Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Leftovers: Laura Wiess

SUMMARY (From borders.com):

A devastating novel of desperation and revenge from one of today's most compelling new voices in fiction. In this follow-up to her heartbreaking debut,Such a Pretty Girl, Laura Wiess once again spins a shattering tale of the tragedies that befall young women who are considered society's Leftovers.

Blair and Ardith are best friends who have committed an unforgivable act in the name of love and justice. But in order to understand what could drive two young women to such extreme measures, first you'll have to understand why. You'll have to listen as they describe parents who are alternately absent and smothering, classmates who mock and shun anyone different, and young men who are allowed to hurt and dominate without consequence. You will have to learn what it's like to be a teenage girl who locks her bedroom door at night, who has been written off by the adults around her as damaged goods. A girl who has no one to trust except the one person she's forbidden to see. You'll have to understand what it's really like to be forgotten and abandoned in America today.

Are you ready?


Wiess has created yet another astounding masterpiece. Of the three books she’s published, I think this one is my favorite. The story is so well put together and so astoundingly heartbreaking. This book has pulled me through so many emotions, conclusions and obstacles in a way few other have. I both loved and hated these girls, admiring them and belittling them. This is another book I am not even sure how to review because there are simply too many things to say about it. Bottom line- read it.

The perspective alternates between Blair and Ardith, furthering it by everything being put in terms of you don’t say this instead of I didn’t say this. The reader is very much thrust right into every single thing these girls thought and endured through the direct verbalization alone. Compound that with Weiss’ phenomenal grasp of the written language and her immense ability to weave raw, gut wrenching emotions into words and the product is something that will stick with everyone who reads it in one way or another. Even if the story turns you off, the writing stands out and should remain in mind.

Taken alone, the personal history of both Blair and Aridth are enough to grip a person- twined together, it is almost astoundingly surreal. Watching the slow changing and fading of their innocence, forcing them to grow up is one of the biggest foci of this book and a rough one to swallow. Reading this, the most obvious feelings come up- a strong desire to simply take these girls from their families, uproot them and place them somewhere else. But the fact remains while these are fictional characters, there are numerous teenagers out there in similar circumstances, ranging across the wealth spectrum. Are we removing them? No- and that is one of the biggest points of this book and it is so astoundingly well made.

The ending was breathtaking and astounding and pretty much any other related word. This is the sort of ending a completely adore in books and left me with a million burnings thoughts and questions, sparking my own ‘what ifs’ from the very ones that spurred this book for Wiess. She doesn’t simply close the story- she leaves you thinking, calculating, and considering.

In every way, this book deserves 5 stars if not more. From the strong characters, even stronger and painfully logical development of them, to the voice it is written in and the plot itself- added in with Wiess’ knack for saying things perfectly- this piece is a work of genius. Many of the events that happened are ones I didn't expect but that seems to be the case with her books- there is simply no way to predict where things are going to head next. If you can stomach the raw emotions, the angsty plot line, and the overall content, then read this book. It is well worth it.

Author's Website (And I'm quoted! *bounces up and down*)

No links to other reviews on this one since I am at work... plus, this one sticks out so much for me, just read it. =D


  1. WOW what a review - I have never even heard of this one - but I just ordered it :) Due to your review! :)

  2. This is a great review, it sounds amazing. I think I will have to pick this one up!

  3. This book sounds amazing. Great review, I'm putting in on my list now :)

  4. I thought I posted to this already. It was still on my mind, I finally figured it out, I have Such a Pretty Girl on my TBR list and was considering it next.

    Your review makes me want to get to it for sure now.

  5. I searched your blog and realised it was you I got the recommendation for Such a Pretty Girl. I started reading it today, very much enjoying it. Excited that you have gave great reviews for all her books.


  6. Reading it now and on chapter 26. I LOVE it!