Friday, May 23, 2014

Review: WE ARE THE GOLDENS by Dana Reinhardt #AmReading @dsreinhardt

Nell knows a secret about her perfect, beautiful sister Layla. If she tells, it could blow their world apart.

When Nell and Layla were little, Nell used to call them Nellaya. Because to Nell, there was no difference between where she started and her adored big sister ended. They're a unit; divorce made them rely on each other early on, so when one pulls away, what is the other to do? But now, Nell's a freshman in high school and Layla is changing, secretive. And then Nell discovers why. Layla is involved with one of their teachers. And even though Nell tries to support Layla, to understand that she's happy and in love, Nell struggles with her true feelings: it's wrong, and she must do something about it.

My review is going to have some mild spoilers. While I hate to do that, I really must talk about the ending here. I’m not going to tell you the ending; rather, I am going to talk about the literary device used at the end of this book -- the zero ending. For those of you who did not major in literature, the zero ending is one where the climax of the story occurs off screen after the last page. In other word, the narrative ends before the climax of the story. Short story writers like Raymond Carver, Ernest Hemingway and Anton Chekov used this type of ending with great success. But that was for short stories. I just don’t think the zero ending works well in a novel. Especially a young adult novel.

I guess I just think if I am going to invest the time and energy into reading a whole novel, I want more of a pay-off at the end than the whole choose-your-own-ending. And if the zero ending irritates me, I think teens are going to whip the book against the wall in blind rage.

Before you get the wrong idea, it wasn’t a bad book. Well, the point of view was a little annoying, and Nell and Layla were both too naive for words, but other than that... um... I know! I loved the best friend, Felix! He needs his own book. The scenes where he and Nell are speaking in faux Shakespearian were hilarious.

Overall, I give We Are the Goldens...

Plot - 3 bookmarks (a little predictable)
Character Development - 3 bookmarks (might have felt like more of a character arch had there been an ending)

Dream Cast (otherwise known as who I pictured while reading) - Elle Fanning (Nell), Dakota Fanning (Layla)

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