Brenna's Reviews > Happy Birthday to Me Again

Happy Birthday to Me Again by Brian  Rowe
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's review
Sep 26, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: for-author
Read from December 09 to 14, 2011

Originally posted to Esther's Ever After

I enjoyed the first book in Brian Rowe's Birthday Trilogy, Happy Birthday to Me, because it struck me as a fairly creative idea for a YA book, and I was pleased wit it as a well presented and fun book. I had high hopes for the sequel, but unfortunately I wasn't nearly as impresesd with this one as I was with the first book.

There are very few spoilers for the first book in this review, but if you'd like you can also stop by to read my review of Happy Birthday to Me.

Something different and fresh:
I definitely get sick of reading the same types of books over and over, but I'm so impressed with Brian's creativity both in terms of the plot and in the presentation and writing style. The whole story is kind of quirky and he maintains this sense of humour throughout the book, even in more serious situations.

But I was mostly disappointed with Cameron as a character. While he grew on me in the first book, I found him even harder to like in this one. It seemed as if he was presented as this unlucky guy starting to grow up and act like an adult, but I had a hard time seeing that in Cam. His choices and reactions to things struck me as the most immature aspects of him, and I couldn't understand how I was supposed to end up liking him more. Because frankly, most of the time he just ended up being a self-centred jerk. For all the times he claimed to love Liesl, he sure showed it in a funny way when she was in trouble. I was just so frustrated and annoyed with both Cameron and Liesl, but Cam in particular because he came across as being so fake; saying he was worried about Liesl, yet not acting on trying to help her in some way. And instead, distracting himself from this worry.

Overall, I felt no sympathy towards the characters, Liesl and others included, as they were supposed to be victims in these terrible circumstances... but it wasn't as if they were faultless. And the whole book read as more of a set up for the third book, than an actual sequel to the first. And Cam is just so stubborn and unwilling to deal with the problems and issues presented by others close to him, so big problems are just brushed off as being no big deal.

After reading Happy Birthday to Me Again, I think I would have been happier to just leave Happy Birthday to Me as a standalone and not chosen to continue with the series.

Review copy provided by author in exchange for my honest review; no other compensation was received.

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