Friday, March 1, 2013

ARC Review + GIVEAWAY: Being Henry David by Cal Armistead

Being Henry David by Cal Armistead
Published on March 1, 2013 by Albert Whitman Teen

Seventeen-year-old "Hank" has found himself at Penn Station in New York City with no memory of anything --who he is, where he came from, why he's running away. His only possession is a worn copy of Walden, by Henry David Thoreau. And so he becomes Henry David-or "Hank" and takes first to the streets, and then to the only destination he can think of--Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts. Cal Armistead's remarkable debut novel is about a teen in search of himself. Hank begins to piece together recollections from his past. The only way Hank can discover his present is to face up to the realities of his grievous memories. He must come to terms with the tragedy of his past, to stop running, and to find his way home
*DISCLOSURE: Free review copies were provided to us by the publisher // author*
If you've ever had that one person you can always confide in, that one place you can go to clear your head of all the hectic thoughts flying around your mind or even that one action you can perform that makes everything seem ... not worth all the hassle; then you're like Henry David - or in this case, Hank. Being Henry David  was about a teenage guy named Hank. One day, Hank wakes up in Penn Station around midnight with little to no memory of who he is, where he is, or how he got there; the only thing he's able to truly claim as his is a copy of Walden by Henry David. Throughout the novel, Hank struggles with his identity, as well as, memories and feelings that arise pertaining to his past. These feelings and memories lead him closer to who he used to be. But when you can't look back, or look left or right for help, the only way to move, is forward. And who better to help him on his journey then Henry David?

I loved the frustration and eagerness that Armistead was able to portray in Hank's character. He was so close to the truth, yet so far. Each time he conjured up something from his past, he'd evidently hit this brick wall. The fact that his frustration was able to be felt by me, was proof of the amazing job Armistead did in developing Hank. Although Being Henry David was a contemporary novel, I found it oddly thrilling. In a way, Hank lives his life on the edge! Normal people start off their day where they left off yesterday, but for Hank, it was a clean slate every day. Not knowing where he was going, and who he'd be going with was an aspect that I grew to love about Being Henry David. What I loved  about Armistead's writing was the perspective in which the reader (ME) is given. Hank was cautious, yet confident, lonely, but strong. As he builds new relationships, and establishes trust, Hank's thoughts are shown to be hilariously analytic and a bit judgmental.

I  didn't dislike this aspect of the plot, but I wasn't sure what to think of the fact that Hank was having conversations with the dead author of Walden, Henry David. 
Being Henry David was a though-provoking, contemporary YA novel that will thrust you into the life of Hank, a far-from-average teenage guy, working a little harder to work toward remembering who he  is.  This tale of rediscovery sprinkled with a whole lot of spontaneity  will make readers question what it really means to live.
CONTACT THE AUTHOR: Website // Goodreads // Twitter // Facebook
I have a very special surprise for you guys! Courtesy of Albert Whitman Teen and the author, Cal Armistead (author links listed above.) Enter below for a chance to win a new print copy of Being Henry David. (US/Canada Only please!) a Rafflecopter giveaway

15 comments:

  1. This book is so awesome! This, I admit, is one of the most amazing reading experiences I've had in 2013!

    Btw, I'm a new follower and I'd I really appreciate it if you'd return the favor by following me back at Forever YA.

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  2. I want to win being henry david b/c your review was really convincing and it sounds like a book i would be interested in. Thanks for the giveaway anastasia!

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  3. Looks like a great read. Your blog looks great I like the colors and the style

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  4. I want to read Being Henry David because of your AWESOME review!! :D

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  5. This sounds really interesting. Having family members with dimensia, matters of memory and the brain both scare me and make me very curious. I can't imagine not knowing who you are. This is a great review and thank you for the giveaway! Jaclyn @ JC's Book Haven

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  6. This one is so amazing. i actually saw this Goodreads and the synopsis! Da what a awesome synopsis. XD

    Wonderful review ya'll.

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  7. I'm a New Yorker so I kind of want to see how he reacts to the cold & harsh streets of NY. Also I love the whole rediscovery part

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  8. the piecing together his past sounds interesting!

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  9. Yeah, it certainly came together, in the end, and created quite an amazing story. (:

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  10. We are too! Waking up in Penn Station?! That's just horrifying. All I will say, is that it takes time ...

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  11. Thank you (: Yeah, the synopsis definitely helped in pulling us in.

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  12. No problemoo, glad I could pull you in >:p

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  13. I actually checked out your review on your blog, clearly you loved it as much as I did. Followed back (:

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