I’ve read one book by Sarah Crossan before (One, a fascinating story about conjoined twins written in free verse), but never anything by Brian Conaghan. I really loved One and it had such an impact on me, so I had high expectations for We Come Apart. Both authors will be attending YALC this year, so I’m really happy I managed to get a copy of We Come Apart from NetGalley to read before I go!
Authors Brian Conaghan and Sarah Crossan have joined forces to tell the story of Nicu and Jess, two troubled teens whose paths cross in the unlikeliest of places.
Nicu has emigrated from Romania and is struggling to find his place in his new home. Meanwhile, Jess’s home life is overshadowed by violence. When Nicu and Jess meet, what starts out as friendship grows into romance as the two bond over their painful pasts and hopeful futures. But will they be able to save each other, let alone themselves?
We Come Apart by Sarah Crossan & Brian Conaghan
The Writing Style
I actually wasn’t aware until I started reading it that it’s written in free verse like One, and I was pleasantly surprised! When I read One, it was refreshing to read something written in a style I’ve never read before, so I was excited to get started with We Come Apart. It made it such a fast read – I probably read the whole book in an hour or two, max.
I loved the writing styles straight away. The story is told from two POVs – Jess, an English girl with an abusive step-dad and a tendency to bunk off school; and Nicu, a boy from Romania who speaks in broken English and is set to be forced into an arranged marriage back in his home country. Jess and Nicu form an unexpected friendship, and the story follows them as they get to know each other and fight off their bullies.
Jess’ family life is awful, and I found myself rooting for her to get out of her horribly toxic home. I also hated the people who bullied Nicu. It was so relevant to now: kids called him a ‘gyppo’, spat at him for being a ‘foreigner’ and told him to go back to where he came from. There were even mentions of Brexit and his ‘kind’ ruining the country. I really hated them all and I really hoped he’s stand his ground. He didn’t deserve that!
The ending came so suddenly. The whole story wasn’t overly fast-paced, but the ending raced! I was so surprised that it ended when it did and I really want more to the story. I turned the final page and I was hit with the acknowledgements! WHAT?!! I’m not sure what I think of the ending in terms of the story – but it’s was written well and when the characters are thrown into the unknown, the reader is too.
I really enjoyed this book. It was different to most books I’ve read and it was a very quick read. I liked how it was so relevant and topical with the themes of racism, and it really made me think about how people from other countries feel. It almost made me want to give it to every racist bully in the world and say to them, “READ THIS and see how it really affects people!”
I can’t wait to read more by Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan!
Click the links below to buy a copy of We Come Apart*, or read about it on Goodreads.
(It’s currently cheapest on Wordery!)
*Note: Affiliate links used – click here for details. 🙂