Oct 25, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me by Brian Rowe review

Happy Birthday to Me coverCameron is a young stud. On track for an ivy league education, this basketball star has got everything going for him. He even already has the leading lady, Charisma. Nothing seems to hold him back from doing whatever he wants; that is until a testy waitress's prank backfires.

After falsely claiming it to be his birthday, at the same restaurant, to the same waitress, within a short amount of time, Cameron discovers an unsettling truth. He is no longer a comfortable 17 year old, he is now aging a whole year of his life with each passing day. At first it's nothing too serious to worry about & he even enjoys some of the perks of looking a bit older. But when he continues to age, things that have always been true are changing with him. Cameron is dropped from the basketball team, right as they are preparing for the State Championships & Charisma decides that dating an older guy isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Cameron begins to accept the way things really are and discovers the value in his friends & family. Unfortunately he may not get to live long enough to celebrate that fact due to his condition. Can it be halted in time & if so, by what magic can it's effects be reversed?

Brian Rowe has captured my attention. While the story starts out picture perfect, like so many others, it quickly turns into a nightmarish fable. Cameron is a spoiled, ungrateful character that I wanted to punch from the get-go. The thing is, he doesn't really know he's spoiled because his way of life is the only one he's ever known. He's always had money, been popular & good looking, with very little self-esteem issues. Cameron doesn't really know what it's like to be anything but perfect, so the birthday curse was a magnificent way to take all that away from him, not quickly, but slowly so that he can learn from it.

The supporting characters (ranging from the drama queen Charisma to a vengeful, yet well-meaning waitress named Liesel & a nerdy little sister) keep the story moving & give us perspective on Cameron's changes. They kind of act like a marker of his progress during his transformation. Each one marks a different chapter in Cameron's life that allows one to see the full effect the aging condition has on him.

The writing was light & humorous, but still filled with all the want-to-know information. I found that while we were introduced to many characters, we only got to know a few well enough. I think there could have been a little more development of Cameron's family & maybe a little more information about Liesel. While I also think that the main character needed to take a cold shower (the boy was obsessed with trying to have sex with his girlfriend), I think the inclusion of a gay teammate gives the book an up-to-date feel. The good thing is that this is just the first in a trilogy of books to come.

If you're looking for something quirky, unique & fast, Happy Birthday to Me is a go-to book. What did y'all think?

1 comment:

Mardel said...

What a great concept for a story. Aging everyday. Kind of scary though. Sounds like a good book for quite a lot of teens. :)