Rated 5 stars ***** ebook. ARC. To be published May 27, 2014. Wendy Lamb Books (Random House).
Nell and Layla Golden had always been close. Born just a few months apart they shared everything, and told each other everything. Growing up Nell felt so close to Layla she even thought her name was Nellayla. Her life revolved around Layla, and she adored her. When their parents divorced, they bounced from Mom’s house on weekdays to Dad’s house on weekends but nothing changed until Nell’s freshman year at City Day High School.
Nell had been looking forward to being Layla’s little sister at school. She and her best friend Felix did the usual freshman activities, but something was different. Layla acted standoffish, kept secrets from Nell, and didn’t want to hang out with her friends and do junior class-type activities. She had secret phone conversations, disappeared for long periods of time, and lied about where she’d been.
Nell felt in her heart that something was wrong with Layla and processed these fears through silent conversations with Layla along with imaginary talks with two brothers who’d died years ago. When she found out Layla was secretly dating a young, popular teacher, Nell was shocked. She knew she had to say something, but she’d always protected her sister. As the days passed and her excuses for Layla’s behavior grew, Nell found herself getting more upset and confused. Was it her responsibility to protect her sister and her secret, or should she tell someone?
Dana Reinhardt’s realistic portrayal of two sisters caught in a struggle between the truth and a lie will resound with her readers. Many high school students often fall for a young, handsome teacher and through “We are the Goldens” readers may recognize similar behavior in a friend and rescue them from a similar situation.
Recommended for readers aged 14 and older.