Book Review: Being Henry David by Cal Armistead

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Being Henry David by Cal Armistead
(Started: March 25, 2013; Finished: March 26, 2013)

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. (From Goodreads)
Review: 4 stars
Released on: March 01, 2013
Source: Albert Whitman & Company through Netgalley
I imagined myself in the shoes of Hank and thought I might not survived what he'd been through. It was already pretty crazy remembering where you put something or where you lost it, so imagine how insane I'll get trying to remember who am I and where I'm from. Plot-wise, I think it was unique and really has a strong impact to readers. I admit, I wasn't able to grasp it not until I reached nearly half of the book. I was familiar with Henry David Thoreau's name but have not got the chance to read his works. So I need to be able to understand how things will work without a background about the mentioned books. But I was able to weave through it and I think it is good that even those who are not familiar with the story that inspired it would be able to understand and still relate to it. Another good point that helped me to be able to adapt was how the author interrelated her own to Henry David Thoreau's. It was patterned on the latter and was fused together to create a new one. I love how it was able to both inspire and motivate the protagonist.

With the characters, I personally love Hank. He is a potential fictional boyfriend (or a potential one in real life). I find him sexy. Oh yes, definitely in a mysterious and intellectual way. I see him as the typical heartthrob but what makes him standout is his enigmatic presence that you will eventually discover while reading the book. I seriously saw myself swoon all over him. He was almost perfect. Hank is one of the few male protagonist that I think can be actually real but as usual difficult to find. I also love Thomas! I adore his character! I love how he was into history and books. He is such an animated character that every reader will enjoy.

This book values love, friendship, reading books and most importantly, finding oneself (literally and figuratively speaking).

For the quotes I got from the book, please visit my Tumblr:

Happy Reading Everyone!

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