School's out for Summer! And even though it's been several years (not specifying a number) since I graduated, I still experience that excitement that goes along with the first day of summer vacation. That feeling that anything could happen over the next couple months! There's so much potential!
That said, my reading tastes this time of year often gravitate toward adventure stories. Not so much the ones featuring dragons, wizards, and unicorns (oh my!), but real life-type adventures. Involving real(istic) characters. And I just finished an awesome one: The Disenchantments, by Nina LaCour.
Colby has just graduated from high school and, rather than go to college, he plans to backpack through Europe with his best friend, Bev, with whom he's secretly madly in love. This plan is four years in the making, and, for Colby, everything hinges on it. Everything. But first things first: Colby will accompany Bev on her garage band, The Disenchantments', final tour from San Francisco to Portland. Along the way, they will play gigs at questionable places, stay in run-down motels, eat greasy food, meet interesting people, and have exciting adventures. And maybe, just maybe, Colby and Bev will finally become something more than just friends. This is Colby's fantasy. But only a few miles into the trip, Bev drops a bomb that threatens to destroy everything: She won't be accompanying Colby to Europe like they had planned. Rather, she'll be attending college on the other side of the country. This is apparently something she'd been planning for nearly a year. Colby feels angry and betrayed: Firstly, because Bev, his supposed BFF, had kept such an important secret from him and, secondly, because he'd failed to make any plans for himself other than going to Europe with Bev (she left him hanging).
Over the next few days and several hundred miles, Colby is forced to ponder a future without Bev constantly by his side. Painful secrets are revealed, old wounds are reopened, and drama is stirred up. There's also healing. And dreams realized. And the mystery involving the origin of a tattoo that was created before any of them were born. Everything works out in the end, but not in a way any of the characters could have expected.
The Disenchantments is one of those ultimate summer road trip books that you're glad to have read. I highly recommend it! --AJB