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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

REVIEW: Being Henry David, by Cal Armistead

Being Henry David

Published 2013
Seventeen-year-old "Hank" has found himself at Penn Station in New York City with no memory of anything--who he is, where he came from, why he's running away. His only possession is a worn copy of Walden by Henry David Thoreau. And so he becomes Henry David--or "Hank"--and takes first to the streets, and then to the only destination he can think of--Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts.Hank begins to piece together recollections from his past. The only way Hank can discover his present is to face up to the realities of his grievous memories. He must come to terms with the tragedy of his past, to stop running, and to find his way home.  

Really enjoyed this book, even though I can't think of a single 17-year-old at my school who would be voluntarily carrying around a copy of Thoreau. But hey, someone probably does. :)

So, we've got a male narrator. I have to admit that even though we have quite a few male narrators in YA literature, for the most part the audience is female and so even teenage boys are written to teenage girls. It is what it is. In this instance, it was nice to have a boy voice written to appeal to boys as well as girls. Pretty nice.

The writing style carries the emotion and storyline, too. There's a little choppiness in the places where Hank is very tense. It worked well enough that my shoulders crept up to my ears, just like they do when I'm tense in my real life. In a few places, the "short-ness" of the writing was too short and a particular detail or person didn't feel complete, but all in all it worked.

Places were gut-wrenching. I get emotionally attached, so I'm not ashamed to tell you I had to step away to deal with tears and calm down a few times.

The book is DEFINITELY worth your time. And take some time with it.

What do you think??

Shop Indie BookstoresDisclosure of Material Connection: I received this ebook galley from Albert Whitman Teen through the netGalley publisher/reader connection program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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