Author: Cal Armistead
Published: March 1st 2013
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
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Caution: May contain spoilers
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.
I was curious about this one although a little apprehensive as to whether I would like it or not. I have read a couple books in male point of view and if the voice isn’t just right, I may not stay interested. That was not he case with this one. I found it very enjoyable and easy to follow.
Henry, or so he dubs himself, was very likeable. You can’t help but be drawn into his confused mind, attempting to fit pieces together. You follow this journey of his, desiring the to the truth of his past, wondering why he has Waden memorized, why he lost his memory. This mystery alone kept my interest piqued.
When he arrives in Concord, he finds places to hide out as he tries to discover who he is and answer all the questions of his own mysterious mind. In his search for answers, he receives help from Thomas, a local tour guide for Thoreau. He also meets Hailey, a sweet local girl with troubles of her own. She can tell something is wrong with Henry, but he’s not sure how to explain it to her. By the time he discovers what his past truly is, he really doesn’t know who to tell and if they’ll understand.
Being Henry David was a mysterious adventure. I wanted so much to see what it was that he was running from, how he ended up in that train station of all places. Cal Armistead really did an amazing job tackling the male POV. The end was perfectly handled--we got answers to the important things, and everything else, only time will tell.