Author: Nina LaCour
Book Depository | Indie Bound | Goodreads
Colby's post-high school plans have long been that he and his best friend Bev would tour with her band, then spend a year in Europe. When Bev announces that she will start college just after the tour, Colby struggles to understand why she changed her mind and what losing her means for his future.
I feel really strange writing this review with Nicki Minaj on, because The Disenchantments celebrates the girl rockers of the 80s and on that paved the way for the likes of the titular fictional band, but anything to get those writing juices flowing, am I right? Moving on!
The Disenchantments begins as the three girls in the band -- Bev, Meg and Alexa -- and their friend and faithful roadie Colby, our narrator, stand on the precipice that will lead into that huge plunge into adulthood. Colby and Bev are best friends, and have been planning to skip college for a year and see Europe instead -- until Bev changes her mind, tells Colby she's going to college after all, and leaves him in the lurch. It doesn't help that Colby's madly in love with Bev and always has been.
Thus begins a rather charming novel about what it means to suddenly not know what you're facing in life, what it's like when the steadiest thing in your life suddenly isn't there anymore, and how to face it all without giving up. Narrated by Colby, it's easy to get caught up in in the girls and their not-so-great music, in the way he sees each and every one of them. There's an almost nostalgic feel to the book, for those of us who've moved on past that point of no return. That moment when you realized you were going to have to be an adult and there was no turning back.
All of that is caught up in the strangeness and delight that makes up a road trip; all the strange people you meet, the shady motels, the gorgeous landscapes, and how close you get to the others you're spending hours in a car (or VW Minibus, in this case) with. It's tangled up in how painful and wonderful love can be, what it's like to grow apart from your closest friends. What it's like to move on and still have some sort of hope for your future.
The Disenchantments struck a surprisingly close to home for me, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I'd recommend it for someone looking light YA that has a thread of deeper emotion to it.
Also, I may or may not have sunglasses suspiciously similar in shape and color to the ones on the girl on the cover.