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Publisher's Note:  

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.



We Are The Goldens

by Dana Reinhardt

Review Date:
09/08/2014

Recommended Age:
18+

Overall Rating:
****1/2

Profanity / Language Rating:
****

Violence / Gore Rating:
**

Sex / Nudity Rating:
*****

Overall Review:  

The teen years are often difficult, not only for the teen going through them, but for friends and family also. It's a time of change, and often these years help a person develop a sense of who they are, and who they want to be.

 

In We Are the Goldens, sisters Nell and Layla are portrayed as the best of friends, but there was also a bit of friction I picked up on. Nell has always felt as if she is not quite as good as Layla, and even though this is never stated aloud by anyone, she knows everyone is thinking it, which hurts just about as much. Though I was the older sister in my family, I can see how this situation would be easy to slip into. One year the older sister gets perfect grades, and automatically she is the star student. She will go far--and if the younger sister doesn't do quite as well? Well, you can see how this will pan out. But there can also be consequences from all the pressure this role-modeling puts on an older sibling, and in this book, we see a prime example of how this can look.

 

We Are the Goldens was a quick-paced read that reminded me a lot of something Elizabeth Scott, or Sarah Dessen might write. If you are a fan of either of these authors, you'll want to check out this book. This story may be short, but it holds a lot of emotion and heart. I was impressed by the characters and how well I could relate to them, and feel like I "knew" them.


Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  3 religious exclamations; 3 mild obscenities; 4 derogatory names; 4 scatological words; 6 anatomical terms.

 

Violence/Gore:  Two characters are mentioned to have died, no explanation of the method of their death is given.

 

Sex/Nudity:  Teens mentioned to make out; teens mentioned to kiss; a boy admires a girls nude stomach, which is portrayed in one slightly sexual scene; sex is referred to several tims; sex is implied several times; throughout most of the story it is alluded to that one of the teen girls is having an intimate relationship with an adult.



Mature Subject Matter:  

Divorce, death, teen partying, abuse, teen-adult intimate relationship.



Alcohol / Drug Use:  

Drug use is mentioned; teens are mentioned to "smoke a joint"; minors drink.



Reviewed By Lydia
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