Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Book Review: Happy Birthday to Me by Brian Rowe

Happy Birthday to Me by Brian Rowe
Publisher: CreateSpace
Publish Date: April 5, 2011
Paperback, 322 pages 
Fiction, Young Adult
 ISBN: 978-1461071792
Birthday Trilogy #1

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
My Review:
Happy Birthday to Me was a very surprising book.  I found it hard to put down and liked that it had a great message along with a humorous storyline.  Cameron is a very interesting character and I love how Mr. Rowe really works with him in this novel to show him coming full circle in his character.

I like to start with characters because while I love a good plot, I still find that I need really good characters to make a book stellar for me.  Happy Birthday to Me had some very interesting characters.  First there is Cameron who in the beginning is the typical popular jock, dating the school beauty queen guy.  He gets what he wants when he wants and he knows it.  You get a sense there is more to him, but he can't quite get to it because of the image he needs and wants to project.  He has his best friend since grade school Wesley, who isn't the popular guy's typical best friend, but they keep hanging out anyway.  They don't always see eye-to-eye, but Wesley is a good friend to Cameron and I hope to see some more of him.  There is also Cameron's parents and sister who actually play a role in his life.  His mom a little more than his dad, but his dad is a busy plastic surgeon.  I like that Mr. Rowe really portrays a real family situation with Cameron's family.  It is far from perfect, but I would say it is pretty typical.  There are several other characters who are great but I don't want to give too much away.  Cameron is definitely the star of the show and it's his transformation that makes the book.

As for the plot.  This definitely kept me turning the pages.  As I opened the book I thought I would read the first few chapters and take a break.  The next thing I knew I was halfway through the book.  It just flew by.  I was hooked.  The chapters are broken up by the day as Cameron ages and I was completely drawn into the story and how Cameron and his friends and others around him handled his disease and what would eventually happen to him.

In the end I loved this book and I look forward to reading the second installment in this trilogy for review as well.  Mr. Rowe has a writing style that flows easily and makes reading his book a joy.  I also look forward to seeing what will happen in the next book - I'm not giving anything away, but it should be interesting!

My Rating: 4.5/5.0

Parental guidance: Definitely for the 14+ age group.  There is some language, but it is spaced throughout so it's not like it's in every sentence.  There are also some sexual references throughout the book that makes it for the older age group.  Again as I have mentioned in other reviews, probably nothing that 12+ hasn't read or heard before, but if you like to be careful about what your kids read, here is the information.  Nothing over-the-top that made me think it was too much for a young adult book. It seems very typical for a 14+ book.

About the Book:
Seventeen-year-old Cameron Martin has a huge problem: he’s aging a whole year of his life with each passing day. High school is hard enough; imagine rapidly aging from seventeen to seventy in a matter of weeks, with no logical explanation, and with prom, graduation, and the state championship basketball game on the horizon. That’s what happens to Cameron, a mischievous pretty boy who has never had to face a day looking anything but perfect. It starts with a slowing metabolism, followed by gray hair, wrinkles, and heart palpitations. Within days his girlfriend dumps him, his plastic surgeon father forces him to get a facelift, and his terrifying high school librarian seduces him to have sex with her. All he wants to do is go back to normal, but no one, not even the best doctors, can diagnose his condition. When he finds love with a young woman who may or may not be an all-powerful witch, he realizes that the only hope for his survival might be with the one person who instigated his condition in the first place...

About the Author (from Goodreads.com): 
Writing Fiend. Book Devotee. Film Fanatic. Constant Dreamer. Author of SLATE and HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME.


FTC Information: I received this book from the author through Teen Book Scene for an honest review.  I do make money from purchases made at The Book Depository and B&N.com, but all money is used to fund giveaways and shipping for giveaways from the blog.


Amber said...

I was really surprised by this novel as well. It actually really touched me by the ending and I really ended up caring for the characters. Great review!

Giselle said...

I really love the premise of this one it's really different and fascinating! Excellent review!

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