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Presented by State Library Victoria

The Yearbook Committee by Sarah Ayoub - Review

The Yearbook Committee by Sarah Ayoub – 3/5 stars

I picked this book up on a whim from my school library, enticed by the blurb and held great hope for it. In some ways I was not disappointed, but sadly in other ways I sorely was.

Ayoub writes beautifully though I found it difficult to distinguish between the five perspectives the story is told through. I should outline the plot a little, I guess. So it stars off with a prologue about a part gone wrong then it launches into a normal school scene and the main characters are introduced. There’s Charlie the new girl, Ryan the soccer star with a career-ending injury, Tammi the popular girl’s shadow, Matty the loner supporting his single mum and Gillian the politician’s daughter. They are individually forced to join the ‘Yearbook committee’ to help create the school year 12 yearbook and are forced to spend time with each other. Very The Breakfast Club vibes here.

Anyway, the story is told through these five perspectives of five very different individuals though it didn’t come across in the voice of the writing. The boys were no different to the girls and the girls were no different from each other though they were different and I wanted to hear that in their points of view. I loved the strong personality of Charlie and Ryan’s kindness, Tammi’s determination, Matty’s loyalty and Gillian’s strength. They were all beautiful and really really I wanted to see into their personalities and I sadly didn’t feel that.

The developments in the plot were predictable though still relative to the story and nice to read, several tragedies occur which I feel could have been written better. The characters deal with a great loss toward the end and I don’t feel the impact of this was really felt, it was kind of hollow like the characters had lost a shoe and not something more life changing. However, a stunning touch was the inclusion of ‘notes from the wish dish’ where the characters poured their hearts into a good luck wish to a randomly drawn name of another before they sat their HSC exams. This was really the only time I could hear the individual voices and I wish there was more of it.

This story held so much potential but I don’t think it was filled out as much as it could have been. It was still a beautiful story and I loved how it’s an Australian novel, there aren’t enough around!