307 pages, hardcover
Available now (Feb. 2012)
Publisher: Dutton Children's Books
Review copy shared through Southern ARC tours
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?
Positive: Road trip! Even this isn't a happy-go-lucky road trip, it's still a good road trip. A chance for Colby and Bev and the other girls in the band to say goodbye before they all go their separate directions. They meet plenty of characters on their trip up the coast and into the Pacific Northwest (shocker, right?), and it's a great way for the whole band to spend some serious quality time together in an ancient Volkswagon.
Positive: The girls and their music. They're flat out bad but that's their beauty. They yell and scream and play exceptionally loud and dress in crazy-fun outfits; and the crowds, after a few moments of stunned silence, eat it up. Because the girls don't care--they're up there, having a blast and enjoying every minute of their time on stage. And that's how it should be.
Wish: That the cover matched the insides a bit better. While the blurb fits, the cover doesn't. It's cheerful and happy and all good-time girly but what's inside isn't anything like that. It's angsty and at times quite sad, as Colby grapples with his dreams falling apart and Bev does her silently secretive thing, refusing to explain why she went behind Colby's back and squashed their plans in the mud.
Wish: That Bev weren't such a...bitch (gah! I just wanted to shake this girl!). This is told from Colby's perspective so of course I'm on his side but Bev does little to nothing to alleviate my impression of her. She's secretive and moody, unwilling to talk to her friends/bandmates about what she did and why she did it. I never really warmed up to her and even got to dislike her more when she has sex with Colby, knowing full well he's in love with her and she's leaving him. Is it apology sex? If so, it's a pretty crappy apology.
Overall: Melancholy and overcast, THE DISENCHANTMENTS poses the question all high school graduates must contemplate: What do I do next?