Foodie Lit

C.C. Bolick's Leftover Girl

Every time people find out about Jessica Ray Delaney, on social media or the newspaper, her adopted parents panic and move to another town. “Someone found out about me,” Jes thinks as they move again. The first in a series, Leftover Girl is filled with secrets, innuendos, and lies from the past. The reason is one that I didn’t guess the secrets of the novel—and that make me really appreciate C. C. Bolick, the author.

 

C.C. writes in the paranormal genre, and as she describes, “mainstreams” it. “I've always read a variety of genres over the years. I love a good story no matter if it's paranormal/magical, or just a hard fought happily-ever-after. The characters are what I focus on. I picture them first and then add in the other elements.” This gives her writing a wonderfully realistic feel, which grounds the imaginative aspects.

 

Jes doesn’t remember anything before her adopted parents found her when she was 4, standing barefoot in the lights of a truck. The driver not only saves her but adopts her.  Her adoptive parents do not share anything about that “before time” with her. Readers sense something is wrong—had she been kidnapped? Abused? Did her biological parents not give her up willingly? What was going on with Jes and her family? Is this why the family constantly moves?

 

Jes thinks, “I thought about how careful I’d been to hide the truth about my past. I never searched the Internet for my real name at the library or said a word about what happened in New York. Starting at Aunt Charlie’s house, I wondered who’d scared Dad into pack up us up this time.”

 

Her parents keep telling her how afraid of water she is—only she isn’t.  Although something happened near water that she can’t quite remember.  Jes feels an outsider in her own family—why do they always introduce her as the “adopted” sister? Why did they encourage her to wear brown contacts to hide her very blue eyes?  “If only they’d treat me like a normal person,” Jes thinks about her adopted parents.
 

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The title Leftover Girl reflects this discomfort. C.C. explains that the title “communicates the longing of an adopted girl who believes she was abandoned by her birth parents. This book is the first in a series that explores who she really is.”

 

Chase Pearson is a special person in Jes’ life—there is an unusual connection that Jes cannot quite understand. Chase’s mother is Jes’ English teacher. And weird. She opens doors without touching them. Chase seems to have a few abilities that are beyond human. Who are these people?

 

“When I looked closer at Chase, a strange feeling washed over me. Behind thick glasses were two of the bluest eyes I’d ever seen, rivaled only by the ones looking back from my mirror at night. I’d worn contacts for year, the same shade as Mom’s eyes.”

 

Then strange dreams begin—are they a clue to Jes’ past?

 

While originally conceived as a YA book, C.C. writes to appeal to both young adult and adult audiences, “especially with the humor,” C.C. tells me. “I want readers to feel like they're part of the story no matter what age they are.”  Leftover Girl is the first in a series of 5, developing many of the same characters.

 

Jes, her family and friends love going out for pizza, one of her favorite foods. Jes and her family might like to create their own delicious version. Try the Fresh Summer Pizza, all fresh ingredients. A delicious non-gluten recipe Cauliflower Crust Pizza that my family loves. And for no-real crust at all, try Pizza on Veggie “Crusts.”  These are just the out of this world recipes for Jes, her family and friends, and for you, too!

Out Of This World Pizza Recipes

Do Be Fresh Summer Pizza 

Cauliflower Crust Pizza 

Pizza on Veggie Crusts 

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