Customer Reviews for

Being Henry David

Average Rating 4
( 14 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

Wow! I almost don't even know where to begin..I was hooked befo

Wow!

I almost don't even know where to begin..I was hooked before I finished reading page one and couldn't put it down until I got to the end. I had about 15 pages or so left and I was getting so tired but, stubborn me, couldn't stop and sleep that close to the finish ...
Wow!

I almost don't even know where to begin..I was hooked before I finished reading page one and couldn't put it down until I got to the end. I had about 15 pages or so left and I was getting so tired but, stubborn me, couldn't stop and sleep that close to the finish line!

"Being Henry David" pulls you through a full range of emotions. There were some humorous moments that made me, literally, laugh out loud. There were also a couple of parts that completely pull at your heart and made me cry. Actual sniffling, blurry vision, tears. Not to mention all of the anxiety filled moments as Hank starts to unlock memories and the guilt he struggles with from it. The absolute war he has going on within himself. Things he goes through when he starts out in the streets. There's just so much emotion going on and you can't help but just...feel when reading this book.

Being able to bring all that out in me has placed this book in my top 10 favorite reads. Ever. I'd even go so far as saying it's going into my top 5. It's passion inspiring books like this that make me glad I'm a reader.

I was hopeful that it would be good when I read the synopsis in NetGalley and put in a request and I'd like to thank the Teen department at Albert Whitman & Company for giving me the opportunity to read such an amazing book!

posted by Sheri_B1975 on February 22, 2013

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Gross

Really bad language, I couldn't even finish the book. What a waste of money!

posted by Random_Sunshine on May 28, 2014

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  • Posted February 22, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Wow! I almost don't even know where to begin..I was hooked befo

    Wow!

    I almost don't even know where to begin..I was hooked before I finished reading page one and couldn't put it down until I got to the end. I had about 15 pages or so left and I was getting so tired but, stubborn me, couldn't stop and sleep that close to the finish line!

    "Being Henry David" pulls you through a full range of emotions. There were some humorous moments that made me, literally, laugh out loud. There were also a couple of parts that completely pull at your heart and made me cry. Actual sniffling, blurry vision, tears. Not to mention all of the anxiety filled moments as Hank starts to unlock memories and the guilt he struggles with from it. The absolute war he has going on within himself. Things he goes through when he starts out in the streets. There's just so much emotion going on and you can't help but just...feel when reading this book.

    Being able to bring all that out in me has placed this book in my top 10 favorite reads. Ever. I'd even go so far as saying it's going into my top 5. It's passion inspiring books like this that make me glad I'm a reader.

    I was hopeful that it would be good when I read the synopsis in NetGalley and put in a request and I'd like to thank the Teen department at Albert Whitman & Company for giving me the opportunity to read such an amazing book!

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2013

    I love thid book

    I was obsessed from beginning to end!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2013

    WOW

    This is a great book that makes you think about how important family is no matter what.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 14, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Imagine this.... You wake up not knowing where you are, who

    Imagine this....




    You wake up not knowing where you are, who you are and nothing what so ever of your past. You family and friends, forgotten. Your age, name, and hometown, forgotten. Any shred of a memory before this exact moment....GONE.  




    A Seventeen-year-old boy finds himself doing just that. He wakes up in a NY train station with only these clues: a nasty bump on the head, a 10 bill in his pocket and a tattered old copy of Walden, by Henry David Thoreau. Having no memory of who is truly is he reinvents himself, as HANK or Henry David Thoreau. With nothing to lose and more so everything to gain. He searches for clues to his past and along with way finds more than he bargained for. New friends, a new life, and falling in love. Here is where his journey begins. A quest if you may, one to not only find out who he is but a spiritual self-discovery for a boy who has everything and nothing to lose. This coming of age novel takes the reader on a journey of their own. One to uncover who "HANK" really is but more so to find out what really happen in his past that lead him to where he is now. 




    The one and most imported except I loved about this book was that through the authors writing I was able to feel like I was there alongside Hank. Taking the roads to self-discovery he did, feeling his pain and frustration and just being there along for the ride in the search for "himself". Cal Armistead gives the reader such a deep and profound look into Hank life. Starting from where he began, knowing nothing at all about himself to where he ended up, closing in on the mystery. From page one I was hooked. I too needed to know who Hank truly was. Uncovering the clues, and solving the mystery alongside with the main character, I feel is what really makes "Being Henry David" to be so incredibly special. 
    This unique, and thought provoking tale is the perfect coming to age story. Being Henry David" has everything:  Fresh and realistic characters, a fast paced drama, and a mystery that will leave you guessing!




    This book is one NOT to miss! :)

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 30, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    The Low Down: Kid comes to in Penn Station in New York City with

    The Low Down: Kid comes to in Penn Station in New York City with only the clothes on his back, ten dollars in his pocket and a copy of Henry David Thoreau’s Walden. He remembers nothing about how he got there, his name or anything about his life prior to the moment he wakes up. After meeting a brother and sister pair of runaways, he is introduced to a local baddie/drug distributor. He escapes and decides that he needs to travel to Concord, Massachusetts, the site of Walden, since the only clue he has about who he is or where he came from is the book.




    I have always enjoyed a good mystery, and there definitely is one here. In addition, the new life that “Hank” is forging over the course of the book makes you wonder - can whatever happened to him, whatever it was that caused the amnesia, be swept away completely by the amnesia? Will he be happy to find out who he is/was, or was it too traumatic? WHAT HAPPENED??




