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Magan: The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour

The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour (website | twitter)
Publisher: Dutton Children’s Books
Pages: 307
Release Date: February 16, 2012
Target Audience: Young Adult
Format: ARC Received from Publisher at ALA Mid-Winter
How I heard about it: Recommended to me by one of the reps at ALA

Summary: Colby and Bev have been best friends since they were 9. It’s been their plan for years to go on tour with Bev’s band after high school graduation and then to tour Europe for a year immediately after. Colby’s left questioning his friendship with Bev when she suddenly backs out of the trip with no explanation.

The Disenchantments was one of the books I was most excited to have received from ALA. I admit: I was completely pulled in by the cover. Add in a road trip and music, and I’m sold. There were things I absolutely loved about this book, and other things I wish had been a bit more. I’m just going to break things down into a list of things for you guys…

Good: I didn’t realize this was written from a male’s POV. I never would have guessed that based on the cover. It’s always nice to read from a boy’s perspective, but I think the cover implied that things would be a little more light-hearted than they were.

…but: Don’t get me wrong. The cover is gorgeous, but a bit misleading. Colby is incredibly infatuated with Bev, his best friend. I suppose the cover of The Disenchantments makes sense if you think about how consumed Colby was with this girl. He absolutely lived and breathed for her, but the whole book was not sunshine and rainbows.

Good: I really enjoyed the characters and all their messed-up craziness. Bev made me feel angry and mad at her for stringing Colby along and making him jealous of all the other people she pretended to be interested in. Colby had so many things going through his head that he couldn’t quite verbalize because he didn’t want to ruin his relationship entirely with Bev.

…but: Sometimes the way Bev and Colby handled situations was so immature. For two people with so much independence, I expected their actions and behaviors to match. I wanted to yell at them and say, “NO! You idiot! Don’t say that!

Good: The time frame for the whole book is a week, while Colby is on tour with Bev’s band. The week is pretty packed and dense. A lot, lot, lot of things happen. They meet a lot of people and experience great things, but there’s a ton of detail about everything they did.

…but: I wanted the characters to be talking more instead of doing so many things. Maybe this boils down to my impatience, but I needed Bev and Colby to get real and talk. They needed to sit down and have the conversation they were both avoiding: Why did Bev back out on the European trip?

Good: I really got a sense for how much these two had been through. We’re given their history and back stories. We understand how long Colby has loved Bev.

…but: When the suspense was over and I finally knew why Bev had changed her mind, I felt a little let down. I felt like there was a TON of build-up to something that didn’t seem so monumental, considering Bev is 18 years old. I would have understood the feelings and emotions more if she had been a younger character; she’d been carrying around the secret for so long that I guess I expected the feelings to dissipate somewhat. I still felt confused by why she wouldn’t have talked to Colby about everything.

The Disenchantments is still a book I’m very glad to have read. Please don’t think I’m telling you to stay away from it. Definitely give it a try! I think some of the things I’m discussing are a bit nit-picky, and I really do look forward to seeing how you respond to this book.

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April 10, 2012 - 8:00 am

Top Ten Books That Were Totally Deceiving - [...] I gave a lot of reasons for why I felt so deceived by The Disenchantments in my review. The cover implies a fun, light-hearted book. I didn’t find it to be that way. It also screamed female protagonist. That it was not. I felt pretty tricked because I fully expected to love every.single.thing about it, and it just kind of fell flat for me. (My review.) [...]

February 26, 2012 - 5:46 pm

In My Mailbox (8) | Rather Be Reading | Two Busy Girls Who Always Find Time For a Book - [...] Recap… Magan reviewed The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour. Estelle reviewed Tessa Masterson WILL Go to Prom by Brendan Halpin and Emily [...]

February 21, 2012 - 1:56 pm
February 21, 2012 - 1:56 pm

Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl - Thanks for sharing the good and the bad with us! I’ve been really excited for this book, but am so glad to know your opinion on it. I was expecting a light little road trip love story, so it’s god to know that this one was a bit heavier. I think I’ll enjoy it if I go in with more realistic expectations. My library sucks, so I think I’ll have to wait a while to read this one. I’m not really wanting to spend the money on it, based on your review. :) Thanks, Magan!

February 20, 2012 - 5:41 pm

Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books - I think the fact that you were able to present both the good stuff and the more questionable stuff makes you one of the most honest bloggers ever. And I really appreciate your thoughts on this novel! I’m still looking forward to this one, but I will definitely take your thoughts into consideration :)

February 20, 2012 - 5:16 pm

Magan - Ginger, I seriously felt so conflicted over this one. I was THRILLED to begin reading it. I hope you will still read it because I really want to hear what you, specifically, think. I know you love male POVs and there’s some tension, but I want to know if you will feel the same way I did about a few things I couldn’t spill in the review (spoilers).

And thanks for saying that. It’s so hard to be honest, but I can’t help but think others will connect with what I’m saying more than just accepting another sunny review for a book that I just didn’t love. It’s always best to just lay it out there and be truthful..though as nicely as possible. Haha. :)

February 20, 2012 - 5:13 pm

Magan - Thanks! I felt really conflicted over how to write the review. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the book because I certainly did, but it just wasn’t a home run kind of book for me. There was a disconnect and for a couple of reasons I just didn’t find it fully convincing. Can’t wait to read your review when you do read it!

February 20, 2012 - 5:10 pm

Magan - Ashley, I actually had no idea either. You know how a lot of girls’ names are really boy names? I double-checked a few times to make sure I wasn’t misunderstanding and that Colby really was really a guy. I hadn’t read any reviews that mentioned the male POV thing, either, and it threw me for a loop since the book cover didn’t communicate that very well either… Thanks for stopping by!

February 20, 2012 - 5:08 pm

Magan - Karen, I’m really looking forward to hearing what you think. I like male POV’s, too, but there was something that didn’t completely sell me on Bev and Colby’s story. I’ll be keeping a lookout for your review! Thanks for stopping by. :)

February 20, 2012 - 3:33 pm

Ginger @ GReads! - Now you have me on the fence with this one, haha. I appreciate your honesty in your reviews Magan, I think it’s what makes you such a unique blogger. Too many people are afraid to be honest about what they read. THAT I don’t understand. Aren’t we reviewing books here? lol

February 20, 2012 - 2:22 pm

VeganYANerds - I really enjoyed the way you wrote this review Magan, I almost always want to say one thing but then also argue for the other side of the point I’m trying to make!

It does sound like a fun book and I often start a book thinking it’s going to be all fun, sunshine and kittens only to find out it’s a bit more serious that I thought.

I am definitely going to keep an eye out for this but I think I will wait for my library to get it in because miscommunication between two people who may or may not like each other usually drives me a bit nuts!

February 20, 2012 - 1:51 pm

Ashley (at Ashley Loves Books) - I’ve read probably a dozen reviews about this book and I NEVER knew it was written from a boy’s perspective! I, too, thought it was from a girl’s because of the cover. Thanks for addressing that, because it will probably help when I finally read it :)

Ashley @ Ashley Loves Books

February 20, 2012 - 12:49 pm

Karen - I’m really glad I’m reading your review before I start the book. I had the same impression as you from the cover and I’m sure I would have been disappointed.
I love LOVE guy pov’s so that’s a big plus for me and at least now I have a better idea of what the tone of the book is before going in.

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