Monday, April 14, 2014

We Are the Goldens by Dana Reinhardt (Book Review)

*Disclosure of material connection- I was provided an e-arc of the book from the publisher via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are 100% my own.

About the book-

Nell knows a secret about her perfect, beautiful sister Layla. If she tells, it could blow their world apart. When Nell and Layla were little, Nell used to call them Nellaya. Because to Nell, there was no difference between where she started and her adored big sister ended. They're a unit; divorce made them rely on each other early on, so when one pulls away, what is the other to do? But now, Nell's a freshman in high school and Layla is changing, secretive. And then Nell discovers why. Layla is involved with one of their teachers. And even though Nell tries to support Layla, to understand that she's happy and in love, Nell struggles with her true feelings: it's wrong, and she must do something about it.

My thoughts-

I am always excited when there is a YA title to review from Random House Children's division. It is a rarity for me to read something from this particular publisher that I don't enjoy. We Are the Goldens seemed like an interesting story and I liked that the plot was going to focus on the two sisters. It was a refreshing change of pace. Don't get me wrong, I love a great love story and there was definitely one in We Are the Goldens, but it was nice to see this different type of relationship explored. The novel is written sort of like a long letter from younger sister Nell to her older sister Layla. In Nell's commentary we learn that her story begins as she begins her Freshman year of high school. We learn that older sister Layla is a junior and has a big secret...the secret was easy to figure out pretty early on and I was kind of bummed about that because I love a good amount of suspense, but there was so much emotion to be felt while reading this novel that it didn't really make that big of a difference to me. I still devoured the book in 2 days time. Nell and Layla have always been close, but the big secret is putting a wedge through them, especially as Nell wonders whether she should be keeping such a thing to herself. I found myself annoyed at Nell several times through the book, but I had to remind myself that her character is only 15 years old and when I remember that, the things she thinks and does make sense. I absolutely love Felix, Nell's best friend and confidant and my favorite scenes from the book were the ones that the two shared. I would recommend this book to fans of John Green's The Fault in Our Stars and Stephen Chbosky's The Perks of Being a Wallflower. It is an absolute page turner.

About the author-

DANA REINHARDT is the author of A Brief Chapter in My Impossible Life, Harmless, How to Build a House, The Things a Brother Knows, The Summer I Learned to Fly, and Odessa Again. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and their two daughters.

Connect with Dana Reinhardt on Goodreads Are the Goldens will be available on May 27, 2014. You can pre-order it on


  1. I got an ARC copy too, I know many bloggers get asked to read new books, but this was my first one, so I was really excited and I was happy I enjoyed it. (I was starting to think if they let me read it, it was probably going to really amateur) I posted a review on my blog. I really liked this book. I think it was told from a different perspective than the usual. A long letter to her sister. However I was disappointed that A.) the relationship with the teacher was revealed in the synopsis. I don’t think the synopsis written should have told more than a secret that drove the two sisters apart. B.) The issue wasn’t resolved. Nell stressed the whole book about how to handle it, and what would come if she didn’t keep her sisters secret. I guess I just wanted to know how the WHOLE thing would have played out.

    1. Hi Hope! Thanks for stopping by and congrats on receiving your first arc! Are you using NetGalley? I assure you there will be tons of books for you to read and rarely are they amateur. I have found so much to read through arcs from NetGalley that I might not have otherwise heard of!

      I would have loved more resolution to the book as well. If I remember correctly, I think the synopsis was at the beginning of the book and meant for advanced readers, so hopefully it wasn't included in the actual book, but that whole story line was rather predictable anyway so I don't think it would make much of a difference. ;)

      Seriously though, you can really never go wrong if you chose a book through Random House Children's division to review. If you need any suggestions, let me know! :D