Friday, April 29, 2011

"Happy Birthday To Me" by Brian Rowe

Happy Birthday to MeFrom Goodreads: "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 found the premise of this story to be a bit too similar to Alex Flinn’s “Beastly” for my liking. We have an arrogant/ overly cocky popular boy who is obsessed with his looks (however his father is even more so obsessed with his son’s looks). We have a somewhat unusual female character who places a curse upon said cocky boy when he is a complete jerk-face to her, a curse which destroys his looks. We see boy outraged at said curse, though with time we see him come to terms with the fact that he was previously a jerk-face and he eventually does a complete 180, becoming a humble and understanding person . Furthermore, we see boy fall in love with a somewhat unpopular/ wallflower girl (a girl with red curly hair). I also thought that this quote from the book, “Mr. Martin… You should look on the outside like you do on the inside. On the inside you are a stupid, selfish little man incapable of feeling or thinking anything worth a damn”, was way too similar to the lines from the “Beastly” novel and film, “You are as aggressively unattractive on the outside as you are in the inside”, and “You are ugly now, on the inside, where it matters most and if you ever lost your good looks, I bet you wouldn’t be smart enough to get them back. You are beastly.” (However, if you have yet to read "Beastly"- or see the movie I suppose- I doubt you will know of such similarities and therefore you will not be bothered by this fact at all.)

Furthermore, I felt that at times, especially towards the end of the book, that there was way too much going on (ie. instant undying love, witchcraft, etc.) and that there was way TMI expressed/ unnecessary events in the plotline (ie. projectile vomit, Cameron and his mother's bedroom scene, Cameron and his crazy school's librarian bedroom scene, and this quote, "... the water was brown and had a funny odor that smelled not of kitten piss but of fecal matter from a large dog with irritable bowel syndrome" and others like it).

However, this book was actually able to engage me in ways that "Beastly" was unable to. In "Beastly" I didn't really care what happened to the main character Kyle (let's be honest, I only read it because I wanted to watch the movie solely for the purpose of seeing Alex Pettyfer on the screen for a couple of hours), but in this book I definitely was concerned about Cameron's fate. Cameron was quite a dynamic character and while he definitely had his jerk-face moments (more so in the beginning of the book), he did have some pretty "Awwwww!" moments (more so towards the end of the book) that made you fall for him.

All in all, I do think that despite the book not being the most original story ever it is quite a light and fun read. I think that YA occupying the lower end of the spectrum (14-17 year olds) will more so enjoy this book than those occupying the upper end of the spectrum (18-24 year olds).

Rating: 6.5/10

I received this book from the author. I was not compensated in any way for my review.


  1. Yes, I would say the quote regarding cat piss and fecal matter is a bit TMI for me:) It's a bit disappointing that this one is so incredibly similar to Beastly, but it's encouraging that at least you cared for Cameron as a character, that's always important for me when reading!

  2. Avery! I always find your review so amusing because you don't hold back, which I appreciate.

    Those similarities are uncanny, but if you hadn't mentioned them I probably wouldn't have even noticed because I haven't read Beastly, or plan to.

    And why the heck would a crazy librarian's bedroom scenes be included?

  3. Uh... don't think I would like the TMI scenes. Too visually graphic... oh and smelly-graphic (?) for me. :P I did think of Beastly when I read the blurb so I can see exactly why you said it. This sounds a bit too weird for me (don't faint). lol Great review!


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