Friday, March 1, 2013

REVIEW: Being Henry David by Cal Armistead

Title: Being Henry David
Author: Cal Armistead
Genre: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction
Format: Hardcover, 270 pages
Published: Published March 1st 2013 by Albert Whitman Teen
ISBN: 080750615X (ISBN13: 9780807506158)
About the Author:

Cal has been a writer since age 9, when she submitted her first book, The Poor Macaroni Named Joany to a publisher. Sadly, this literary gem did not make it to print. But Cal continued pursuing her lifelong passion, and wrote copiously for radio, newspapers and magazines (Cal has been published in The Chicago Tribune, Shape Magazine, Body & Soul Magazine, Christian Science Monitor, Chicken Soup for Every Mom’s Soul and others). Although it took years for Cal to try her hand again at fiction writing, her first young adult novel (Being Henry David) will be published by Albert Whitman & Co. on March 1, 2013. Cal, who holds an MFA in creative writing from the Stonecoast program at the University of Southern Maine, works at an independent book store, is a voice-over actress, sings semi-professionally, and lives in a Boston suburb with her amazing husband and a dog named Layla.

Official Site ~


Seventeen-year-old "Hank" has found himself at Penn Station in New York City with no memory of anything--who he is, where he came from, why he's running away. His only possession is a worn copy of Walden by Henry David Thoreau. And so he becomes Henry David--or "Hank"--and takes first to the streets, and then to the only destination he can think of--Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts.

Cal Armistead's remarkable debut novel is about a teen in search of himself. Hank begins to piece together recollections from his past. The only way Hank can discover his present is to face up to the realities of his grievous memories. He must come to terms with the tragedy of his past, to stop running, and to find his way home. 

My Thoughts:

I am not entirely sure what I was anticipating when I started this book but... WOW! The moment I finished reading this book, I realized that I have just finished what has to be one of the most amazing reading experiences I have ever had in 2013.

The writing is just so wonderful! The setting is very well defined and easy to visualize. The plot too is very well organized and unique. There are times that I would get a bit impatient to find out what was going to happen next, and so I would start speeding up, but then I'd have to go back and read it again, because I didn't want to miss any of Armisteads’s beautiful writing. The characters, on the other hand, were also vividly described and well thought. I loved every single one of them!

Overall, the book has all of the ingredients needed to create a great tale. Teenagers who are into realistic fiction will surely enjoy Being Henry David!

My Rating:

5 out of 5 stars
This book was so good I would buy it without looking at the price tag.


  1. Hey Marius!
    I'm in complete and total love with your blog and its design - its beautiful! I'm actually waiting for this book in the mail, but I heard it was a really cool read. I noticed your review on Being Henry David, as well, wasn't it just amazing?!<3

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

    Characterized Book Reviews
    -New Follower :D

  2. (For some reason my laptop spazzed, but this comment was supposed to be on your "When love comes to town" post.)

  3. I have been hearing a lot about this book. Nice review :) And thanks for the follow.

  4. I am loving those emoticons! <3 I actually won this in a giveaway but had not heard anything about it at all, but now I am so excited to read it! :e Thanks so much for your review!!

  5. Cool review! I have read a few good reviews about this book. ;)

  6. What an interesting concept -- to tie a YA novel to Walden. I'll have to find a copy of this to read. Thanks!