    The slow revelation of his past life, the snapshots and snatches of information are intriguing. Plus, he’s invented a new person, and, as this new person, he meets people that he starts to care about. Can his two worlds come together or will they collide unpleasantly?




    Setting the story in Concord and explaining who Thoreau is makes this book more than just a teen amnesia novel. It adds a layer of complexity through literature, old-fashioned values and a setting that you won’t soon forget (!).




    Being Henry David by Cal Armistead was published March 1, 2013 by Albert Whitman Teen. Ink and Page picked this book up from the library, so no one had a choice about whether it was reviewed.




    Rating: 4




    Genre: Young Adult Fiction Contemporary
    Ages: 12 and up
    You Might Want to Know: MIld profanity, violence

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 25, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    A teenage boy wakes up in the middle of Penn Station with no ide

    A teenage boy wakes up in the middle of Penn Station with no idea who he is or how he got there. Because he found Henry David Thoreau’s book Walden next to him when he woke, he thinks it must be an important clue to his identity. He tells Jack, a street-wise teen he meets at Penn Station, that his name is Henry David and Jack nicknames him Hank. When Jack leads them into a potentially dangerous situation, Hank decides to split and goes to the only place he can think of – Concord, Massachusetts, the setting of Walden.

    I don’t read a lot of books that feature male POVs and this book makes me wonder why; I had no problem getting into Hank’s head. He was such an engaging character: scared and brave, smart and reckless. He basically had no idea who he was, so he had to become this brand new person and it was interesting to watch that happen. The people he met along the way were great additions to the story, they were all unique and had their own personality traits. I especially liked the librarian who was there for Hank every time he needed help.

    The opening scene, in which Hank woke in Penn Station, was so exciting it just grabbed me. I could feel how panicked he was, how scared. After the brief stay in New York, most of the book took place in Concord, and the location descriptions were fabulous. I could totally picture everything in my mind while reading: the school, the lake, the forest, the library… It was all top-notch. Henry David Thoreau was woven throughout the book: quotes, books he wrote, his beliefs and ideals. I’m not very familiar with the author, but I enjoyed the bits about him and think he was probably a pretty interesting person.

    I enjoyed the mystery aspect – who was Hank and how did he end up unconscious in Penn Station? Little clues were revealed slowly throughout the story, so there was no big moment where everything was explained, and I liked that. The reason he ended up where he did was satisfying and believable. The ending was a bit drawn out for my liking, but in the end I enjoyed it. There was no cliffhanger or overly cheery happily ever after. It was realistic and heartfelt.

    The sum up: I really enjoyed this book and can’t wait to see what the author comes up with next.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 13, 2013

    I never thought that I would get the chance to review this book

    I never thought that I would get the chance to review this book but when I got it on NetGalley, I did a little happy dance on my side of the screen. The whole plot of the story caught my attention right away and I knew that I had to read this book one way or another. Now that I have read this book, I am happy to say that I should just trust my instincts. This book was great and I adore it. The beautiful characters brought to life an incredible plot. I am so excited to finally get the chance to review a book I've been wanting to read for awhile.
    Being Henry David by Cal Armistead is similar to a different story I read awhile ago in the sense that the main character lost their memory but everything else is completely different. I think the fact that it reminded me of another story I loved is the reason I first picked it up. The story begins in Penn Station with a boy who can't seem to remember who he is and the only things he understands are common knowledge like he was in the US or was speaking English. But there was something blocking out his memory and everything about his life is just beyond his reach. As he searches for who he is, he finds himself drawn into the wrong side of New York City and his only solace is the book he found by his side when he awoke; Walden by Henry David Thoreau. A chance escape leads him to where the story took place and maybe to the key to unlocking his past. But life isn't that simple and that is why this boy is about to find out.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 18, 2013

    I¿ve wanted to read Being Henry David since I first heard about

    I’ve wanted to read Being Henry David since I first heard about the book, and was delighted when I scored and ARC.
    Starting a book I’ve been anticipating always makes me nervous. There’s nothing worse than a book dashing one’s hopes. I’m pleased to report that Being Henry David didn’t do this.

    I wouldn’t call this a fun read. It deals with several very serious and scary issues, but I found it a very enjoyable book. I was engrossed from the very first page, to the very last. By the end of the book I was so attached to “Hank” I hated closing the book. In a lot of ways he reminds me of the characters created by S.E. Hinton.

    There’s no getting around the fact that the author is a huge fan of Walden and used their knowledge Thoreu to helped move Hank forward. There are even some interesting interactions with “Thoreau” that I found delightful.

    The only issue I had with the book was that there are points when the prose felt just a bit choppy, but all in all its well written, fast paced, and features a wonderful cast of characters.

    If you like angst and serious minded books, I think you’ll adore Being Henry David.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 18, 2013

    Wonderful debut!

    Wonderful debut!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2014

    Gross

    Really bad language, I couldn't even finish the book. What a waste of money!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 19, 2015

    My Thoughts: I was curious about this one although a little app

    My Thoughts:

    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 Thourou. 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.

    My Rating: Exceptional

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2014

    Interesting dilemma

    The book was an easy read. It keeps you interested as you follow along and the pieces to the puzzle were slowly developed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2014

    Great Book

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It caught my attention right from the start. I am disappointed to see there are no more books by the same author!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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