Saturday, April 12, 2014

Two Nice Kids Find Life Doesn't Always Work the Way You Expect

Nell Golden is starting high school at City Day following in the footsteps of her adored older sister Layla. She has high hopes for the year: making the soccer team, being in the school play, finding a boyfriend. All these things happen, but not in the way she expected. She also hopes to be closer to her sister, but Layla is changing. She has a secret and Nell is left out wondering what to do.

Nell's best friend is a boy, Felix. She and Felix are comfortable with each other and look to each other for support when things to go wrong. It's a special friendship without the strain of romance, but full of caring. Felix has his own troubles during the year, and Nell is there for him as he is for her.

“We are the Goldens” is written in the form of a monologue from Nell to Layla. At the beginning you know something is wrong. Nell is trying to remember and recreate the relationship she had with Layla before the secret took her away.

I enjoyed this book. Nell's voice is realistic, and her relationship with Felix is portrayed sensitively. It's a book that middle school and early high school students can feel part of. One of the best themes is showing that even when things seem to be working the way you want, there are pitfalls. I recommend this book. The writing is well done and the plot is realistic.

I reviewed this book for Net Galley.