Review | The Yearbook Committee by Sarah Ayoub

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Yearbook Committee
Title | The Yearbook Committee
Author | Sarah Ayoub
Genre | YA Contemporary Romance
Pages | 268
Publisher | HarperCollins Australia
Series | None
Release Date | March 1st 2016

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?

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It’s not very often that a book comes along and makes me sob as much as The Yearbook Committee. While it strangely reminded me of The Breakfast Club, yet a more modern adaptations, I found this book endearing, tragic and a true message carrier. The author deserves some serious applause.

Characterisation was incredibly strong in this story. Told from the viewpoints of five main protagonists, and those who form The Yearbook Committee (some serious Breakfast Club feels present), the story is told impeccably. It becomes evident that you cannot have a favourite protagonist in this book, because while they all have individual demons and dilemmas to attend to, their issue is all basically the same thing. I did adore the depth that Sarah Ayoub placed into the characters, and even with the secondary characters, there was a certain 3-d feel. This is not an easy thing to do, so I take my hat off to you Sarah!

Can we take a minute to appreciate just how many serious issues are packed into this story. The book shines a light on the mental illness of depression, focusses on the struggles of down syndrome, covers parental disappointment and the fear of never being good enough. Then on top of this, it touches on legal highs and bullying too. Oh yeah, with feminist undertones. God, this writer is my new God! My only quarm with the book is the pace, as it tends to be quite repetitive and since it spans over nine months, you do feel a little bit …. I want to say burdened, but the end result is definitely worth it. I will hold my hands up and admit that this was a book I had to persevere with – for me, it wasn’t the usual walk in the park.

After encountering this book, you view of the world is coloured. While it highlights how cruel my generation is, and the repercussions that may come around from our actions, it also highlights a light in the world. We must remember to cling onto the good times and see ourselves for our worth, because nobody deserves to be treated badly.

The ending of the story did have me in tears, so I advise you to persevere to the end of the novel. Trust me – it is worth it. As for this book, I will be browsing Amazon to see how much a physical copy may be. So while I’m doing that and preparing a new review for you all, you should be checking this book out.

4 stars

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Still unsure on whether this book is the one for you? Have a look at what other bloggers have to say.

Jenna @ Reading With Jenna says “This is a wonderful Australian YA novel that I can confidently recommend to everybody.”

Eugenia @ Genie in a Book says “This is an outstanding piece of Aussie YA which I’d recommend to everyone.”

Angel @ Angel Reads says “The Yearbook Committee is enchanting, you will be torn apart and put together over and over again.”

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