Are You Experienced?

Are You Experienced? 304p. Feiwel & Friends. Sept. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-1-250-02564-7.
Gr 8–10—October 2014. Rich is a guitar-playing 15-year-old whose parents, former hippies, are strict. When the teen's goth girlfriend talks him into performing at a rally for the legalization of medical marijuana, Rich lies to his father but gets caught when the man shows up at the event. After a blowup and Rich is grounded, he finds the guitar that Jimi Hendrix played at Woodstock in 1969 in his father's closet. Rich is suddenly transported back to that time and place. He lands naked in the street and gets hit by a car. The catch? The car is driven by his father's older brother, Michael, who is fated to die from a heroin overdose a couple of weeks later. His uncle's girlfriend convinces Rich to join them on their trip to a music festival: Woodstock. Rich shares the backseat with Michael's hyperactive younger brother, David, who will grow up to become Rich's dad. While the book is humorous at times, the vernacular doesn't quite resonate as realistic. In addition, the teen's antagonistic relationship with his dad feels somewhat forced. While readers may be able to suspend disbelief in regard to the Hendrix guitar, it's curious that the teen doesn't seem overly concerned about returning to his own world. The novel is well researched, but it's unlikely that teens will connect with all the references.—Ryan P. Donovan, New York Public Library

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