We Come Apart by Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan couldn’t have been published in a better time than now. This book touches on so many social issues that is very much relevant and parallel to what is happening in our society today, and I cannot express how much this book captures the reality that is our society today – no matter how we say it isn’t. From domestic abuse to racism – this book covers it all.
The characters were the most believable characters I have encountered in YA fiction. The fact that the book is written in verse made it – in an unconventional way – a perfectly accurate and realistic novel of how different individuals experience life. Nicu having migrated to the United Kingdom with his parents, experienced racism and discrimination just because of where he is from. Jess a troubled teenager, from an abusive household. They meet in a Reparation Scheme, after both were caught for stealing/shop lifting. And soon enough, they develop an unusual friendship with each other.
I loved that it was written in verse, granted this is the first novel I have ever read written in this format, I have to admit that it worked really well in fleshing out these characters and giving them their own distinctive voices. I especially liked how Nicu’s narrative was written in broken English. This for me made it that bit more realistic and made me think long and hard about how hard individuals whose first language isn’t English try to express themselves. It made me appreciate how lucky I am to have been able to speak and understand English when I moved to the UK, because it made me realise that not everyone was/is as fortunate as I am to have had the education that I did when I was younger.
Jess, as I have mentioned, is from an abusive household. With her stepfather being an abusive and domineering individual who makes Jess record and watch her mother get beat up by him. It’s truly heart breaking reading this, this book just captures how society can easily and willingly turn a blind eye in social issues – especially when it comes to things like domestic abuse. It’s scary how the mum just lets the step-dad do it, and it sickens me that he got away with it. Every. Single. Time.
Throughout the novel, both characters grow and develop. Each trying to change their lives and make it better. But, in the end there was a feeling that they cannot truly change the way their lives go, no matter what they try.