Welcome to my blog. I often think I was born with a book in my hand. I have always enjoyed reading, but more importantly, talking about books. This blog is partially about reviews, but is really a forum to talk about what I'm reading, and express all of the thoughts and feelings that there simply isn't room for in a professional review. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on your favourite books as you follow my reading journey.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Are You Experienced: A Trip through Music History

When fifteen-year-old Richard's girlfriend asks him to play guitar at a protest rally, he jumps at the chance. Unfortunately, the police show up and so does his dad, which means big trouble for Rich. To make matter's worse, this happens on the anniversary of his uncle's death from a Heroine overdose.

Frustrated by his dad's refusal to open up about his late uncle, Rich sneaks into his office and breaks into the cabinet that holds his dad's prize possession- an electric guitar signed by Jimi Hendrix himself. Before he knows it, Rich is transported back to 1969 and to Woodstock where he meets his fifteen-year-old dad and uncle who's still alive. What Rich learns, who he meets, and what he does could change his life- and his dad's forever.

I love Jordan Sonneblick's books. Seriously love them. Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie is still one of my favourite all-time reads, and I make a point of reading every book he writes.

Unlike his previous young adult novels which have all had contemporary settings, the majority of the story takes place during Woodstock, and I came out of it appreciating how magical an event it was. Seen through Rich's eyes, Sonnenblick vividly describes the sites, the sounds and the full sex, drugs and rock n' roll experience, and he does an excellent job of putting it in context.

There was a lot of anger and bitterness over the Vietnam War, and these feelings are reflected through his uncle, whose bitterness and cynicism initially confuses Rich. is also startled to discover that he not only likes his fifteen-year-old Dad, but is actually understanding what made him the distant, oppressive man that he turns into.

What I especially like is that there is no mission to change the future. Richard isn't sent back to help his father stand up to bullies, prevent his uncle's death or to stop Jimi Hendrix from eventually overdosing. What was meant to happen already happened,, and Richard can't change it. What he can do is use the insight he gained over those three to try and strengthen the relationship between him and his father.

This novel is sensitive, insightful and honest, and is perfect for music lovers and teen boy readers. Highly recommended for ages 13 and up.