Friday, February 29, 2008


Laura Wiess is the author of books including Such a Pretty Girl and the recently-released Leftovers.

She applied the Page 69 Test to Leftovers and reported the following:
I'm happy to say the Page 69 Test scores for Leftovers the same way it first did for Such a Pretty Girl last year.

Leftovers is the story of Blair and Ardith, best friends who have committed an unforgivable act in the name of love and justice. But in order to understand what could drive two young women to such extreme measures, first you'll have to understand why. You'll have to understand what it's really like to be forgotten, misused and abandoned in America today.

Page 69 is told by Ardith, and it's the lead-in to a far worse series of destruction of innocence scenes. It's Christmas at Ardith's -- the party house with the parents who want so much to still be young and cool -- and Blair, who lives a completely different lifestyle, has dressed up and come over for her first visit. She's fairly innocent and inexperienced, dreams of love and romance, and as the fresh meat, ends up under the mistletoe with a short line of drunks.

Page 69:

"Well, don’t plan on hanging around with her," your mother says, shifting and deliberately blocking your father's pop-eyed stare. "You don't need to get involved with a boy-crazy girl like that. She acts like a little whore." Muttering, she refills her eggnog tumbler and settles on your father's lap, preventing him from joining the fest. The other girls look sullen and you begin to think you'd better get Blair away before a fight erupts.

Before you can move, Broken Nose slips his hand up under Blair's shirt and squeezes her breast.

Shocked, she pushes it away. Slaps his other hand from her butt. A terrible mix of little-girl confusion and big-girl outrage twists her face. She says, "C'mon now, quit it," but her voice is wobbly and her smile smashed as he kisses her. Someone cheers as his tongue invades her mouth.

You look at your mother, who shrugs and says, "Well, she asked for it."

At your father, who looks like he wishes she'd asked
him for it, and at your brother, who watches with undisguised interest.

"Break it up," you yell, but no one pays any attention.

Your mother elbows your father. "You know what, Gil? We should do some dirty dancing. I have the CD here somewhere. It'd be fun."

Your father grunts, his gaze locked on the floorshow.

You go into the kitchen. Turn on the stove and dip the festive Rudolph kitchen towel into the flickering flames. It ignites. You hold it up beneath the smoke detector, loosing an endless, ear-splitting shriek and scattering the cringing, reeling crowd.

Blair stumbles toward you, lipstick smeared and clothes askew. You toss the burning towel into the sink and lead her into your room. Lock the door.

Ardith and Blair are fourteen here. Ardith has grown up seeing much worse. Blair is trapped in unrelenting family miseries of her own. Leftovers is the why behind the pending tragedy, the path to breaking the girls, and what happens when the two best friends finally reach the end of their ropes.

Compelling enough to read on? I hope so.
Learn more about the book and author at Laura Wiess' website, her LiveJournal, MySpace page, Amazon blog, and the "Welcome to the Asylum" blog.

The Page 69 Test: Such a Pretty Girl.

My Book, The Movie: Such a Pretty Girl.

--Marshal Zeringue