Friday, October 21, 2011

Review: Happy Birthday to Me by Brian Rowe

Happy Birthday to Me by Brian Rowe
Pages: 322
Publisher: Createspace
Genre: YA Romance/Supernatural
Source: Paperback
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...
Happy Birthday to Me is basically a mix between The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (in reverse), and Beastly by Alex Flinn. I thought I would enjoy it quite a bit, because it seemed interesting, but, honestly, I'm not that impressed.

Brian Rowe is definitely a talented writer, but his style wasn't consistent. I think it could use a bit of polishing, and it'll be really good. He just wrote with these little quirks that bugged me--like his overuse CAPITALIZING WORDS. ENTIRE SENTENCES WOULD BE CAPITALIZED, AND IT JUST MADE EVERYONE SEEM LIKE THEY WERE HARD OF HEARING AND SHOUTED ALL THE TIME. You see how that starts to lose its potency the more you read it? Also, there were just some grammar mistakes regarding the dialogue that bugged me too. But Brian does have a talent for writing, with nice descriptions and a pretty quick moving pace. Things didn't take long to build up, which was good.

I also had issues with a lot of the characters. They were just so... cold. I've seen a lot of people complain about Cameron's dad, and with good reason! Cameron's father was a plastic surgeon, and he was so preoccupied with superficial looks and things like his son getting a basketball scholarship that he didn't seem to care that his son was pretty much on the fast track to death. I really hated him, and he never really redeemed himself in my eyes. None of the other characters really stood out for me, either. Cameron annoyed me for a good majority of the novel, with his arrogance, and his girlfriend and 'best friend', Charisma and Wesley fell flat.

I found the concept of the novel pretty cool though. The fact that there is actually a disease called Progeria that causes rapid aging is really fascinating. I thought Brain Rowe did really well in describing the subtle changes in Cameron's appearance, leading up to the more dramatic changes of his growing old.

I'm undecided as to whether I want to read the sequel, because I feel like Happy Birthday to Me ended in a good place, and could definitely be a stand-alone novel. I give this novel 2 out of 5 stars.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the honest review! This sounds like it could be so interesting, but if the writing doesn't live up to the idea, I'm not sure that I'd want to read it.

    ReplyDelete

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