Leftovers is a story about the lives of two girls whose parents have deeply impacted their lives for the worse. The girls, Blair and Ardith, describe in detail how their lives have led up to an unforgivable act of desperation and revenge. Blair is from a wealthy family whose mother’s main concern is making a good appearance so she can become a judge. Basically ignored except when it comes to benefiting her mother, Blair is in the total opposite situation of Ardith, who is too visible. With parents who are more concerned with partying than with what her brother’s drunken friends are capable of, Ardith goes to extremes to disappear. This is a story of despair, abuse, and friendship.
Wiess’ story of these two girls’ lives is haunting. The narrative, shared by both girls, is told in such a way that it allows the reader to be able to identify with every hurt, betrayal and despair. The writing is poetic and the story incredible moving. Wiess is able to demonstrate how family abuse is not static and can come in many types. She also nails some of the heartbreaking truths of what it is like growing up as a girl. One might think that by using the popular theme of best friends against the world there would be some sort of predictable and conclusive ending, but in the end the reader is left questioning whether or not the girls really ended up winning. This book is moving and relevant. I highly recommend it.
If you liked Leftovers you might also enjoy: Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson, The Facts Speak for Themselves by Brock Cole, Touching Snow by M. Sindy Felin and Rules of Survival by Nancy Werlin.
Rating: 5Q 4P S