Monday, February 27, 2012
The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour
Colby and Bev have a long-standing pact: graduate, hit the road with Bev’s band, and then spend the year wandering around Europe. But moments after the tour kicks off, Bev makes a shocking announcement: she’s abandoning their plans—and Colby—to start college in the fall.
But the show must go on and The Disenchantments weave through the Pacific Northwest, playing in small towns and dingy venues, while roadie-Colby struggles to deal with Bev’s already-growing distance and the most important question of all: what’s next?
Morris Award–finalist Nina LaCour draws together the beauty and influences of music and art to brilliantly capture a group of friends on the brink of the rest of their lives.
So many authors whose work I read in my first or second years of blogging are finally releasing new books, and Nina Lacour is one of the authors whose next novel I was most excited for (her debut, Hold Still, is still a favorite). The Disenchantments also appealed to me because most of its characters have just graduated, and I'm about to. And although their college and future worries were realistic to the point where it hurt to read them, I really do like this book.
The Disenchantments is more about the characters than the plot, but I think the plot is worth mentioning too. Road trip books are some of my favorite things, but Colby and the girls go to more interesting places and meet more interesting places than most other road tripping groups of friends. Although some of the people they meet are included so briefly that I couldn't always believe they were there to do anything more than let the group meet someone ~cool and hip,~ even the two-dimensional characters bring a sense of fun and depth that make the group's whole trip feel a bit more magical and serendipitous.
Some of the other characterization was a bit more problematic for me, though. Bev I simply never understood or saw the appeal in; she's so secretive but so staunch in her beliefs that I could not see why everyone was so enamored with her. I think she'd prefer me not to know too much about her, but I would have liked more to make me understand where she was coming from. This did become less of an issue as the book progressed because of her relationships with everyone else; because they're together the entire book, the bond between Colby, Bev, Meg, and Alexa is always apparent. I liked their bond wasn't just as a group-- they each had separate feelings and relationships with each other and always had different ways to help one another out, making their relationship and growth as friends more poignant and easily identifiable.
Although I wanted more from some of the characters, The Disenchantments' realism and simultaneously emotional and calm mood make it a hypnotic read.
Book details: Dutton/Hardcover/$16.99
Source: sent by publisher for review