Miss Riki’s Review:
The Disenchantments is about four friends, a disillusioned romance, and one epic road trip from San Francisco to Seattle. When Colby takes off with his friends after graduation in a borrowed VW bus to tour the Pacific Northwest, he knows it’s a last hurrah before he and his best friend Bev leave to spend a year wandering around Europe. He’s got visions of romantic escapades and quiet times with Bev, so he’s more than a little stunned when they’re just out of town and Bev drops the bomb. She’s not going to Europe after the tour; she’s decided to go to college. Left with the pain of rejection and lingering questions about his future, Colby knows the show must go on. He continues to back up The Disenchantments and goes along on the tour that has them playing in dingy basements and small towns, learning what it means to be out on their own.
This book definitely wasn’t what I was expecting, but I was in no way disappointed by the outcome! The cover screams fun in the sun and summer escapades, but the story has a heavier, more melancholy feel. It is packed full of the self-doubt and ambiguity of youth and had me feeling all the feels.
Colby is a dynamite narrator. He’s sweet and a little unsure of himself, yet so self-aware. I loved the way he sort of idolizes these girls in his life and sees the beauty in what they are trying to do. They’re not a good band, but they’re passionate about making music and memories, and Colby stands behind them every step of the way. My heart was breaking for him as he felt Bev slipping away from him and wanted to pat him on the shoulder and tell him everything would be okay as he faced the uncertainty of his future.
I loved the backdrop of the music world and the soundtrack of this journey. These character’s lives are shaped by the music they love and it was an excellent setup for the unfolding of the narrative. If you take all of the songs mentioned in the book, you’d have one eclectic and amazing playlist. My favorite scene in the book is when the rest of the group wants to cheer up Alexa, and so they crank up her new favorite album (Heart) in the bus and have a power sing-a-long. OF course, it works like a charm, and it’s just one of the many amazing moments of friendship and unity that occur throughout the book.
I highly recommend this book! It’s classic YA, with characters and relationships you can really relate to. Although it’s not all fun and games, there are plenty of fun moments that punctuate a story about growing up and finding your place in the world.