Friday, August 5, 2011
Happy Birthday to Me (Birthday Trilogy, #1) by Brian Rowe
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...
I’ve read several of this author’s works, and I am always surprised at the imagination at work. This, unlike the other books, is meant for teenagers, and yet it still maintains an edge to it that keeps it from appearing to be geared for a younger audience.
The premise is very interesting, a teen who grows a year older each day that passes. I’d not encountered similar plots, so it was a refreshing change from the usual paranormal themes. There are some very funny moments, especially at the beginning, that keep the story from getting too heavy. It keeps you guessing until the very end, building the tension up until we really question if there’ll be a happy ending.
The characters are also amusing. Cameron, the protagonist, is sharp, with an acerbic humor that makes him lovable, even as we might not agree with all of his actions. He is the quintessential teen, all angst and bravado, until he begins to age. Slowly, as the novel progresses, we begin to see him change, to grow not just in years but as a person. The rest of the cast is well planned, the usual comedic relief, the selfish girlfriend, the mean coach, all providing a board for Cam to play off from.
This is a fun book. I can recommend it to YA fiction lovers and adults alike.