We Are the Goldens, Dana Reinhardt
Published May 27th 2014 by Wendy Lamb Books
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.
As the parent of a little girl this book scared the hell out of me! As as sister this book went to my heart reading the story of Nell and Layla. I really felt for Nell as she just wanted her sister’s happiness, but worried so much for her.
We Are The Goldens is written from Nell’s perspective, telling the story of Nell’s freshman year of high school and Layla’s junior year. To her sister Layla is nearly perfect and Nell is so happy to be the little Golden at school. But when Nell learns of Layla’s secret relationship it begins to eat away at her and influences her own choices.
The reader is pulled into Nell’s inner struggle over Layla’s secret. Does she tell her parents? Does Nell confront Mr. B himself? Does she tell her best friend Felix? Oh I loved Felix! He was a great foil to Nell, and enriched the story by helping Nell keep living her own life and not just being wrapped up in Layla’s.
What some readers might not enjoy is the open ending to this book. I liked having that left to my imagination personally. I felt like I knew Nell enough in the end to decide for myself where the story led. I was not comfortable starting this book because I didn’t want to read about the student/teacher relationship, but because Nell is telling this story we don’t have to read about Layla and Mr. B directly. That definitely made the book better for me.
This was a short read, but totally compelling and I thought the writing was beautiful. This was my first Dana Reinhardt book but I am definitely going to be looking for her other titles.
Thank you NetGalley and Wendy Lamb Books for this advanced read copy in exchange for an honest review!