Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Disenchantments ~ Nina LaCour (ARC) review

The Disenchanments
Dutton Children's Books
February 16, 2012
307 pages
add on Goodreads/buy on Amazon/or Book Depository

While everyone else has been deciding scouring college brochures, taking college tours, filling out applications and finally deciding where to attend, Colby has been planning a much different post-high school experience. After high school he has long planned to spend a week touring Northern California with his best friend Bev and her all-girl band before the two jet off to Europe for a year. He's spent his high school life looking over European public transport maps, planning their adventures deciding where they need to go.

It's all set.

Until Bev announces, just after they start the tour, that she plans to start college right after the tour.

What does this mean for Colby? For his future?

As a huge fan of LaCour's first novel Hold Still I was absolutely thrilled to see this book up for offer on Early Reviewers - even more so to win it. While it is so incredibly different from Hold Still, it also has a friendship that is strained - albeit for a different reason - and features LaCour's great writing.

The tour that The Disenchantments (and really, Th Disenchantments themselves) take is so far from ordinary or boring that it's absolutely fantastic. They each have their own little quirks and unique traits - the obvious Bev's awesome art; Colby's gifted drawing; Meg's pink hair or Alexa's feathers - to the one's that we discover along the way, all things that make them not only more interesting, but also characters we really care about.

Even The Disenchanments being horrible (as in they are not a good band, not all that musically gifted) makes them incredibly endearing.

I love the places that they go to on their tour. It says not only something about their tour planner, but also about why they are in this band - and why they've really gone on this tour in the first place. This isn't a tour for the glitz, glamour and fame, it's for them and that's beautiful.

Oh, and the people they encounter, especially Jasper! Each of them could have their own story; they are such strong side characters. They aren't throw-away, extra characters that are just there to be there. All of the characters, no matter how minor really add something to the story.

I was thrilled with the ending - I had been hoping for it, it was a bit different than I expected but I think it's even better than I hoped.

Probably my only issue with The Disenchantments at all, and it's a minor one, is, a few times, Colby seemed more feminine. Possibly an effect of being around as many girls or LaCour writing a male character in with so many female ones . . . or just my interpretation of things. But that's about it.

Rating: 9/10

(review copy provided by LibraryThing Early Reviewers' and Penguin)

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