Happy Birthday To Me by Brian Rowe
Source: eBook provided by the author
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 on the horizon. That's what happens to Cameron, a mischievous pretty boy who has never had to face a day looking anything but perfect.
It starts with a slowing metabolism, followed by gray hair, wrinkles, and a painful back. Within days his girlfriend dumps him, his plastic surgeon father forces him to get a facelift, and his terrifying high school librarian develops a crush on him. All he wants to do is go back to normal, but no one, not even the best doctors, can diagnose his condition.
How will he cope? Will he even survive? He's faced with the greatest challenge of his life, and there's no way of knowing if he'll live to see graduation, or even the next day!
This book was incredible! It pulled me in and made me cry in places, which hasn't happened in quite awhile. I LOVE it when a book makes me cry! Means the author has done their job and made the characters and story come alive for me!
To be honest, Cameron is a bit of a jerk. Too cute, a sports star, dating the popular gorgeous girl...you remember the BMOC at school, right? Yep, that's Cameron. Everything in Cam's life is perfect, until one day, it's not. He doesn't even notice that he's aging at first, and is more excited than worried when he finally grows a beard. Sure it grows in freakishly fast, but he's so happy to finally have facial hair that he doesn't worry. But then he wakes up one morning and his six-pack is gone. What the heck? One emergency liposuction session later, and Cameron is ready to go! Hello? If I woke up one morning with an extra 50 pounds, I wouldn't be worried about lipo, but would be heading to the Mayo Clinic ASAP! :o
Cameron's body keeps changing at an alarming pace. After extensive testing, Cameron and his parents receive the shocking news that he seems to be aging one year every day. His mother does not take this news well, and even reminds the doctor that they're not in an episode of the Twilight Zone. This line made me laugh, as I think I would react the same way if someone told me my child was aging an entire year every night.
Rather than seek further medical attention, Cam decides he just wants to finish his senior year of high school and try his best to do normal things until his time runs out. An odd choice, as I doubt I would want to finish school in his shoes, but it's his life and his decision.
Really enjoyed this story, as Cameron learned what was really important in life as he came face to face with his own mortality. It's true that some people don't really learn what's important until faced with life-changing situations. Is Cameron perfect? No. That's part of what made the story so compelling. Same with his parents, who have to face the fact that their child will in all likelihood die of old age right before their eyes.
Had a little problem with the ending of the book and the explanation about Cameron's condition as it just didn't ring true for me, but enjoyed the book otherwise. Didn't really like the school librarian as she seemed a little like a caricature, but the rest of the cast were good. Especially Cam's father, who used to focus too much on what people looked like instead of what was inside, but that was understandable since he was a plastic surgeon!
All in all, thought this was a good read. The author drew me in and made me believe that someone could age an entire year overnight, every night, and would die of old age before his 18th birthday! I grew to care about about Cameron and believed his story to the point where it brought tears to my eyes. Now that's a good story! :)