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4.4 out of 5 stars
The Disenchantments
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The characters in this book are so incredibly real. They frustrate you. You're embarrassed for them. They will break your heart in the most exquisitely fulfilling way imaginable. Most of all, their trials as they learn that life is almost never what you expected - but it can be achingly beautiful anyway - made me remember those same things too. I was touched by Colby, the narrator, and the way he saw these three special girls, his friends. I felt twisted and desperate for Bev, who loved Colby but maybe not the way he wanted, which is maybe the worst of feelings. The entire journey, from the first page until I ran out, left me breathless and in tears.

I'm broken. And put back together and in love. All the feelings ever made. Read this book. My words can't do it justice.

Recommend.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover
From the cover of The Disenchantments I was expecting a light, fluffy, fun summer novel. That is not the case. Instead I got a wonderfully different surprise. The Disenchantments is one of those hard to describe books. It's a story about growing up, growing apart, realizing some childhood dreams are just dreams, and that sometimes you need to follow your own path. This book is both happy and sad all at the same time, but most of all it is real. Nina LaCour brings to life heartache, pain, fun, and first love in the pages of The Disenchantments.

The male perspective of Colby, his love for Bev, and their relationships with Meg and Alexa were amazing. Colby is an idealistic dreamer who actually follows through with his plans. Bev...Bev is an enigma, a mystery that I spent the whole book trying to figure out, and in the end she had the simplest explanation. Meg is the tough girl hiding a broken interior and Alexa is a lot like Colby. She's an innocent dreamer who believes in the good and sees the brighter side. (After Colby, Alexa was my favorite character) The adventure that they had is something that I wish I could experience. Throughout this supposed happy time of their life, there was a constant sense of sadness, of finality. I believe that we all feel this at one point in our lives. That moment when we are transitioning from childhood to adulthood, that moment that we have all longed for, and when it finally comes we put it off until it catches us.

Colby and The Disenchantments went on one of the most epic road trips ever and in the end came out different, they grew up. The Disenchantments made me angry, happy, and sad all at the same time. I simply loved it.
*** I received this book free through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers Program in exchange for a review
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover
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 and Penguin)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover
It's a road trip book! With a male POV!

Colby is the roadie for an all girl band that has decided to do a tour on their way to drop off a band mate at college. It's their last tour as a band because three out of four of them have graduated high school, which also gives a dynamic to the story that is not too typical in YA - the idea of the "life after high school." The decisions you make while in high school compared to the ones after are quite different.

The band consists of Meg and Alexa (sisters) and Bev. Meg is the sister on her way to college, Alexa is still in high school, and Bev and Colby plan on skipping college in lieu of a trip around Europe. Except Bev never planned on going to Europe and Colby doesn't find out until the beginning of the tour.

The dynamic between Bev and Colby is by far the focus of The Disenchantments, and it is done well. Colby is in love with Bev and can't understand why she has been so secretive and distant. It's very easy to like Colby and dislike Bev, as she treats him quite poorly throughout a lot of the book.

The Disenchantments aren't particularly any good at the band thing, which is probably one of my favorite parts of this book - each time they start playing at a venue Colby notes the looks on the faces of the audience and the transformation from noting that they aren't good to seeing their passion for the music and being okay with the show. This gave the book an authenticity that I really appreciated, and helped me to connect with the band as a whole.

Nina LaCour has done a great job creating a story that explores the depths of individuals. This isn't really a story about a road trip, but rather about the individuals ON the road trip - I found myself not really caring about where they were driving but instead considering their relationships and why they were acting certain ways.

I think that The Disenchantments is a contemporary that many people will enjoy. Great for fans of music/bands and road trips, and an excellent recommendation for a high schooler looking for a book who is into those topics.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
Nina LaCour's sophomore novel does not disappoint. It's a story of self-discovery, friendship, and love in it's many forms. Nina LaCour hooked me with her writing in Hold Still and she did the same with The Disenchantments. She is one talented author.

The Disenchantments is a road trip story which is why I originally wanted to read it. As soon as I started it though, I knew it was going to be so much more. First, it's told from a guys point-of-view which you wouldn't expect from the cover or the synopsis. Second, it's not your typical light-hearted road trip with tons of stops at touristy places. This road trip really is all about where the four friends are going and what waits for them at the end of the road.

Colby is not a typical guy. He's best friend with three girls and so he's not quite so boyish. That doesn't mean he doesn't have boy tendencies however. He curses, drinks (sometimes), thinks about sex, and talks about how hot his friends are. He's both typical and unique and you can't help but fall in love with him especially since he is so dang lost and confused. Bev, however, is not so easy to like but by the end you will. She is just as confused as Colby and she just wants to make the right choices in life. Meg and Alexa are a bit less complicated but not by much. They are awesome sisters and friends and their personalities are so wonderful. Jasper, while not present a whole lot, also had a great personality and he cracked me up. A well-rounded cast of characters is really what made this book so awesome.

