We Are the Goldens by Dana Reinhardt
Fifteen-year-old Nell has always adored his big sister Layla, but something feels different now that they’re in the same high school. Since their parents’ divorce years earlier, they have counted on each other for support and grounding. But now it feels like Layla is keeping secrets, and the rumors about her and the young, hot art teacher start circulating. Reinhardt draws readers in by narrating the story as if Nell were talking directly to her sister.
“You told me they (the rumors) start up again every year before they go wherever it is rumors go to die. If they were true, you said, Mr. B wouldn’t be working at City Day anymore.” But it just feels wrong and even Nell’s best friend Felix can’t help her bring back her usual equilibrium. Eventually Nell will find out Layla’s big secret, and it will give her anything but peace.
I enjoyed the way this book looked at family dynamics. There are sisters who are sort of best friends, with two families they split their time with–their devoted, single mom and their dad with his second wife. There is the normal push-pull with all three parents and thier teenaged daughters, and it feels natural and honest. For me, it doesn’t hurt that the setting is San Francisco and Reinhardt does a great job bringing pieces of The City into the story. I would recommend this to readers who like realistic, contemporary fiction and fans of Reinhardt’s other books.
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