We Come Apart by Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan
|We Come Apart by Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: Beautiful collaborative novel, told in verse. Spanning immigration, xenophobia, arranged marriage, domestic violence, anti-social behaviour and more, this is a star-crossed love story of heart-rending clarity. We loved it.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 336||Date: February 2017|
We Come Apart tells the story of a burgeoning friendship and romance between Jess and Nicu. Both have problems to deal with. Jess has an abusive stepfather who beats up her mother. Nicu is a Romanian immigrant to the UK and faces xenophobia in the UK as well as an unwanted arranged marriage when he returns home. Both kids get caught shoplifting and are sent on a rehabilitative course (mostly involving picking up litter). The friendship they strike up is born of circumstance yet gradually becomes more, a lot more...
... but is there a future for Jess and Nicu?
Oh man, but this is a lovely story. It's a collaborative effort by two Bookbag favourites, Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan, and told in free verse. I love this as a creative medium generally but here, it really plunges you into a dual first person narrative from the very first page. Both Jess and Nicu are facing significant problems in their lives and they guard their secrets from others. Readers of We Come Apart will know exactly how each feels about their situation immediately but the actual details come more slowly and the novel accurately portrays how long it takes to build enough trust to share troubles. We should all note this. People try to hide fears and traumas but these things often come out through anger or bad behaviour.
Both kids are lovely. Nicu has a huge heart and is generous and enthusiastic and eager. Jess is withdrawn and suspicious and spiky. And they teach each other a lot as romance blossoms between them. It's tremendously touching and you'll root for them both with everything you've got.
Spanning immigration, xenophobia, arranged marriage, domestic violence, anti-social behaviour and more, this is a star-crossed love story of heart-rending clarity. It doesn't shy from the inevitable denouement but somehow, hope is always front and centre. I loved it.
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