Monday, May 30, 2011

Review: Happy Birthday to Me by Brian Rowe

From 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 ...

My Rating: 3 hearts

***Warning: There may be a few spoilers in my review.***

Thoughts on the Novel: Reading Brian Rowe’s Happy Birthday to Me reminded me of Alex Flinn’s Beastly, a novel I read several years ago. Both books have handsome boys as their protagonists who are then put under a spell to lose their beauty so that they can learn to treat others with respect and become less self-absorbed.

I don’t remember now how I felt about Kyle from Beastly, but I do know that I grew to like Cameron as a character. His change was believable, and he had a great voice in spite of a tendency to be a bit too descriptive with things.

I also liked learning that there is an actual medical condition where symptoms of aging appear at an early age. I’d never heard of Progeria syndrome so it was really interesting to read a bit about it.

What I didn’t like so much about Happy Birthday to Me was its rushed ending. Throughout most of the book, Cameron seems to think that he has some kind of a disease without a cure whereas I found it quite obvious that someone had cast a spell on him and knew exactly who that person was. Then, almost out of nowhere, this person admits what they did and tries to reverse the spell. It just made no sense to me nor was it explained why only this one seemingly ordinary person has magical powers.

Happy Birthday to Me was released in April 2011 by CreateSpace.  

Comments About the Cover: The cover is cute but I feel like it’s a bit too cheery considering the premise of the novel. 

This ebook was received from the author in exchange for an honest review.  


  1. Hm. I have this one on my shelf waiting to be read. I like the concept of it despite it's similarities to Beastly, but the rushed ending sounds a bit frustrating. I like at least a little explanation for anything supernatural, but the rest of the story sounds good:)

  2. The rushed ending sounds frustrating, but I think what would really bother me is the lack of explanation for the magic. Too bad.

  3. I actually have opposite thoughts on the cover. To me it looks like the cover for some twisted horror novel with the cake and the huge amount of candles.

  4. You know, I really enjoy books where the main character undergoes a drastic change in personality for the better, like in this one and Beastly. However, I think I'll pass on this one because of the issues you mentioned that you had with this one. Thanks for the review!

  5. After reading your review I agree the cover sounds like it doesn't much very well. However, Cameron sounds like an interesting character. Great review :)

  6. The first time I looked at the cover, I thought this was some kind of a cheery novel too but looking more closely, I can see that it's actually kind of creepy what with the too many candles and the creepy typography of the title. Anyway, I don't think this is the kind of book I'd enjoy. Thanks for the review!


I love comments and will reply back via either email or stopping by your blog. Please note that this is an award-free zone.