Saturday, October 22, 2011

Review: Leftovers by Heather Waldorf

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Goodreads Synopsis:

I make it to the flagpole second to last. No Poo Patrol for me. Not today. Today I draw the Grooming straw. Forget my own grooming; for three leisurely hours this morning, I'll be washing, drying, fluffing and brushing out the matted and dirt-encrusted coats of a dozen-odd dogs of questionable parentage. Not that my own parentage is anything to brag about. 
Fifteen-year-old Sarah Greene's father-chef by day, camera buff by night-choked to death on a piece of steak. It was the best day of Sarah's life. But a year later, Sarah still struggles with the legacy of her father's abuse. While other girls her age are determined to find boyfriends and part-time jobs and dresses for the prom, Sarah is on a search-and-destroy mission: to find the shoe box containing her father's collection of kiddy porn. After a brief skirmish with the law, Sarah is sentenced to do community service hours at Camp Dog Gone Fun, a summer program for shelter dogs. With the love of a big goofy dog named Judy, the friendship of Sullivan, a guy with problems of his own, and the support of a few good adults, Sarah begins to understand her past and believe in a brighter future.


I actually really liked this book. It was an easy read, and it wasn't amazing or anything, but it was good and I genuinely liked it.
It's about a girl, Sarah, who's father has died; a great thing for her since her father used to take kiddie porn pictures of her, leaving her scarred. After crashing her step-father's car, she is sent away to this camp over the summer for delinquents and sheltered dogs. She's not excited about it, and is surprised to see a boy from school there, Sullivan. She quickly becomes close friends, and then something more, with him, and gets attached to a dog, Judy.
I didn't get an overwhelming voice for Sarah, but I liked her, and I felt for what she was going through. Because she's trying to find the pictures that her father had taken without letting anyone know about it. Because her mother doesn't know, and she hasn't been talking to anyone about much because she's afraid. Throughout the book, she struggles with her similarities with her father, with her emotions forming for a guy, her fear of cameras, and with her family problems. It's nice seeing her overcome so many things, and seeing how she does it.
I also really liked Sullivan. He was sweet and adorable and I'd have liked to see more of him. (Not that he didn't show up much, because he was a relatively big character.) And his family was nice, and welcoming to Sarah, which she needed.
I like books with issues like this one. I haven't been through anything like it, and that's perhaps why I find it so interesting. Either way, I do and am always looking for more books with these kinds of things as I haven't read or found all that many. (Feel free to suggest some.) I think that it dealt with it rather well. The outcome was done well, and everyone's reactions were good.
The writing is nice. It's smooth, and simple. It was easy to read, while still being a really good read.
I just really liked this book.

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