I don’t often read YA, and it’s even less that I am moved by a YA novel, so when I finished We Come Apart by Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan, I was taken aback.
I will say that this book is fantastic. Written in free form verse, we follow Nicu, a Romanian immigrant, transplanted in London and Jess, who is struggling in a dangerous and troubling home situation. Both of these teens eventually come into contact with one another and friendship emerges that bridges them despite a difference in culture and language.
Nicu’s English is very broken, and Crossan and Conaghan manage to portray this brilliantly even through verse. Jess is your typical struggling teen, who at first glance seems very generic but her voice and growth throughout the work is pretty good and carries well through the novel.
The chapters do not have a clear heading, and the titles of each often blends right into the narrative. Since the book is written in free form poetry, the chapters are also broken up, but the verse is so readable the pages fly by. I will say that in the beginning when you’re just getting a handle on the characters and who is speaking in each chapter, it took me a while to get into the story. Once, I dug in it brought me in for the ride.
If you’re interested in a different narrative structure and love YA, then this is the book for you! Oh and I should mention…
…the ending punched me in the gut.