*This book was sent to me by the author for an honest review.
An Authentic Experience is a young adult story by Kelly Wittmann. I’ve linked to her website so that you can check out everything else she’s written if you’re interested. She was kind enough to contact me about reviewing her newest book and since I’m waiting for my massive new book order to arrive I had the time to read it. I’ll give you the synopsis and then my thoughts. This review will have spoilers.
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…
I did not care for this book. That doesn’t mean that it’s a bad book, it’s not, or that it was badly written, it wasn’t. I’m just not in the demographic that this book is targeted at. The age group that’s going to enjoy this story the most, in my opinion, is going to be that fifteen to eighteen year old group. I’m about to be twenty six so the storyline just didn’t appeal to me.
I honestly didn’t like most of the characters. My favorites were Jake and Silver’s grandparents, Dita and Gramps. Those three were the most likable. Renz and Nicola, Silver’s parents, were the absolute worst. I think the author meant for them to be that way, especially Renz, so if that is the case then she did a wonderful job creating annoying characters. They both were incredibly immature and weirdly obsessed with their past glory days as musicians. The other characters aren’t really developed enough for me to care one way or the other about them. I liked Silver a lot until the end of the book. Here’s where we get into spoilers…
Silver is attacked by her father’s ex-bandmate, Tad Channing. She isn’t raped but he pushes her down a flight of stairs and kicks her. She escapes but doesn’t tell anybody because she doesn’t want to jeopardize her mother’s recovery. From here I just kind of don’t get the story. Everybody eventually finds out what happened because Silver is acting weird and emotional for days but once her boyfriend, Jake, finds out she breaks up with him. She never gives him a real reason and her only excuse is basically he’s too perfect and Catholic…okay then. She just cuts him out of her life completely after being “in love” with him just a few days before. I mean, I get it. Fifteen year olds are super immature and break up for no reason so I tried to put myself in the character’s shoes. What’s odd to me is the way it’s written and handled it’s made to seem like she was raped. It’s just a whole lot of drama and angst over essentially “nothing”. Being attacked by a grown man would be traumatic but I don’t think it would cause you to break up with your boyfriend and change everything. I’m sorry but…
It’s totally the authors right not to include rape or anything she doesn’t want in her book. I just don’t feel the reactions matched what happened but obviously, that’s just my opinion.
I did not hate this book. Again, I think I’m just too old for it. I get where it was trying to go as a coming of age story and I think teens reading it will be able to relate. I would read more from this author in the future. We’re all different so does this book sound like something you would like? Let me know! Thanks for reading and have a great day!