Are You Experienced? by Jordan Sonnenblick

In a previous post, I shared with you my love of Jordan Sonnenblick’s Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie. I still completely love it.

Since finding Drums several years ago, I’ve been an avid reader of Sonnenblick’s books as they come out… and while they’ve been good, they haven’t had the same magic that Drums had, which would ultimately leave me a little disappointed.

In his newest title, Are You Experienced?, Sonnenblick has completely recreated that magic. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that this book should be every bit as big as The Fault In Our Stars has been for John Green. It’s really that good.

Richie Barber, a fifteen year old guitar playing rebel without a cause, lives life in a constant state of frustration with his parents. They’re older than most of his peers’ parents and seem to thrive on sheltering him as much as possible. For a classic rock and roll kind of guy, this is sheer torture. Then, after a crazy turn of events, Richie finds himself transported back in time to Woodstock where he runs into and hangs out with the fifteen year old version of his dad, his eighteen year old uncle, and others.

Through the experiences of the weekend at Woodstock (which are realistic and honest in terms of drugs, sex, and hippies… but not glorified and inappropriate), Richie develops a deep understanding of and appreciation for his father that wasn’t there before. Ultimately, this is a heartwarming family story with a whole host of fun suprises as you read. I loved the setting of Woodstock, as it’s a historic event that I’ve never seen as a setting in YA literature before, and the experiences of the characters there were unforgettable.

This is really, truly, just a cool book for guys and girls. I’d be ok with mature 8th graders reading this, but some of the content makes it appropriate for mostly high school and beyond.

Go get it now!

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