"And if we want to change this world for the better, then we must be the best possible version of ourselves, because who we are in each moment is a gift to the universe."
The Yearbook Committee has been one of my favourite contemporaries since I read it for the first time last year. Because it is one of my absolute favourites and I don't have a review of it, I decided I must reread it and review it because I love it way too much not to.
Okay so, The Yearbook Committee is an Australian book and you know how much I love OzYA. This is my favourite OzYA. The Yearbook Committee is very much The Breakfast Clubesque which I love in any book. There's five kids who wouldn't usually hang out being forced to hang out thanks to the yearbook. So, five kids in year 12. Their last year of high school or as it's called where I come from, college. I finished high school in year 10. But nevertheless, it's really the same thing whether it's high school or college. And, it hit particularly close this year because this time next year I will be studying very hard for year 12 exams and trying to push my ATAR as high as I possibly can. Reading the characters studying definitely reminded me that I have my own exams in a months time to study for instead of reading.
I love unlikely friendships and if you do too, you'll love this. It is very heavy on the unlikely friendships. I also love that the characters are each going through their own things. You've got Charlie who has just moved to Sydney from Melbourne but let me just talk about this for a moment. Sydney and Melbourne are certainly not the only cities in Australia so I don't know why authors, even Australian authors, act like they are. I've never even been to either. But, anyway, you've got Charlie whose struggling with the move and it determined to hate Sydney. Matty, whose mum is sick meaning he has to work two jobs in order to keep the two of them going. Ryan, who is school captain and has had an accident which means his dreams are no longer within sight. Gillian who is child of a politician and gets a lot of online bullying. Finally, you have Tammi who is struggling with the pressure's being put on her by those closest to her.
I love the way this story is told from multiple perspectives. It means we really get to see inside everyone despite the stereotypes placed on them by the others. We get to know their struggles and hardships and their plans. This sort of story really does need to be told from multiple perspective. I think it's done really well.
I love that the book deals with the party culture kind of thing. I know that Australia is pretty heavy on party culture especially with things like schoolies and just general parties. I think it has a really important message. Without spoiling anything for you, it's hard to talk about what exactly I liked about how it dealt with party culture. But once again, it's a crazy important topic. Particularly with things like schoolies, for those unfamiliar, schoolies is something you can do once you've finished year 12, people even go to Bali and stuff for it. It's basically just one big week long party. There have been quite a few bad incidents on schoolies.
I know some people have called this bland but I actually think it's very real. It's very real story, and I love that it doesn't try to be anything more. I think by adding anything else, the story could've potentially been cheapened and less maybe less relatable. It very much maintains through the story that these characters could be anyone. It really enforces the idea that everyone is going through their own things and that they aren't just a stereotype. Although, that being said, contemporary is my favourite genre and I know a lot of people find the entire genre to be bland.
I really love this book. I think anyone who loves contemporary will love this and I really suggest reading it, not just because it's Australian. It's a gorgeous book that I wish I could talk more about with out spoiling it. I can hardly wait to get my hands on a copy of Sarah Ayoub's other book which is supposedly just as great. This has been a bit of lengthy review already so I'm just going to stop here and let you decide for yourself if this is something you want to read.