The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour

Book: The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour, Dutton, February 16, 2012

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Series: Standalone

Format/pages:  ARC provided by LibraryThing Early Reviewers, Hardcover 304 pages

Rating: 4 / 5 Stars

More Info: LibraryThing | Goodreads

Buy the Book: Amazon

Colby and Bev have just graduated high school and are about to embark on a short tour of the Pacific Northwest with Bev’s band The Disenchantments.  The plan afterwards is for Bev and Colby to sightsee around Europe for a year, a plan that has been in place for years. But, at the start of the tour, Bev confesses that she decided to start college in the fall instead, and would not be going to Europe after all. Now things are very uncomfortable between them as they set out on the road with the band. Colby must decide how to proceed with his life now that Bev has thrown a wrench in his plans.

I think the cover of The Disenchantments goes well with the retro feel of the book. The story has a sense of freedom as the main characters are just entering adulthood and exploring the world. The band members are sisters Meg and Alexa, in addition to singer Bev, and they tour in a turquoise VW bus with roadie Colby and listen to iconic girl groups such as The Runaways, Heart, Sleater-Kinney, and The Supremes. As a band, however, The Disenchantments have a great look but aren’t destined for superstardom.  They are just playing music for the fun of it. The tour feels like a nostalgic last hurrah before the friends go their separate way in the fall.

Colby the main character is a likable guy. He’s easy going, and a gifted artist who is always sketching with his pad and pencil. He is searching for what to do with his life and dealing with his unresolved feelings for Bev, in the wake of her seeming betrayal. Bev reads as distant and unattainable and it is hard to warm up to her. Her reasons for keeping her college plans a secret from best friend Colby are one of the book’s mysteries.

On the road trip, the band hits several small towns and venues and meets many colorful characters that play important roles in the story. You really feel life on the road with the group and get to know each of the characters well with each stop. The friends attended high school for the arts together, and there is an artistic and creative feel that carries throughout the book.

The tempo of the book is relaxed and has a true summer road trip vibe to it. The journey is bittersweet as each of the characters prepare for the upcoming changes in their lives. I liked the mature, new-adult feel of the book, the friendship dynamic and the artistic theme of the story. I think The Disenchantments has wide ranging appeal and especially for those who like character driven contemporary books. Look for The Disenchantments to hit shelves February 16.

Other Reviews:

Reading in the Corner

Reading With Style

RJ Does Books

This Blonde Reads

Author Nina LaCour discusses the book:


6 thoughts on “The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour

  1. […] The Reading Date YA & Adult Fiction Book Reviews HomeAboutChallenges20102011GiveawaysIt’s A DateReading List20102011ReviewsBy AuthorBy Title Twitter Facebook RSS Feed ← The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour […]

  2. I love road trip books and was a big fan of Hold Still! I am so glad The Disenchantments has a new adult sort of feel because that’s closer to where I am in life than high school or responsible adulthood (marriage and babies, etc).

    1. Lucy says:

      I really want to read Hold Still now after reading The Disenchantments. Hope there will be many more new adult type books- there definitely is an audience for them!

  3. I’ve been looking forward to this book for awhile because it sounds to me exactly the way you described it in your review: a post-high-school road trip with friends before “real life” starts where you’re free to do whatever and have fun and grow up a little bit. I LOVE road trip books. It’s one of my very favorite plot devices because it’s such a huge METAPHOR. But I’m excited to read this one! I love the band aspect, too. Should be fun!

    1. Lucy says:

      Yes, you are totally right about road trip books. It is a favorite plot device of mine as well, and music goes hand in hand with road trip, doesn’t it? Think you will really enjoy this book!

  4. […] 3. On the Road – Road trip books and other travel adventures illustrate a character’s journey and usually bring quirky characters, music mixes, romance and self-discovery. These are some of my favorite types of books, such as Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, Saving June, and The Disenchantments. […]

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