Tuesday, 21 March 2017

We Come Apart by Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan

Title: We Come Apart
Author: Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan
Published by: Bloomsbury
Publication date: 9th February 2017
Pages: 312
Genres: Young Adult/Contemporary/Romance
Format: Paperback
Source: Review copy from the publisher.

Nicu has emigrated from Romania and is struggling to find his place in his new home. Meanwhile, Jess's home life is overshadowed by violence. When Nicu and Jess meet, what starts out as friendship grows into romance as the two bond over their painful pasts and hopeful futures. But will they be able to save each other, let alone themselves?

A timely read, We Come Apart follows the life of Nicu, a boy from Romania who has just moved to England with his family so they can earn enough for his arranged marriage; and Jess, whose outlook on life is tainted and bruised due to her abusive step-dad, Terry. Racist comments are thrown at Nicu daily, and Jess always finds herself in a bad situation, whether that's at home with Terry, or on the run from a security guard. Both stuck in a world that doesn't want them, they find comfort in each other. But they're against the clock, because Nico has a wedding to attend; his own.

Like One, Crossan's previous novel, We Come Apart is written in verse. I love this style of writing, and Crossan and Conaghan pulled it off well; this style doesn't detract from the emotion or the complexity - in fact, there were some really harrowing scenes in there. Additionally, Nicu's broken English and Jess's slang adds to authenticity and encourages us to delve deeper into the story, beyond language. For what is a fairly short read, it truly packs a punch. However: We Come Apart is a glimpse, a window, a crack in a door. It's one of those books that continues without you, way beyond the ending. It's one of those books where you'll always wonder how things actually turned out. Lots of people like that - I do too, sometimes - but with this particular book, I simply wasn't satisfied. Sad times.

Unfortunately for me, the ending let it down, but that's not to say it's a bad book overall. We Come Apart is unique, beautifully written, and vital reading at this time of burning hatred and constant change.

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