Title: The Yearbook Committee
Author: Sarah Ayoub
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Harper Collins Australia
Synopsis: Five teenagers. Five lives. One final year.
The school captain: Ryan has it all … or at least he did, until an accident snatched his dreams away. How will he rebuild his life and what does the future hold for him now?
The newcomer: Charlie’s just moved interstate and she’s determined not to fit in. She’s just biding her time until Year 12 is over and she can head back to her real life and her real friends …
The loner: At school, nobody really notices Matty. But at home, Matty is everything. He’s been single-handedly holding things together since his mum’s breakdown, and he’s never felt so alone.
The popular girl: Well, the popular girl’s best friend … cool by association. Tammi’s always bowed to peer pressure, but when the expectations become too much to handle, will she finally stand up for herself?
The politician’s daughter: Gillian’s dad is one of the most recognisable people in the state and she’s learning the hard way that life in the spotlight comes at a very heavy price.
Five unlikely teammates thrust together against their will. Can they find a way to make their final year a memorable one or will their differences tear their world apart?
Review + Discussion: I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this book. I loved the first 100-150 pages but after that I felt like the quality was decreasing.
The plot of this novel isn’t the most unique or original I’ve read. I picked it up because it had a bit of a Breakfast Club feel to it and I just really liked the idea of these different characters coming together to do something they’re not really interested in.
I had a bit of a problem with the characters in this novel. I only actually liked two… And there are a lot of characters in this book. I often felt like they weren’t acting their age, they were acting older or younger than they actually were and for some reason that frustrated me a lot.
My favourite character in this book was Charlie. She was fierce but a bit of a softy and I just loved reading from her perspective. Though I feel like she, and a lot of the other characters, didn’t go through a whole lot of development, at least not as much as I would have liked. She did get on my nerves at times; they all got on my nerves at times, actually, but I felt she was the most likeable.
I wasn’t a huge fan of the writing style. I feel like some better language could have been used, just something so I could feel invested in these characters and what they were going through! I felt so disconnected past the halfway point and just wasn’t as interested as I was in the beginning.
I also had a huge problem with the pacing. We were jumping forward in time and suddenly all these big things were happening. During the monumental moments of the book I didn’t feel like I had a chance to take any of it in because we were moving so fast. I definitely feel like it could have been slowed down a little bit.
I did really enjoy the message of this book though! I did find a lot of parts relatable because it is Australian YA and I enjoyed reading about the characters adventures in places I had actually been to. The theme of this novel was definitely friendship, about stepping out of the box you put yourself in. About exceeding expectations people have put on you and I really enjoyed that.
Basically, I enjoyed this novel but it definitely could have been a lot better. It’s by far not the best contemporary I’ve read but it was still fun while dealing with some tough topics.