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If Anyone Asks, Say I Died From the Heartbreaking Blues

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3.78  ·  Rating details ·  18 ratings  ·  12 reviews
On his eighteenth birthday, which is also his senior prom night, a boy in the Bronx struggles with heartbreak, the loss of his brother, and threats of violence from a local gang as he searches for true love. A bittersweet, comic coming-of-age story set in the 1960s.
Paperback, 156 pages
Published February 14th 2020 by Livngston Press
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Average rating 3.78  · 
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Angela M
Jan 14, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
A day in the life, a coming of age story of teenage boy in the Bronx in 1960. Hunt has a lot on his mind, not just the prom and Debbie Ann, the girl he loves, but he thinks every day of the little brother he lost. The prom is a disaster when he finds out that Debby Ann really wants to be with Sal. There are rumors of a gang coming to their neighborhood to fight and that adds to the tension. I couldn’t help but love Hunt, even with all the typical teenage angst that seeps through the pa
...more
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Feb 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars!

My parents grew up during this time of jukeboxes and early black and white television sets. I love the 50s and 60s and recreating in my mind what it must have been like to grow up during that time.

Hunt’s story takes place in just one day. He’s turning eighteen and will be attending his senior prom. I found it an original premise to have the coming-of-age story happen in just that one day. I also really enjoyed getting to know Hunt within these pages.

If Anyone Asks is a quick read. Thi
...more
Nancy
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
If Anyone Asks, Say I Died From the Heartbreaking Blues by Philip Cioffari is a nostalgic journey into a specific time and place. A novel this personal can be limiting for the reader, but Cioffari's hero's transformative experience is moving and universal.

The day Hunter turns eighteen is also the night of his Senior Prom. His date is the girl of his dreams. Beginning in the morning as his job takes him across the hot beach sand, fearful his date would see him hawking orangeade, he holds huge exp
...more
David Morgan
May 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is an nostalgic, day in the life, coming of age story about Joey "Hunt" Hunter. The year is 1960 in the Bronx, it's the day of his eighteenth birthday which is also the day of his highly anticipated senior prom. Debby Ann is the girl of his dreams and his date for the prom. At the dance Hunt soon realizes his girl has eyes for another, Sal, the leader of a gang who soon has Hunt on his radar for even liking HIS girl, Debby Ann. Along with Sal, Hunt is chased with the constant guilt of feeli ...more
Denise
Feb 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Book Review:

If Anyone Asks, Say I Died From The Heartbreaking Blues~
by author and award-winning film maker, Philip Cioffari

A 24-Hr. journey into manhood~

It's musical, it's raw, heroic and honest...An 18th Birthday and Senior Prom all in one day~ the unexpected turns and with the threat of danger, how will he survive it all.

Although a quick read, it packs a punch- it's unique, tragically comic, intricate and stays true to the time period of the Bronx, specifically on June 22nd of 1960.

Joey Hunt
...more
Patty
Jan 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
One night in Hunt’s life, his birthday and night of his senior prom, he’s out for the entire night. The events that unfold in those short hours wrap up what the years leading up to his 18th birthday - his thoughts, fears, regrets, instincts, and dreams - have led him to.

This is a quick read that offers a personal glimpse into the life of a Catholic boy coming of age and facing the realities of life as a man.

Thank you NetGalley and Livingston Press for the advance copy.
Linda Zagon
Apr 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Philip Cioffari, author of "If Anyone Asks Say I Died From the Heartbreaking Blues" has written an enlightening coming of age novel. The Genres for this novel are Fiction and, Young/ Adult Fiction. The timeline for this story is in the 1960s and takes place in the Bronx. The author describes his characters as young adults in search of self, and adventurous.

Joey "Hunt" Hunter has an 18th Birthday, which coincides with his taking Debra Ann Murphy to the prom. Joey is still traumatized by the death
...more
Sophia B
May 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Now, I wasn't born in the 1960's but the nostalgic feel of this novel was so palpable, I felt like I was dragged back right into a sepia-toned old time movie.

I was hovering above it, watching this timeless tale about a boy, nervous and excited to go with a girl he liked to prom. The entire novel takes place the day of and the night through prom.

Yet, it's not written in a juvenile way and I really enjoyed being there. Just so you understand the intellect of the writing here's a quote, "He thought
...more
Carol
May 03, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: ficton
If Anyone Asks, Say I Died From the Heartbreaking Blues is a coming of age story. The story is one day of Joey (Hunt) Hunter's life. It is June 22, 1960, in the Bronx. It is Hunt's 18th Birthday and also the day of his Senior Prom. His date is Debbie Ann, the girl of his dreams. But Debbie has eyes for Sal the, the Butcher, a varsity linebacker and leader of the local gang, the Brandos.

We meet Hunt's friends Johnny Ray and Auggie. There is a rumor that the gang Golden Gunieas want to take over t
...more
Stephani Beltran
Apr 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
At just under 160 pages, this book brings back all the nostalgia of New York in the 1960s in this coming of age novel. A one day story about a young man grieving the loss of his younger brother and going through the motions of his 18th birthday and his senior prom that happen to be on the same night and his anxious hopes for his crush to be there. With it such a short novel, saying too much would give the story away. Just know this is a book that is well written and captures you through every pa ...more
Bethany Clark
May 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Review:
This coming of age story packs an emotional punch from this being Hunt’s 18th birthday, his senior prom and his date being the first girl he’s ever been in love with, Debby Ann.
But as in any coming of age novel, the character makes mistakes (present and past) and these are tough lessons that will possibly come with tough consequences. Yes, he takes his 1st love to the prom, but that love also has a connection with Sal, a leader of a gang. Does Hunt really want to go down that path?
This
...more
Megsbookclub
May 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A good coming of age story and very well written. Also a quick read!
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