If you’re looking for a present day Breakfast Club, then I recommend The Yearbook Committee (Sarah Ayoub). It centres on a group of different senior students coming together to create their school’s yearbook, well not exactly come together, more like forced to.
There’s Charlie moving from Melbourne to Sydney and she absolutely hates it – she can’t wait to go back. She’s a feminist, doesn’t hold her fire, and takes charge within the Committee.
There’s Ryan who’s recovering from an injury that puts his soccer career on hold and that lowers his self-esteem, his sense of place. He clashes against Charlie.
There’s Tammi. Popular girl, a push over. Though she’s determined to have a career in law enforcement despite criticism. She wants to have total control of her life, but struggles. She also struggles to end her friendship with the bitchy and popular Lauren.
There’s Matty who keeps to himself and blocks out the world with music – you will learn why and become a mess. And there’s Gillian, a politician’s daughter, who is the butt of every joke at school but she tries to ignore that. She’s quite optimistic about the yearbook and details everything that happens during Committee meetings.
The Committee eventually changes the five and unexpectedly brings them closer. They learn something from each other, to their surprise and together, they start to push past their struggles.
The characters are well developed, different from each other, and they come out very strong through dialogue, not the narration (though Charlie’s POV is brilliant). The writing is a bit flat every now and then, rather telling than showing. There were moments where I felt confused or disorientated because an action/scene passed by too quickly or wasn’t fleshed out. There wasn’t a moment to sink it all in.
Another thing on the downside is the yearbook itself. While I loved that the book focuses on what the characters are going through, I felt there wasn’t much focus on the yearbook. I would’ve liked to read what it looks like or have details of the process expanded and maybe some pages from the yearbook included. What did the Committee and other students think of the finished product?
Anyway, the story is solid and enjoyable, and I didn’t expect a certain part to happen. Don’t worry there’s a happy ending….a bittersweet one.