27 January 2012

Review: Happy Birthday to Me by Brian Rowe

Happy Birthday To Me by Brian Rowe

Published: April 2011 

Pages: 175

Genre/s: Young Adult, Fantasy

Source: Own library

Check it Out: Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Amazon UK 


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 all on the horizon. That’s what happens to Cameron, a popular pretty boy who's never had to face a day looking anything but perfect.

All Cameron 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 mysterious young woman, however, he realizes his only hope for survival might be with the one person who started his condition in the first place...

My Thoughts

I’d seen this book around the blogosphere and thought the premise sounded interesting – what would you do if you were ageing a year for every day that you lived? How would you cope with ageing faster than your peers, becoming physically older than your parents, knowing that instead of having another 60 years to live, you would only have another 60 days. And how much worse would it be as a teenager, with your whole life ahead of you, knowing your dreams and plans would never eventuate?

For Cameron (who I have to say is a bit of an arse in the beginning of the book), he decides to continue living his teenage life as normal – despite being ridiculed and ostracized by his former girlfriend and basketball team-mates, the pressure of his father and the fact that every day he wakes up looking and feeling a year older than the day before.

The characters of Happy Birthday to Me are interesting – Cameron is a self-assured brat at the beginning of the book, but as he rapidly ages he comes to realize some important things about life – as well as having a few creepy and surreal experiences as a 17 year old in the body of an adult. His parents and sister struggle with watching him age before their very eyes, and the adults around him begin to treat him differently, despite that he is still a teenager on the inside.

Happy Birthday to Me is well written – the story is clear and moves at a good pace, is engaging and raises some interesting questions about the restrictions we place on people when they reach a certain age, a family dealing with a medical anomaly and a little bit of supernatural thrown in for extra entertainment.

I did have one niggle with this book, and that was Cameron’s relationship with his girlfriend, Charisma (the name just grated on me!). I didn’t feel it added much to the story, only made me grind my teeth a little.

As this book is part of a trilogy, I won’t say much about the ending, but it did definitely make me want to move on to the next book as soon as possible.  As a YA writer, Mr. Rowe has amazing potential!

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