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The Yearbook Committee
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The Yearbook Committee

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Ryan, the school captain, had it all until an accident snatched his dreams away. Charlie's just moved from 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. 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. Tammi is the popular girl's best friend and has always bowed to peer pressure, but when the expectations become too much to handle, will she finally stand up for herself? Gillian's dad, a politician, 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?… (mais)
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The Yearbook Committee por Sarah Ayoub

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4 Stars.

The main characters in Sarah Ayoub’s The Yearbook Committee are Matty, Charlie, Ryan, Tammi, and Gillian. The story revolves around the five teammates who are drawn together to create a Yearbook of their final year at school. All of them are reluctant, (expect Gillian,) to get involved in this activity. In fact the five would most probably never have been friends if it wasn’t for their involvement in the Committee. As the Yearbook develops so do their friendships. In fact these new relationships make the Yearbookers’ question some of their existing friendships, and an unlikely but strong bond is formed.

I must admit that I found The Yearbook Committee a little slow to get into at first, but maybe I’m showing my age! Ha ha!! The chapters are set out in alternating Pov’s of the five characters, so perhaps it takes a while for the reader, (particularly oldies like me!) to engage with each individual character. Nevertheless I enjoyed The Yearbook Committee. I’d say that its strongest characteristic by far is its exceptionally well written and believable dialogue. Though, I didn’t get much of a sense of place. Of course we know the novel is set in Australia but there’s very little descriptive language. So perhaps not a recommendation for readers who enjoy a lot of descriptive language…

The Yearbook Committee will definitely appeal to those who enjoy YA, teen books, character led stories with tons of engaging dialogue, an emphasis on the wide ranging difficulties and peer pressures of growing up. The novel highlights a wide range of diverse issues: cyber bullying, having a sibling with Downs, coping with a parent with severe depression, non-nuclear families, moving to a new school, distracted and disinterested parents, lost dreams, pressure to have sex, to do well, to be popular, to take drugs..

The characters are:

Charlie’s just moved from Melbourne with her mum and stepdad to Sydney. She didn’t want to move and is determined not to fit in. She’s the bright spark and feminist of the group.

Ryan is the clever, athletic, popular but nice guy whose dreams are smashed by an injury.

Matty is the scholarship kid who has a tough time of it working two jobs to try to help and support his depressed mother who can’t even get herself together to go to parent’s meetings.

Tammi is to some degree defined by others. She is best friends with the popular but meanest girl going. Tammi finds it hard to convince her parents that she’d like to be a police officer.

Gillian is the only one of the five who volunteered to be on the Yearbook Committee. She’s a politician’s daughter and the target of cyber bullies, and constantly in the media spotlight.

The key words: Revelations, Relationships, Frustrations, Explorations, Decisions, Unlikely Friendships, Unfortunate, Sad, Tragic, Thoughtful (Ryan’s final chapter,) Teen, YA, Social Media, Current, are the key words I would use to describe The Yearbook Committee.

If these appeal to you then I’d recommend that you pick up a copy!

The ending really smashed it for me, very moving and emotional, making up for the slow start.

My Star rating : 4 stars.

Recommendation: Read. ( )
  marjorie.mallon | Mar 27, 2019 |
This one is for mature readers as there is underage alcoholism and a boy constantly pressuring his girlfriend to have sex with him.
Set in Sydney, 5 very different Year 12 students come together on the Yearbook Committee. Only one has actually volunteered freely, the rest have been forced or cajoled by friends to sign up. We learn about each of the five students and the book is very topical as it looks at what makes a good friendship versus being bullied in a friendship; loving families versus seriously horrible families; family and school traditions and social media bullying/cybersafety. (In one case a webcam on a lap top is hacked and a girl is filmed getting underdressed in her bedroom and this is posted on social media. This book also had an ending that I did NOT see coming.
I found myself being very angry at some of the characters in this novel because they let themselves be pushed around and bullied by others including so-called friends and a boyfriend who was a total idiot!! ( )
  nicsreads | Mar 18, 2018 |
"The Yearbook Committee" was certainly not an action-packed book, but I enjoyed it. Character driven, I soon became involved in the lives of the five teenagers who came together to form the school's yearbook committee. With varying backgrounds and personalities, the two boys and three girls took turn narrating the story, and it wasn't long before I could easily distinguish their voices.

Despite being strangers at the start, gradually the reader comes to see their family backgrounds, their problems and their growing bond towards each other. There were some chuckleable moments throughout this book and some heartfelt ones as well. I loved the epilogue and thought it was the perfect end.

This was a quick, enjoyable novel which will appeal to a range of teen readers as they will recognise themselves in one, or more, of the characters. ( )
  HeatherLINC | Feb 24, 2017 |
Touted by many as The Breakfast Club of this generation, the fact that this story focuses on five different stereotypes of high-school students wrangled into a project against their will does attempt to back this notion up. But when it comes to heart, dialogue, story, humour, and overall enjoyment, this book is sadly lacking.

While it aims to be a heartwarming and cautionary tale and attempts to deal with crucial teenage stressors like fat-shaming parents, mental health, Down syndrome, online bullying (as well as the real-world sort), moving cities and leaving all your friends behind, peer pressure, drug use and so on, it honestly felt like the author was trying to cover too many bases

Somehow, in telling so many things at once, and with an awful lot of coincidences if you ask me, the lessons in this story were rendered cheap and preachy.

But a few other things helped bring down my rating:

The rest of this review can be found HERE! ( )
  Figgy87 | Jun 26, 2016 |
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Ryan, the school captain, had it all until an accident snatched his dreams away. Charlie's just moved from 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. 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. Tammi is the popular girl's best friend and has always bowed to peer pressure, but when the expectations become too much to handle, will she finally stand up for herself? Gillian's dad, a politician, 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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