By Anagha Gouru
Genre: Realistic Fiction/Fantasy
Date of Publication: September 3, 2013
Author: Jordan Sonnenblick
Number of Pages: 304
Favorite Quote: "She only got down to three before the skies opened up and a pelting storm engulfed us. It didn't last super-long, but by the time it ended, we were six mud-encrusted citizens of a swamped city.”
Summary: If one event that happened decades before you were born could shape the person you would become, what would you do if you could go back and witness that event? Would you try to change it? Jordan Sonnenblick takes a boy whose life has been dictated by the events of the summer of 1969 and flings him from 2014 back to that summer with the festival that changed everything. Are You Experienced? is your opportunity to be transported back to the three days that defined the decades that followed: Woodstock, a massive music festival that lasted for 3 days and took place in a dairy farm. At the time, drugs turned into a cult and teenagers were starting to become addicted to heroin, marijuana and other hazardous drugs.
Rich, a 15-year old guitarist, has been told many times that he embodies his late uncle, who passed because of heroin addiction. Every year around the time of his passing, Rich’s dad locks himself in their basement, gets out his guitar, and remembers his brother, who was a role model to him. One act of frustration by Rich gets him transported to Woodstock. He meets his father as a 15-year-old and all of his friends, including his uncle. Rich has an idea to save his uncle from dying of drug addiction. Every action he does will have an effect. Will his plan work? Find out in Are You Experienced?
Favorite Character: My favorite character was Michael, Richard’s uncle, because even though many stressful events were happening, such as him getting deployed for the Vietnam war, he stayed positive, was witty, and was always a loyal friend.
Themes: Friendship, Love, Family, Addiction, and Loss
Why People Should Read This: Sonnenblick, a gifted author of many moving stories, pulls readers in to a time that was known for its positivity and peace and shows them the negative aspects. Narrated in a charming way, he effectively makes the reader aware of an issue that was dangerous in the late 60s and is still happening now. A wonderfully written novel.