Overall, The Disenchantments is a book you don't want to miss. It's a story about how every person you meet shapes your life in some little way but how, in the end, you must make the final decisions. It's a book anyone can relate to and one everybody will love.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book made me want to load up my VW van with a drum kit and mismatched guitars and go on a road trip. It's a wonderful story of a pivotal time in life, when you're deciding what the next chapter holds and realize that you do indeed have choices. The characters are fully real and you feel for them, especially Colby who you can't help but love while feeling sorry for him at the same time. The writing is flawless and the emotions take you for a ride from first page to last. I love the unusual setting of small towns along the Northern California coast and the fact that Nina has written a fabulous addition to the contemporary market. I couldn't put The Disenchantments down - you should definitely pick it up!
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on February 27, 2015
Format: Paperback
This review has been crossposted from my blog at The Cosy Dragon.com. Please head there for more in-depth reviews by me, which appear on a timely schedule.

Colby is about to set off on a tour. Not as a band member though, just a devoted servant to his best friend who's the singer in the band. He's going to travel Europe, develop his drawing, and he thought he would have someone with him. What went wrong?

They meet various people along the way, and each one seems like they have a story, a background, something important to add. Even as at the same time you want to fit them into stereotypes, you just can't.

We don't see much character development in my opinion for the 3 girls. Bev seems just as mean, and although we hear about the major events in their lives, and how they affected their person in the past, we don't see that development in the future/present.

Sometimes it seems like the novel is just dragging along. Which is frustrating! I don't remember having this problem with Hold Still. Ah well. Perhaps this one was just not as familiar in content to that amazing novel.

I loved the story behind the tattoo, and the weird world of coincidences. I did want Colby to become a graffiti artist, but hey, not everything can happen at once you know?

A lot of the time I felt really angry with Bev. And I still felt angry even after her weak explanations. She should have just said something! Then Colby wouldn't have been the one who suffered.

The cover of this novel is very much the way I would have imagined the girls. Except Bev. Colby is supposed to be able to see her neck to sketch it!

The ending is just the way I would have hoped. Yay! Colby! Independence! Not having regrets!
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on August 4, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I have read over 1500 books in my lifetime, of varying lengths and levels of passion, but the Disenchantments is EASILY one of the best novels that I have ever read. It is a true work of art that deserves to be cherished and loved. All of the characters were beautifully written, complex with heartbreaking depth. This is one book that I know I will come back to again to reread. Thank you, Nina Lacour for giving the world The Disenchantments.
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on June 26, 2014
Format: Paperback
This is the first time in a long time that I loved a book as much as I hoped to. I was a big fan of HOLD STILL, and I feel like Nina LaCour is only getting better. This book was a great reminder to me as both a reader and a writer that it doesn't always matter if you "like" a character or if they do what you want them to do; what matters is whether people feel real, their actions believable, their emotions genuine. For me, this book had all of that spot on.

With regard to the littler things, I also loved that the characters felt like genuine artists - not people who had a hobby the author whipped out when it was convenient in order to make the characters seem two-dimensional. I loved the secondary characters, especially Meg. I loved that each of the girls had her own favorite band and style instead of all of them seeming to be cut from the same mold. And I really loved all the various settings and descriptions.

All in all, definitely earned my five stars!
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on June 18, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I loved LaCour's Hold Still and boy did I love this one too! Colby is such a great narrator. He loves Bev, she has been his best friend since forever and he can't wait to go on tour with her all girl band, The Disenchantments, before he and Bev tour Europe. They have decided not to go to college like everyone else. The other band members are Alexa(younger sister to Meg and still in high school) and Meg (will be dropped off to college at the end of the band's tour )while Colby is the driver of his uncle's prized Melinda, set-up guy and go to guy for everyone. He is an awesome artist, so is Bev, which makes it even more difficult when Bev acts very strange at the start of the tour and tells Colby she applied to RISD and will attend in the fall!!! Colby is stunned because Bev gives him no explanation, but Meg and Alexa make him feel great. They go to some interesting stops on their tour, get involved in trying to solve a tattoo mystery, and meet some "different" people, places, etc. There were so many great quotes, Colby SEES things and his comments are insightful, thoughtful, yet you know he is clamoring to find some meaning in this tour and what should he do now that they are not going to Europe. The more I found out about Colby's friends and what made them unique, LaCour's writing, setting, characters were all so memorable. I am not into tattoes, still am not after reading this book, but I do like the murals and graffiti artistry. Recommended!
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