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The Disenchantments

Review

The Disenchantments

Road trips are great --- especially for good friends without a lot of other responsibilities. A little food and gas money and a couple of days’ worth of clothes in a bag, and you’re off. Adventure awaits! In THE DISENCHANTMENTS, Nina LaCour brings us a book filled with questions about love and friendship and planning one’s future, discovering the way that the most perfect plans seem to change on a moment’s notice and how the best stuff happens to you when you least expect it. Throw in what is referred to as “the world’s worst all-girl band,” and you know that some interesting things are going to happen between these colorful pages.

"THE DISENCHANTMENTS enchants with the power of a strong plot and characters, and any young reader will find something to relate to in this story of change and friendship."

Colby and Bev are usual high school BFFs  during their senior year, spending a big chunk of their time determining what they are going to be doing after graduation. In fact, it’s all they’ve talked about for a while, and they intend to spend a year touring Europe together after hitting the road with Bev’s band, the Disenchantments. However, even the most well–wrought plans can suddenly seem less than exciting, which Bev finds out when she decides to go her own way in the fall and NOT complete their initial touring schedule. Colby is not happy, but manages to go on the road tour with the band anyway, trying to deal with the responsibilities at hand as well as her relationship with Bev, which disintegrates at a sure and steady pace. Of course, if the big plan is dead, then what is going to happen to Bev? What will she decide to do? And is life after Colby going to be as good as life with Colby?

This nicely-wrought story is told in a simple but satisfying way. There are no literary histrionics here, just well-established characters and a surrounding environment that should have been called “Yeah, we know that place, too” since anyone who reads it will have had their own experiences with the existential malaise that big life decisions and huge life changes bring with them. Bev and Colby are nice young women --- thoughtful, funny, talented, striving towards something meaningful in their lives. And, at the time of their lives when they really have control of much more of the reins than usual, they realize that getting the chance to make your own decisions brings with it a huge price…and teaches you life lessons that AP Chem didn’t quite prepare you for in high school.

I wish we had a better sense of the Disenchantments and that their music had been tied in more symbolically with the path the girls are taking. It would have been fun to see “College Application Blues” or something of the sort as a song title. But THE DISENCHANTMENTS enchants with the power of a strong plot and characters, and any young reader will find something to relate to in this story of change and friendship.

Reviewed by Jana Siciliano on March 13, 2012

The Disenchantments
by Nina LaCour

  • Publication Date: February 16, 2012
  • Genres: Young Adult 14+
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
  • ISBN-10: 0525422196
  • ISBN-13: 9780525422198