I wouldn’t be mad at anybody for thinking this is a young adult book review blog. It isn’t but I have had quite the few YA reviews on here recently. I’m just discovering so many great stories from this genre recently that I just have to share!
An Authentic Experience by Kelly Wittmann focuses on 15-year-old Silver Abelli’s who is being brought up by divorced parents who don’t get along and who are both musicians who stubbornly spurn the mainstream but secretly crave the limelight. Silver’s Mam, Nicola, has a brain tumour so she must go to live with her obnoxious, hard-partying father, Renz for the time being. The only thing that could improve her summer is to fall in love, which is exactly what she does with Jake.
This book is not like the average YA novel. Of course, there is the usual petty teenage drama that just doesn’t resonate with me anymore. However, this is balanced by the bigger story of Silver and her relationship with her family. Similarly, there is a lot of deep emotion within the pages of this book that I didn’t originally expect. The story jumps easily and smoothly from a teen crush to an ill mother who has a seizure on her first trip out of the house. What wasn’t as smooth was my rollercoaster feelings, as they jumped up and down. Additionally, as light-hearted as An Authentic Experience could be in parts, it holds some dark topics, which I won’t delve into here in case of spoilers, only to say that they had me feeling angry, sad, satisfied and so much more.
As much as I enjoyed the storyline, it was the characters that sold An Authentic Experience to me. Silver is not like other YA teen protagonists I have come across and I really liked her. However much she feels unsatisfied with her parents unconventional upbringing, they pretty much did a good job. Silver is a strong person who is sure of herself and comfortable in her own skin. Even more importantly, she will not change for anybody, making her a wonderful role model for younger readers. Saying that, Silver’s father, Renz, was my favourite character. I’m not sure how I would feel about him being my father but he was extremely entertaining contained within the pages of this book.
Overall, I really enjoyed An Authentic Experience and the fact that I flew through it in just a few days is testament to this. I really would recommended it to anyone looking for a good YA read.
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.