Sunday, February 12, 2012

Book Review: The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour

SUMMARY: 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.


This book is so utterly amazing, from characters to writing to execution. There is such a deep level of emotion and intensity in this one, lurking underneath even the sweetest of moments, integrated so seamlessly it's impossible to pinpoint it most of the time and yet it's there. Definitely a book to be reread multiple times, and a total must read even for those who aren't as big a fan of male perspective, The Disenchantments is so many kinds of spectacular there aren't really enough words for it.

I absolutely adored Colby's character. Sure, at times he maybe could come off as whiny, but I didn't see it that way. I understood his pain, his worries; I felt the punch in the gut he did when Bev dropped the bomb that she was changing the plan and no longer going to Europe with him. Colby is that quiet, sweet, soft and gentle guy, the one that is overlooked so easily and yet once you notice he's there, you NOTICE. He is so far from cocky and arrogant, even spending his summer traveling around with three girls, and LaCour makes that shine across the pages. His entire character arc and development are so stunning, with some perfect moments of huge personal leaps mixed in with plenty of small steps forward and even a few pushes backward. Colby is a character to fall for, root for, and fight right beside.

Though very much the story of Colby and how he figures everything out, the road trip part of this book is beautifully scripted and adds plenty of fun and bumps along the way. Letting the two other band mates shine at times, and giving plenty of focus to Colby and Bev as well, LaCour easily weaves together the different parts of her story without taking away too much focus from any single thing. There are so many laughs in this book, mixed in with the heavy and intense and gutting moments and scenes, and I savored every single one of them.

This one has a very interesting voice, one that would not be easy to pull off and yet LaCour does it. Colby is more emotional, has a different view on the world, and that comes through so easily yet almost always underneath everything. There is a heavy emotional air infused into every page, from the pain and heartbreak to the hope and longing and everything good and bad in between, and when that aspect coalesces so perfectly with Colby's version of pain and want, it's almost like a smack in the face. Yet despite being in Colby's (charming and sweet and endearing) mind, readers will completely understand Bev as well, and feel her pain too.

This is a book I could go on and on about, and one I really think everyone needs to read. It's far from the rough and sometimes stoic perspective that some male POVs have, and it's also different from other road trip books out there. Pulling in known elements, but twisting them in her own unique way, LaCour has written a beautiful, poignant, and stunning book.

Source: ARC received from publisher in exchange for an honest review
Reading level: Ages 14 and up
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Publication Date: February 16, 2012


  1. Brilliant review. Adding to my TBR list, now.

  2. Oooh, I think you liked this one ;) I wasn't sure whether this book was for me but if I ever got the chance, I'd give it a go.

  3. This definitely sounds like one I need to check out! Glad you loved it!

  4. Thanks for the review, can't wait to read this one!