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Random House LLC
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We Are the Goldens Kindle Edition
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|Length: 210 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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Top customer reviews
Nell lives in the shadow of her older, perfect sister Layla, at least in her own mind. But Layla's life isn't so perfect. She's hiding a secret and she makes Nell complacent in that secret, even though Nell knows how wrong it is.
Nell's narration, with the unique second person POV to Layla, is a unique, intelligent and breathtakingly insightful look at high school, peer pressure, rumors, sisters, and love. She's a complex character, a good kid who sometimes breaks the rules. Her vision is that of a young girl biased by insecurity and hero-worship of her big sister. At times the dialogue is a bit mature for high school students, the witty banter too intellectual for even bright teenagers.
WE ARE THE GOLDENS is a fast paced, short read, but one that gripped me from page one and didn't let up even when I finished the book. This YA novel is interesting for both teens and adults. I will certainly look for more novels by Dana Reinhardt, who has become one of my favorite YA writers.
The story follows Nell through her freshman year in high school, burdened with Layla’s secret, which, at first she guesses, and ultimately, Layla confirms; we read her struggle to keep Layla’s secret while keeping Layla safe from what she knows will be a bad situation in any outcome. And through this, Nell also has her own struggles – namely, a crush gone wrong and a best friend that she can only confide so much in. Their divorced parents never seem to have quite enough time to actually talk to the girls and Nell feels very much alone while Layla spirals into her giddy, starry-eyed, teenage love affair.
The book is a quick read, told in the first person through Nell’s eyes, in the form of what feels like a very long letter to Layla or perhaps a journal that Nell uses to get her feelings out. Some flashbacks give depth to the characters, but the main points are right there in the present time: Layla is the Golden Girl. Nell is her sister, still Golden, but in the shadow of Layla’s greatness. As much as Nell’s concerns for her sister are legitimate, they’re also born from the sadness at seeing Layla go somewhere in life without Nell. It’s a separation, a painful one, made even more painful to Nell because she knows how this will likely end. It’s a tough coming of age story for both sisters.
Made more interesting is the addition of two dead brothers, the Creed brothers, who Nell imagines as a kind of Greek chorus. She bounces her feelings off of them, and they speak to the situations at hand, either nudging her into action or deeper thinking. We only get a slight bit of their back story, and I’d have liked to have known a little more about Nell’s relationship to them, because they factor so strongly in her narrative.
We Are The Goldens by Dana Reinhardt was a harrowing tale of two sisters, the secrets they keep, and the pain of carrying the weight around.
Having three sisters myself, We Are The Goldens spoke to me. Nell and Layla are two very different characters, individual personalities, but their mutual love for one another is something I hope wins out as the end left the gates swinging wide open. So, please be warned, there is NO closure in the end, but I get the ending, I get the attempt to make the reader think long after the last page was turned.
Ms. Reinhardt tackles some serious issues for YA in this book and I tip my hat to her for that. Topics such as a student/teacher relationship is quite risky, but the author managed to address it.
I felt most for Nell, the younger sister, who at the expense of betraying her sisters trust, carries a burden on her behalf that is too heavy to bear and I think the way the author wrote Layla's understanding or lack thereof, is a typical response for the age group.
Felix's character was wonderful. I agree with Nell...he is a beautiful boy inside and out.
I loved the way the story is written, as a letter to Layla. We Are The Goldens is a gripping story filled with love, lies, heartache, the pains of making a decision based out of love but one that could ultimately lead to the loss of love. This was an emotional rollercoaster ride!
The writing is seamless, beautiful and haunting. I will be on the lookout for future works from this author.
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