Title: We Come Apart
Author: Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan
Disclaimer: I received a free copy via Netgalley for review purposes.
WE COME APART tells the story of a working class girl called Jess and a Romanian boy named Nicu whose path cross when taking part in a Reparation scheme after both get caught for theft. Nicu struggles to find his place in his new home – a country where he faces prejudice and racism. Jess faces abuse in her home life, and wishes to escape. Both find comfort in each other and bond over their pain and their friendship turns to romance and they see hope in each other.
WE COME APART is a free verse novel, which therefore made it a quick read. I can’t say I enjoyed it as much as Sarah Crossan’s other free verse novel ONE, but it was an okay read. I felt that the characterisation was lacking is places, perhaps due to it being such a sort read, so I felt that the characters and the romance were not as fleshed out as they could have been.
Nicu is Romani, originally from Romania. I can’t speak for this representation, but I was uncomfortable with how often the g**** slur was used, even when considering the context it was used in, as racism against Romani people is rife in Britain. The book featured this slur to highlight this racism – especially prevalent in a post-Brexit Britain – and while it was sometimes called out in the text, I still feel like it could be harmful to some readers.
I liked the fact that Jess was a working class British girl, something we don’t see very often in UKYA, but I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I hoped, especially considering how much I loved Sarah Crossan’s other novel.