We Come Apart by Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan
Published February 9th 2017 by Bloomsbury Childrens
RRP AUD $17.99
YA rising stars Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan join forces to break readers’ hearts in this contemporary story of star-cross’d lovers.
Jess would never have looked twice at Nicu if her friends hadn’t left her in the lurch. Nicu is all big eyes and ill-fitting clothes, eager as a puppy, even when they’re picking up litter in the park for community service. He’s so not her type. Appearances matter to Jess. She’s got a lot to hide.
Nicu thinks Jess is beautiful. His dad brought Nicu and his mum here for a better life, but now all they talk about is going back home to find Nicu a wife. The last thing Nicu wants is to get married. He wants to get educated, do better, stay here in England. But his dad’s fists are the most powerful force in Nicu’s life, and in the end, he’ll have to do what his dad wants.
As Nicu and Jess get closer, their secrets come to the surface like bruises. The only safe place they have is with each other. But they can’t be together, forever, and stay safe – can they?
An extraordinary, high-impact, high-emotion collaboration between two Carnegie honoured rising stars of YA. Perfect for fans of Patrick Ness, Malorie Blackman, Rainbow Rowell and John Green.
I hadn’t really heard of We Come Apart before, but I had heard of Sarah Crossan from around the bookish community. I hadn’t heard of Brian Conaghan, but the story synopsis intrigued me. I received an ARC and it looked so stunning, and I became super excited to read it. When I finally sat down and opened it up, I was quite surprised at the content.
The story features a lot of things which may seem controversial, such as domestic violence and racism, amongst other topics such as stealing. Not only was the story unique, but the way it was written was too. The book is written in a sort of poem-like way, with only a few words per line, so the book was quite a quick read, it only took me about an hour to finish. I felt as though I got the full story even with the few words, though, so it wasn’t limited in any way. The layout was impactful and it wasn’t difficult to tell who was speaking, even if there were no headers (at least there were none in the ARC, not too sure about the final copy), since each character had their own distinct voices.
Jess was a good protagonist, but she got irritating as a character at times. Although, I think that was mainly because she was portrayed much more realistically, since not everyone would act like a hero in all of those circumstances, and I can understand that. I didn’t like her attitude towards certain things, like the whole ‘don’t care about anything’ attitude is super annoying to me, especially if others are just trying to help. She seemed too cynical at times for my liking. Jess’ life at home isn’t easy, and I feel so sympathetic towards her and her mum, but I liked how she does what’s best for her mum, even if she doesn’t agree with it.
Nicu was such a sweetheart, I loved his enthusiasm and his determination. It’s a bit odd to say, but at times I enjoyed how he reacted to the racism, as he just ignored it and showed the readers there’s so much more to a person than just their ability to speak English or their skin tone. His chapters were spoken in a sort of broken English, and I think that helped build his character, since he seems so honest about everything, and I just really love his character. I liked how he and his family had a strong sense of culture, and I felt like the portrayal was honest and some families do similar things in today’s society.
I was intrigued to see how both of them fit together in different ways, as both of them experienced similar, but very different lives at home. I think they would’ve been better off as close friends, instead of turning things romantic, as I just didn’t really feel the connection between the two??
It wasn’t a completely perfect story, and there are loose ends that I would’ve liked to see resolved properly. There were definitely things that I would change, I was so upset about how thing ended, and I wish things would’ve been better for both Nicu and Jess. Regardless, I would recommend it to anyone who’s looking for a quick contemporary, as the story was strong and definitely captured my attention.
I received a review copy from the publisher
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Cecilia Vinesse was born in France but grew up between Tokyo, Japan and Greenville, South Carolina. Her obsession with Nora Ephron movies led her to New York City to attend Barnard College and then to live in New York for three years afterward, working in children’s book marketing and living in an apartment furnished mostly by stacks of novels.