Nina LaCour's The Disenchantments
I loooooved LaCour's first book and so was super-excited about her second YA novel, which was getting a lot of pre-publication raves--and it totally lived up to my expectations.* LaCour does these heartbreaking stories so well--though this one isn't nearly as heartbreaking in a serious way as her first one was, it's heartbreaking in a more typical teenage way. It's about a boy who's coming on a small tour with his best friend and her terrible girl band after their high school graduation, and of course he's secretly completely in love with her. And they're planning on spending a year traveling through Europe together, but, you know. It's also a great road trip book. It just feels so authentic! All the kids were great characters (best friend Bev is perhaps overly mysterious, but that mostly works in context) and I loved all their conversations about music, and LaCour makes all the people they encounter feel real too. I really loved this. A.
*I did spend wayyyyy too long trying to figure out when this was set based on the music they listened to--the main character and his friend go to a Sleater-Kinney show at some point in the past, but Sleater-Kinney haven't played together in like 6 years, and they also listen to Bon Iver on their road trip, and that first album came out in 2008, so I guess a few years ago? Not that it's at all relevant to the plot or anything else, it just was bugging me.