fight, and you don’t really talk about the issues that bother you, how well does a relationship work?Read more ›
YA contemporary isn't one of my favorite genres, so I don't tend to read many books of that nature. A lot of them seem to be taken from the same generic template and given some detail changes - and that's it. Most of the books seem to be basically the same story to me, which is part of the reason why I don't read much of them. Please note that this has nothing to do with the books or authors themselves. These are my personal thoughts and opinions, and other readers are sure to feel differently about it. The story itself was full of emotion as well as hard topics that some couples must face - like long distance relationships and growing apart. The fact that the couple is transgender/transqueer is not surprising to me due to the large trend that's happening in the YA fiction genre right now.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Toni and Gretchen first met at Martha Jefferson Academy for Young Women and are together ever since they first met. Time fast forwards and the two are heading to college. Read morePublished 29 days ago by Nicole @ Nicoles' Novel Reads
Let's talk about this novel. I was really excited to read this, and after waiting a couple of months after the giveaway ended, I finally received my sturdy hardcover copy. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Leah Nova Moss
Robin Talley's What We Left Behind gives us a close look at the LBGQTIA community in high school, at Harvard, and at NYU. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Story Circle Book Reviews
This story was relatable in the most basic form whether you are transitioning or someone dating a person that is transitioning. Be prepared for emotions.Published 2 months ago by Nicole Herron
Romance Score: You’re Trying & Good Effort
Toni and Gretchen are adorable and sparks fly from the moment they first see each other. Read more
Originally seen on Emily Reads Everything
This book made me feel intensely uncomfortable and embarrassed. It made me feel uninformed and insensitive. Read more
I related to the gender confusion Toni had. I don't understand my gender. Gender is a confusing concept anyways. It's a jumble of pronouns and identification. Read more
I've wanted to read this book for a while now. It was one of my Waiting on Wednesday picks in May of last year. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Kayla Harrison
The blurb really caught my attention and I was keen to find out if it would be as interesting as it sounded.
Where can I start – it was a fascinating read! Read more