"Reinhardt writes wonderfully about delicate, precarious human relationships, articulating dynamics I never noticed but which ring brilliantly true. The Goldens radiate charm, but beneath their charm is heartbreak, ambition, and delusion.Read more...
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More About We Are the Goldens by Dana ReinhardtOverview
"Reinhardt writes wonderfully about delicate, precarious human relationships, articulating dynamics I never noticed but which ring brilliantly true. The Goldens radiate charm, but beneath their charm is heartbreak, ambition, and delusion. There is so much to dissect and discuss here: this book will leave crowds of people eager to talk about the ending."--E. Lockhart, author of "We Were Liars "and "The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks"
Nell worships her older sister, Layla. They're one unit, intertwined: Nellayla. As Nell and her best friend, Felix, start their freshman year in high school, on Layla's turf, there's so much Nell looks forward to: Joining Layla on the varsity soccer team. Parties. Boys. Adventures.
But the year takes a very different turn.
Layla is changing, withdrawing. She's hiding something, and when Nell discovers what it is, and the consequences it might have, she struggles. She wants to support Layla, to be her confidante, to be the good sister she's always been. But with so much at stake, what secrets should she keep? What lies should she tell?
Award-winning young adult author Dana Reinhardt explores questions of loyalty, love, and betrayal in this provocative and intimate novel."
- ISBN-13: 9780385742573
- ISBN-10: 0385742576
- Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books
- Publish Date: May 2014
- Page Count: 197
- Reading Level: Ages 14-UP
Related CategoriesPublishers Weekly Reviews
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-02-24
- Reviewer: Staff
After the first chapter of this absorbing contemporary novel, readers will know two things about narrator Nell Golden, a high school freshman: she is extremely close to her sister, Layla, a junior at the same San Francisco school, and Nell is about to make an announcement that could drive the two of them apart. Written as a confessional, from Nell to Layla, the story goes on to tell how Nell’s idolization of her sister is challenged when rumors spread about Layla having an affair with the school’s hip art teacher. Stunned by the news, Nell is having her own romantic disaster, as well, falling for a boy whose lust she mistakes for love. Layla is quick to comfort her, but Nell has trouble offering reciprocal support. Reinhardt (The Summer I Learned to Fly) succeeds in capturing the full gamut of fluctuating adolescent emotions, including the intensity of first love, the disappointment of misjudgment, and the pain of losing one’s innocence. As Nell faces difficult choices, one of her emotions remains steadfast: her deep devotion to Layla. Ages 14–up. Agent: Douglas Stewart, Sterling Lord Literistic. (May)BookPage Reviews
The space between sisters
Nell Golden has been waiting for this moment for two years. She’s finally about to start high school with her beautiful older sister, Layla. Nell and Layla have always been close, and Nell is sure their bond will only grow deeper once they attend the same high school parties and play on the school’s varsity soccer team. But as soon as the school year starts, Nell feels Layla pulling away. She has some suspicions about what’s going on with her older sister, but she can’t talk about them with anyone, especially not the one person she needs the most—Layla herself.
As Nell makes her way (and sometimes stumbles) through her freshman year, she feels as if she’s missing the mentor and guide she assumed Layla would be. Meanwhile, she is dogged by her fears for Layla and haunted by the memories of two brothers who were destroyed by their own secrets. Ultimately, Nell must decide what would be the bigger betrayal: revealing Layla’s secret or keeping it.
Dana Reinhardt excels at creating complex, realistic family relationships and placing strong, provocative themes in the midst of engaging coming-of-age stories. We Are the Goldens is no exception; it’s a superbly crafted story that feels emotionally honest and expansive despite its tightly written style.