Friday, April 6, 2012

The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour

Publisher: Dutton Children’s Books
Pages: 307
Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone
Summary: Colby's post-high school plans have long been that he and his best friend Bev would tour with her band, then spend a year in Europe. When Bev announces that she will start college just after the tour, Colby struggles to understand why she changed her mind and what losing her means for his future.

I heard buzz about LaCour’s second novel early on. This book combined two of my favorite things: bands and road trips. How could I not read it? I always wanted to go on tour with a friend’s band. Unfortunately, all my friends chose to go to college and become things like accountants and teachers. COME ON, GUYS! However, I’d like to note that I’m still young enough to do the whole tour thing, if any of my friends are getting any particularly musical ideas. Ahem.
Colby and Bev have had the same plan for several years: go on tour with Bev’s band the summer after high school graduation, then head over to Europe to chase the dragon or whatever particularly creative/musical people without fear do (by the way, “chase the dragon” to me and my friend Kt means go with the flow and do whatever life takes you, rather than burning drugs to inhale the fumes, which we found out was the actual definition a few months ago, WHATEVER). That is, until Bev breaks the news to Colby on tour: she’s going to college across country in the fall, leaving him without a travel companion and any chance at making alternative plans for fall. Colby has to figure out how to deal with his anger at Bev while being with her 24/7, and figure out what his immediate future holds to boot.
I was expecting a way lighter read, but I was pleasantly surprised by the emotional weight this story held. LaCour did a brilliant job when it came to writing Colby’s confusion and anger at Bev’s rather selfish actions. She created wonderful tension between them, both as best friends and potential love interests. The tumble of thoughts going through his mind trying to figure out his feelings was well done.
While we’re talking about it, I loved the relationship between the two of them. The two are solid best friends and each other’s confidantes--except when it comes to certain items of information. Colby is obviously, yet discretely, in love with Bev, whereas Bev’s feelings are a bit more difficult to figure out. Well executed, complicated relationship.
Nina LaCour’s The Disenchantments was everything I wanted it to be and more. Unexpectedly emotionally complex and a totally type of contemporary story with a believable male narrator in Colby. Recommended!

Rating: 5 - shelf of favorites

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