Fifteen-year-old Silver Abelli’s life has been as tumultuous as the punk rock she was raised on. Her divorced parents just don’t get along, even though they’re both musicians who stubbornly spurn the mainstream but secretly crave the limelight. Silver has always lived with her mom, Nicola, but when Nicola is diagnosed with a brain tumor, she must go to live with her obnoxious, hard-partying father, Renz. It’s a really bad time to fall in love, so you can pretty much bet that Silver will.
Enter Jake Sullivan…
“An Authentic Experience” is one of those books that I call a builder. At the beginning I didn’t like Silver. Not even a little. She seems hollow, selfish and shallow. BUT….(and here is why I call this book a builder) by about the middle of the book I realized that her initial shallowness was part of her evolution as a character. This is one of those books about growing up. It’s about gaining wisdom through experience. “An Authentic Experience” is really about how lifes challenges (whether they be our own challenges or those closest to us) morph us into someone different. Someone deeper. Someone wiser. Someone who is actually authentic.
One of my favorite parts of the book is how it highlights how our metamorphosis as people isn’t the result of just ourselves. It’s that push from a friend or a family member. It’s learning from not only our own mistakes but those of the people around us. It’s community and I think in too many ways that important factor gets overlooked. Especially in books. We often see a hero or heroine overcome disaster but too many times we don’t get to see all the people who make that otherwise unexceptional human into a hero/heroine. It’s like that old saying about raising a kid. It takes a village. Well, it also takes a village to make a hero.
I came out of this book loving Silver. I came out of this book loving her eccentric family and extremely proud of the author for her ability to highlight the layers of humanity. I came out of this book asking myself some very important questions about life. What makes a good parent? How much of a loved ones eccentricities do we forgive? What exactly does it mean to be authentic?
What else can you ask of yourself from a book if not one that makes you think? “An Authentic Experience” is literary gold in my eyes.
The Technical Data:
Title: An Authentic Experience | Author(s): Kelly Wittmann |Publisher: Sara Camilli Literary Agency / Publication Date: 2-13-2018 |Pages: 252 (Paperback) | ISBN: 978-0692058596 | Genre(s): Young Adult |Language:English | Rating: 5 out of 5 | Date Read: 5-25-2018 | Source: Copy from Author