I have been listening to Heart nonstop for the past two weeks, and it is all thanks to The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour. I have always liked Heart, but I have been on a serious love binge, which has helped introduce me to some songs I never knew I loved and reintroduce me to songs I had forgotten I loved. But The Disenchantments is about much more than Heart (even though it does feature a loving tribute in the form of a road trip sing-along that gives this one and this one a run for their money). The Disenchantments is about friends, music, and finally graduating high school only to realize just how terrifying the freedom you longed for actually is.
From the author’s web site:
Colby and Bev have a long-standing pact: graduate, hit the road with Bev’s band, and then spend the year wandering around Europe. But moments after the tour kicks off, Bev makes a shocking announcement: she’s abandoning their plans—and Colby—to go her own way in the fall.
But the show must go on and The Disenchantments weave through the Pacific Northwest, playing in small towns and dingy venues, while roadie-Colby struggles to deal with Bev’s already-growing distance and the most important question of all: what’s next?
One of my biggest regrets from high school is that I never started a band. The Disenchantments made me wish I could go back and do it...until I remembered what an emotional mess the period directly after high school was. LaCour does an excellent job of illustrating this, managing to show her narrator Colby’s angst without making him annoying or whiny.
The book also captures a really wonderful aspect of teen friendship: making hypothetical plans. Approximately half my conversations in high school ran along these lines: “You guys, what if I, like, started dating a 40-year-old? Would you still be friends with me?” or “You guys, what if I just ate cheese fries, all the time, for every meal? Wouldn’t that be awesome?” For Bev and Colby, their big plan is the trip to Europe they have been talking about throughout high school. And after Bev cancels on him, it takes Colby the whole trip to realize that he is the sort of person who wants to actually follow through on the wacky plans he makes.
Hmmm. Maybe I should follow Colby’s example and finally start that band I always dreamed of...
In the meantime, I just want to gaze at the perfect cover of this book and wonder where I can get a shirt and sunglasses like that and whether or not I subconsciously modeled my recent haircut off hers.
And I want to listen to Heart some more.