Nell and Layla are sisters with a close bond. Their parents are separated, which requires the girls to rely on one another regarding their friends, school, and personal problems. Layla is the perfect child. She excels in her academics, is involved with extra curriculars at school, and is popular among her peers. Nell looks up to her older sister, especially as she begins her freshman year in high school. She wants to follow Layla’s footsteps and make her proud for accomplishing similar feats and experiences.
As the new school year begins, Nell and her best friend Felix, are full of anxious excitement as they begin their four year journey in high school. The year starts as predicted; Layla is showing Nell the ropes when it comes to boys, parties, sports, and school. While Felix and Nell begin learning so much from Layla, her helpful and charismatic personality begins to fade as quickly as it began. Determined to figure out what has changed, Nell tries to question her sister but it only pushes her further. Then a rumor erupts at school. Rumor has it that Layla is having a relationship with Mr. Barr, a very popular, attractive, and intelligent art teacher at their high school. Nell immediately blows off this rumor; Mr. Barr has long been a rumor regarding student and teacher affairs for several years, mainly because he is a fun, young, and attractive. Even Felix has heard of the rumors, but it is quickly dismissed.
However, Nell discovers that her sister has been meeting with Mr. Barr, outside of school, one on one. According to Layla, it was all innocent. Their hangouts included grabbing a coffee or visiting an art museum, which is okay because he is an art teacher…right? With Layla moving farther away from Nell, she decides to do her own thing. She tries out for the school play to meet friends and keep herself busy. She also assumes that by giving her sister distance, perhaps she will come back and be her best friend again.
Will Nell and Layla ever be close again? Is Layla really having an affair with their art teacher? Can Nell make friends and gain new experiences without the help of her sister leading the way? Dana Reinhardt‘s We Are The Goldens is a great portrayal of the close relationships sisters keep, the secrets that can drive them apart, and learning to become your own identity. I would recommend this novel to young adults who enjoy mystery, friendship, and family adventures.
- Posted by Jacquie