Friday, July 1, 2011

Review: Happy Birthday to Me by Brian Rowe

Happy Birthday to Me by Brian Rowe
Release date: April 13, 2011
Publisher: CreateSpace
Pages: 322
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Author (Brian Rowe)
Overall: 3/5 Stars

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... (Summary from Amazon)

When I received a review request from Brian Rowe, I was actually genuinely excited to read this book. It seemed like a really good premise, and the cover is pretty cool. However, my reading relationship with this book was a bit rocky. It started off being just your typical easy YA read. It centered around the main character Cameron, a pretty - boy on the basketball team who had it all. I knew from the first few pages that I wasn't going to be a huge fan of Cameron or his girlfriend. They both seemed a little shallow, and had a tendency to blow things out of proportion. That's my main complaint with the book. In the whole first half of the book Cameron is being a bit of a drama queen, and embodied everything I'd dislike in a real life guy. However, this is not necessarily a bad thing, since the whole book is about Cameron learning to appreciate what he has. And in the last half of the book Cameron does go through that journey and appreciate the good things in his life. By the end of the book, thank the lord, Cameron seems to have improved a lot and realize how shallow and pointless the life he led before was, and he even has brief moments of romance with the mysterious pizza waitress! Overall, the plot is great, the writing and characters ok, and the book has its brief "Aw" moments. While at times the book seems a bit unrealistic ( are there really people like Charisma out there? And who falls in love in a matter of days?), it makes for a good, light read, especially in the second half. In the end, Happy Birthday to Me is sort of like a teen Disney movie. (Think Lemonade Mouth.) It can be really great and exciting, but it's nothing like real life.

Writing: 3 stars
Plot/Setting: 5 stars
Characters: 2 stars
Ending: 4 stars
Cover: 4 stars

Love always,


1 comment:

  1. Reminds me a little of Sophie in Howl's Moving Castle, only she wasn't punished for any shallow character flaws, so much as cursed out of spite.