We Come Apart

We Come Apart, a collaborative project between Crossan and Conaghan, is a three-part novel written in alternating voices. The text is in a fractured format, which will be familiar to Crossan’s fans. As you would expect from writers at the top of their game, it seizes the reader’s attention from the first page.

Nicu is a teenage boy from Romania, living with his family in the UK while they save enough money to return home and for him to enter into an arranged marriage with a girl from their village. Jess lives with her mother and abusive stepfather; her older brother has moved out, unable to tolerate the situation at home, and she has ‘fallen in with a bad crowd’. Jess and Nicu meet doing community service, find refuge in one another and gradually fall in love. Themes of domestic abuse, violence, bullying, social exclusion, low self-esteem and racism are explored through the dual narratives. Each writer has a finely tuned ear for accent and idiom, and the characterisation is pitch perfect. But somewhere around the mid-point of the novel the catalogue of disasters befalling the couple feels too relentless, the abuses they suffer too gratuitous. Nicu and Jess are beautifully realised characters, and the reader wants more for them than the bleak and strangely abrupt ending. The characters are fifteen, and while readers tend to choose books featuring protagonists a little older than themselves, in this case the content is definitely more suited to YA. Y

About the Author
Sarah Crossan Headshot
Sarah Crossan has lived in Dublin, London and New York, and now lives in Brighton. She graduated with a degree in philosophy and literature before training as an English and drama teacher at Cambridge University. Sarah has won many international awards for her verse novels, including the CILIP Carnegie Medal, the CBI Book of Year award and the CLiPPA Poetry Award. Sarah was the fifth Laureate na
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About the Author
Author Headshot - Brian Conaghan
Brian Conaghan was born and raised in the Scottish town of Coatbridge but now lives in Dublin. He has a Master of Letters in Creative Writing from the University of Glasgow. For many years Brian worked as a teacher and taught in Scotland, Italy and Ireland. His first YA novel for Bloomsbury, When Mr Dog Bites, was shortlisted for the 2015 Carnegie Medal, and his second, The Bombs That Brought Us
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Book Cover - We Come Apart
Publication Date
February 2017