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We Come Apart Hardcover – June 13, 2017
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"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Niku is a Romanian immigrant who is constantly bullied by his classmates. His parents temporarily came to England so they could make enough money for Niku to find a suitable wife before returning to Romania. Jess is rebellious at school, and at home, she is forced to witness—and often videotape—her mother's physical and verbal abuse by her mother's boyfriend. Following their separate arrests for shoplifting, the two teens form an unexpected bond during their mandated community service, with each trying to protect the other. Told in verse through alternating viewpoints, this is a powerful novel about how friendship and love are sometimes not enough to ensure a happy-ever-after ending. Each character has a distinct voice and way of looking at the world. Niku's chapters reflect his unfamiliarity with the English language, and through his observations, readers see him struggle to express himself clearly, especially to the other students and adults who are already judging him. Jess's verses have a sharper edge to them and are very matter-of-fact, particularly when describing her interactions with her mother's boyfriend. The conclusion, which doesn't wrap up definitively, feels authentic and may lead readers to think about the characters' futures. VERDICT A fast-paced and memorable story that will resonate with teens. A strong choice for most YA shelves.—Marissa Lieberman, East Orange Public Library, NJ
"This crushingly honest story effectively confronts issues of racism, abuse, and bullying, while admitting that often there’s no easy answers to misery." - Booklist
"This contemporary star-crossed love affair is convincing and moving--and also a heartbreakingly timely portrayal of discrimination and bullying in Brexit-era London." - The Horn Book Magazine
"Told in verse through alternating viewpoints, this is a powerful novel about how friendship and love are sometimes not enough to ensure a happy-ever-after ending . . . A fast-paced and memorable story that will resonate with teens." - School Library Journal
"An uncompromising look at the effects of Tourette’s, autism, and Oppositional Defiant Disorder on those who have them and their friends and family." - Publishers Weekly on WHEN MR. DOG BITES
"An unusual coming-of-age tale that is thoroughly engaging." - VOYA on WHEN MR. DOG BITES
"Crossan’s ear is flawless in capturing the cries of a young girl’s heart." - BCCB on APPLE AND RAIN
"[The] story is involving, and Apple and Rain are engaging, sympathetic characters. This one is for readers who dote on happy endings." - Booklist on APPLE AND RAIN
"Crossan’s verse packs a punch as she examines the power that difference -- but also determination -- can wield." - starred review, Publishers Weekly on THE WEIGHT OF WATER
"A powerful coming-of-age novel." - Booklist on THE WEIGHT OF WATER
Top customer reviews
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"We never get lost
When I wake
I fear that our love will never be
This was my first book by Sarah and Brain I was quickly blown away by them. I'll admit, I was intimidated by this book as soon as I found out that it was written in verse. I've never read a book like this and honestly, it was way out of my comfort zone. I always feel like I won't understand what the authors are trying to tell me but I'm glad this wasn't the case here. I finally made up my mind to binge read this before I fell asleep yesterday and I ended up reading it in less than 2 hours. Because of that, I have officially fallen in love with verse books and I can't wait to get my hands on more like it. I loved that the writing worked completely in its favor. It didn't impede the message of the book to get lost in translation and it made me feel just as much as any regular written book ever has.
This book is dual POV and it was separated into 3 parts. It follows Nicu, an emigrated Romanian and Jess, as their lives entwine when they are both sent to the same place after getting arrested for stealing.
My heart was completely stolen by Nicu from the very beginning and it's not just because he was the male lead. The way he expressed himself quickly told me that he had one of the sweetest and purest of hearts that I've ever come across. His verses were written in poor English which helped bring the story, and his background, to life even more beautifully than it already was. I loved seeing how carefully he chose his words and they were never, ever without a deep meaning. His humor made me smile until it hurt every single time and I just couldn't get enough of him. I saw him as a little brother and I wanted to reach into the pages to comfort him at every turn. I was also really impressed by how Sarah and Brian didn't need to tell us which POV we were reading. Jess and Nicu had their own unique voices that were easily distinguishable.
This story deal with a lot of racism, abuse, and mostly everything in between. It tore my heart out whenever anyone so much as thought something negative towards Nicu and it made me tear up more times than I could count.
The only reason I didn't give this book a 5/5 was because I didn't care much for Jess. Don't get me wrong, I sympathized with her situation a lot but I feel like her character wasn't as interesting as Nicu. I really liked her relationship with Nicu but I feel like she disappointed me more than not. They both had ugly lives at home and it had my stomach turning with a bad feeling in my stomach throughout it all.
With that said, I absolutely despised every other character in this story. I won't go into detail but let's just say that I went into a murderous rage every time anybody besides Nicu and Jess were being mentioned.
Now that I have read this from cover to cover, that title is killing me inside. I will always cry and die a little bit every time I hear/see it from now on. Thank you, Sarah and Brian, for writing a book that will stay with me forever. Also, one more comment.... SEQUEL?!?!??!
"And I dreaming of you last night,
But my eyes don't close for sleeping,
And it raining in my stomach,
And it storming in my heart."
Jess is great with Nicu when it is just the two of them but if there are others around, she is horrible. Nicu is terrorized and bullied constantly and it was hard reading this novel for all the harassing he received. Verbal and physical abuse occurred constantly and Nicu knows that Jess is watching this occur, he knows she does not say a word. This hurt me to know that he was being tormented by his peers while a “friend” was just watching and not doing anything. His reaction and what he said to her shocked me yet this was Nicu. Jess is dealing with problems at home with her stepdad and when Nicu learns of these, the two become even closer. Things start to change in the novel and I began to have hope that their lives will change, that their situations will improve and something positive will occur between the two of them. The ending, it was sad. Not because things didn’t work out, it was sad because of the way things fell into place. It all happened for a reason.
This was an interesting read. I got very emotional as I read the harassment that Nicu endured, it was upsetting that he had to endure this and no one stopped it. I mean, no one stopped it! I felt sorry for Nicu in school as he struggled to make it and no one stepped in to help him out. I felt that I was missing part of this story as I read it and I wanted to know more. I struggled with the shoplifting incident as if it happened the one time and never again, the issue with her parents and where that went, why no one helped him at school (no one) or did they chose to ignore, the choosing of his bride and the story behind that, there just was a lot of things I thought were missing for me in this novel.