Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Format/pages: ARC provided by LibraryThing Early Reviewers, Hardcover 304 pages
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars
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.
Author Nina LaCour discusses the book: