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?
First of all before I begin my review I’d like to say a big thank you to Jade at Scatterbooker for sending me my giveaway prize all the way from Australia! Miraculously it arrived the very morning that I was going to Brighton for a family get together for my mum’s birthday! Quite extraordinary… Anyway it was lovely to bring it along with me for a weekend away. In fact I took a photo of it for Instagram along with a beautifully folded towel and some toiletries.
The main characters in Sarah Ayoub’s The Yearbook Committee are Matty, Charlie, Ryan, Tammi, and Gillian. The story revolves around the five teammates who are drawn together to create a Yearbook of their final year at school. All of them are reluctant, (expect Gillian,) to get involved in this activity. In fact the five would most probably never have been friends if it wasn’t for their involvement in the Committee. As the Yearbook develops so do their friendships. In fact these new relationships make the Yearbookers’ question some of their existing friendships, and an unlikely but strong bond is formed.
I must admit that I found The Yearbook Committee a little slow to get into at first, but maybe I’m showing my age! Ha ha!! The chapters are set out in alternating Pov’s of the five characters, so perhaps it takes a while for the reader, (particularly oldies like me!) to engage with each individual character. Nevertheless I enjoyed The Yearbook Committee. I’d say that its strongest characteristic by far is its exceptionally well written and believable dialogue. Though, I didn’t get much of a sense of place. Of course we know the novel is set in Australia but there’s very little descriptive language. So perhaps not a recommendation for readers who enjoy a lot of descriptive language…
The Yearbook Committee will definitely appeal to those who enjoy YA, teen books, character led stories with tons of engaging dialogue, an emphasis on the wide ranging difficulties and peer pressures of growing up. The novel highlights a wide range of diverse issues: cyber bullying, having a sibling with Downs, coping with a parent with severe depression, non-nuclear families, moving to a new school, distracted and disinterested parents, lost dreams, pressure to have sex, to do well, to be popular, to take drugs..
The characters are:
Charlie’s just moved from Melbourne with her mum and stepdad to Sydney. She didn’t want to move and is determined not to fit in. She’s the bright spark and feminist of the group.
Ryan is the clever, athletic, popular but nice guy whose dreams are smashed by an injury.
Matty is the scholarship kid who has a tough time of it working two jobs to try to help and support his depressed mother who can’t even get herself together to go to parent’s meetings.
Tammi is to some degree defined by others. She is best friends with the popular but meanest girl going. Tammi finds it hard to convince her parents that she’d like to be a police officer.
Gillian is the only one of the five who volunteered to be on the Yearbook Committee. She’s a politician’s daughter and the target of cyber bullies, and constantly in the media spotlight.
The key words: Revelations, Relationships, Frustrations, Explorations, Decisions, Unlikely Friendships, Unfortunate, Sad, Tragic, Thoughtful (Ryan’s final chapter,) Teen, YA, Social Media, Current, are the key words I would use to describe The Yearbook Committee.
If these appeal to you then I’d recommend that you pick up a copy!
The ending really smashed it for me, very moving and emotional, making up for the slow start.
My Star rating : 4 stars.
Links: Sarah Ayoub Website
Have you read The Yearbook Committee? Would you recommend it? Or perhaps you might have read Sarah Ayoub’s previous book Hate is Such A Strong Word?
Bye for now,
Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx