We Are the Goldens by Dana Reinhardt
Sisterhood is complex. And complicated. That much I know even without having a sister. Although I've frequently wondered what it would be like to have one. Especially one really close in age. (when we were kids my little brother and I used to pester my mom - of course always Mom - to "give" us a sister...she vehemently refused...hmmm wonder if we were really that "bad")
Nell and Layla have always been very close. So much so that Nell used to consider them "one entity" when she was a kid. (and hence referred to both of them by one name - Nellayla) Layla is 17 months older. The levelheaded, reliable one. The popular and beautiful one. The star soccer player. But Nell doesn't mind. Because it's Layla and Nell against the world. Until Nell starts her freshman year at the same high school as Layla. And starts noticing all the little ways in which Layla is starting to change. Withdrawing. Keeping secrets.
We Are The Goldens reads like a letter Nell wrote to Layla. About what that distance between them feels like for her. About boys. And navigating the tricky world of teenagehood and high school. About Duncan and Parker, teen sons of family friends. About their parents. About falling in love. About missing her sister.
"But I guess I was imposing a Hollywood version of falling in love onto a high school where there really isn't much use for love, or even dating. There's hookups and people who hang out and all sorts of variations, but the actual boyfriend/girlfriend is a rare breed at City Day."
It was a quick and fairly engaging read for me. I tend to enjoy YA literature of this kind. And while I was reading We Are The Goldens I really did enjoy it. All the characters came to life and it made me care about both girls. However the entire time it felt like the story is building towards something significant and emotionally impactful, there was a sense of anticipation that kept moving the story forward. And then the ending fell short for me. I was left looking at the last sentence thinking "Really? That's it?" I feel that with a different ending I would've given this story a higher rating.
If there was a book telling the story from Layla's point of view I would definitely pick it up. I'd recommend this one to YA lovers who are looking for a fast read and are drawn to the subject matter.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.