The Disenchantments

The Disenchantments

4.4 14
by Nina LaCour
     
 

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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

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Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
After Colby graduates from high school, his well-laid plans to spend a year traveling through Europe go up in smoke when his travel partner and best friend, Bev, reveals she’s going to art school instead. Colby is angry and hurt, but he doesn’t have time to do much brooding. He’s committed himself to playing chauffeur for Bev’s all-girl rock band, the Disenchantments, on their first (and probably last) summer tour. Chronicling the band’s road trip up the West Coast, this insightful coming-of-age story expresses how a teen in limbo learns some profound lessons about disappointment, love, and the pursuit of dreams in some unexpected places. Between gigs, Colby meets unlikely kindred spirits—a tattoo artist, a semifamous graffiti artist, and a female farmer—whose outlooks influence his decisions about the future. LaCour (Hold Still) skillfully draws connections between art and life as she delves into the heart of her characters, revealing their fears and celebrating the creative forces that inspire them to reach for the stars. Ages 14–up. Agent: Sara Crowe, Harvey Klinger Inc. (Feb.)
From the Publisher
Praise for The Disenchantments:

"This is about the inside and outside of characters, the past and future of their lives—and it is astonishing." —Booklist, starred review
 
"...a rich tapestry that will make readers confident that they are in the hands of a master storyteller...Hauntingly beautiful." —Kirkus, starred review

"LaCour (Hold Still) skillfully draws connections between art and life as she delves into the heart of her characters..." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“LaCour’s writing style is laid-back, low key, and totally on point.” —VOYA, starred review

"Enchanting in its depiction of the cusp of young disenchantment, this realistic novel will hit home with many thoughtful YAs.” —School Library Journal, starred review

“Each roadtripper has his or her own artistic way of chronicling the individual journeys they are on together, and that introspection draws the reader into this intimate novel.” —NPR.org

"Quietly compelling...well rendered, bittersweet and hopeful." —Los Angeles Times

Children's Literature - Claudia Mills
Immediately after graduation from San Francisco's arts-focused magnet high school, Colby is about to set out on a week-long road trip through the Pacific Northwest with a not-very-good (all right, downright awful-sounding) girl band, the Disenchantments, made up of three close friends, including Bev: the girl who has been his best friend for his entire life, the girl who is about to join him in spending their post-graduate year backpacking around Europe together, the girl he has been quietly in love with for as long as he can remember. Then Bev announces, on the eve of the tour, that she is abandoning her plans with Colby to attend the Rhode Island School of Design instead. Throughout the exquisitely observed seven days on the road that follow, Colby tries to figure out why Bev betrayed him, and what he is going to do with the rest of his life. In pitch-perfect first-person narration, LaCour lets us come along on this life-changing week for four friends on the cusp of adulthood, giving us the chance to eavesdrop on conversations by turn wry and wrenching. Stopping by a kids' roadside lemonade stand, Meg tells Bev and Colby to put aside their strained relationship for the moment, "because all memories of lemonade stands are and forever must be pure and good and beautiful. Understood?" LaCour understands the inchoate yearnings of smart, sensitive, creative teens as few authors do. She has written a novel that is pure and good and beautiful. Reviewer: Claudia Mills, Ph.D.
VOYA - Mauree Schroeder
The Disenchantments is a story about friendships, change, and finding your true calling. The characters are realistic and easy to identify with, despite their unlikely lifestyle. The story is timeless and written in a modern way; the cursing is vulgar, but not overly so. In the end, readers will feel like they have experienced summer break, through the relationships and interactions of the characters. Reviewer: Mauree Schroeder, Teen Reviewer
VOYA - Jonatha Basye
Bev and Colby are not rushing off to college after graduation. The plan is to complete a summer tour with Bev's band, The Disenchantments, and then travel across the pond. They want to foster their creative abilities in Europe, tour the country, make great discoveries about life. Everything appears to be on track, until Bev drops a bombshell: she is going to college in the fall. Colby, feeling hurt and betrayed, tries to beg out of his spot on the tour before his friends scatter across the country. The girls ultimately persuade Colby to continue the trek across the Pacific Northwest, but he is lost. What will he do after everyone else has left him behind? LaCour's writing style is laid-back, low key, and totally on point. This book is like diving headfirst into the tour diary of The Runaways, Heart, Sleater-Kinney. The wonderful thing about this book is that it is character-driven. It is not about the music—it is about the relationships and connections that these kids make throughout the story. Their journey is told through song, pictures, people, and, ultimately, themselves. This is a story about self-discovery and figuring out who you are and where you need to be in the big scheme of things. It is not flashy or fluffy; it is just really good writing. Make this book a part of your collection—you will not be disappointed. Reviewer: Jonatha Basye
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Enchanting in its depiction of the cusp of young disenchantment, this realistic novel will hit home with many thoughtful YAs. Just after high school graduation but before a long-awaited trip to Europe for Colby and his best friend, Bev, comes a mini-tour, a handful of oddball gigs between San Fran and Portland for Bev's impassioned but technically weak girl band, all in less than a week. No surprise that Colby has been in love with her for longer than he can remember. Big surprise that she has been keeping secret her plan to attend RISD in the fall, not tour Paris and Stockholm. Bev's bandmates, Meg and Alexa, bass and drums respectively, round out the passengers in Colby's Uncle Pete's turquoise vintage VW bus. Lies and life sometimes get in the way of the carefully planned shows and highways, but the people the teens meet and the richness of their experiences take them where they need to go. Colby's dad's old band, a mysterious tattoo linked to a recording's cover art, conversations had and left unspoken, and lots of art—these provide some of the "mountains and canyons" of the contemplative but spectacular narrative. Characters and scenes are created with the same care and attention to detail that Bev spends on her tiny sculptures that allow the people and places of Colby's road trip of passage to pop to life. Profundities will be found or echoed for many readers: we all feel pain, need love, overcome fear, crave beauty—and lose ourselves and gain strength in the elemental force of music.—Suzanne Gordon, Lanier High School, Sugar Hill, GA
Kirkus Reviews
Colby and Bev plan to forgo college in favor of a brief tour with Bev's band, The Disenchantments, followed by a year traveling through Europe. But only hours into the trip, Bev makes an announcement that changes everything. Even among their alternative, artsy friends, Bev and Colby's decision to chase their dreams is a bold move. Following in his father's and his uncle's musical footsteps, Colby borrows Melinda, his uncle's beloved van, to ferry The Disenchantments from one seedy venue to the next. As they travel, the band mates are forced to face some difficult truths about each other and themselves. Each member of the band chronicles their trip in a unique way: journaling, taking photographs, drawing, even with a tattoo. Colby's continued devotion to the self-centered and dishonest Bev is at times irritating, but it is also completely real. Long-held secrets strain friendships and forge new bonds. The old friends quickly realize that dreams are a combination of holding on and letting go. Quirky characters, each with his or her own story, are woven into the narrative, creating a rich tapestry that will make readers confident that they are in the hands of a master storyteller. Hauntingly beautiful. (Fiction. 14 & up)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780525422198
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
02/16/2012
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
495,286
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.30(d)
Lexile:
780L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

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What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"A rich tapestry that will make readers confident that they are in the hands of a master storyteller."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"Enchanting...this realistic novel will hit home."—School Library Journal, starred review

"Astonishing."—Booklist, starred review

"Make this book a part of your collection—you will not be disappointed."—VOYA, starred review

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