Book Reviews

An Authentic Experience by Kelly Wittmann

An Authentic Experience

Title: An Authentic Experience
Author: Kelly Wittmann
Rating: ★★★★

Fifteen-year-old Silver Abelli’s life has been as tumultuous as the punk rock she was raised on. Her divorced parents just don’t get along, even though they’re both musicians who stubbornly spurn the mainstream but secretly crave the limelight. Silver has always lived with her mom, Nicola, but when Nicola is diagnosed with a brain tumor, she must go to live with her obnoxious, hard-partying father, Renz. Because her family is so traumatized by Nicola’s condition, Silver doesn’t know where to turn when she suffers her own trauma. Will the truth set her free, or will it only make a bad situation worse? Find out in this story of family, friends, and young love.

CW: Rough language, one scene of violence

This story hits close to home for me. There are some similarities I have experienced that our protagonist experiences.

“No. I mean it. Jake has a lot of good traits, I know. I’m not saying he’s the bad guy in this situation. But if this is a deal breaker for him, just let him go. He has a streak of self-righteousness that really sends up red flags for me. It’s controlling.”

“I know”, Silver said. A part of her still loved Jake, but a part of her resented him, even disliked him. She knew she could never be the girl or woman or whatever that he wanted her to be.  She had once admired him for having high ideals, but she now realized how suffocating his unrealistic standards had been. She was hurting and she was missing him — terribly — but she was not blaming herself.

“I don’t have time for a guy who couldn’t be there for my baby girl when she was going through hell”, Nicola went on, “and neither should you.”

“That’s all very sensible”, Silver replied, “but feelings don’t just go away overnight.”

Just like Silver, I, too, dated someone that had characteristics that I admired entirely. But, being clear from the beginning that I was never going to be that same way, I thought he had accepted that. But, just like Jake (and probably without realizing it), it was controlling. As soon as things get bad (or no longer ideal), that person leaves when the one they “love” needs them most. And not only that, but they can’t accept you if you don’t have those same ideals, even if they say they love you the way that you are. They don’t if they can just leave. That isn’t love.

I admire Nicola and Silver’s strength when it comes to overcoming their setbacks. Life throws a lot of bad at you, but it is how we react to those situations that make us who we are. And Silver, not being the typical stupid annoying girl, sees her value and what someone who truly cared for her would be like for her. He wouldn’t leave. He would be there for her. Especially during a hard time. He would put her feelings above his own. He would be a man.

But what I enjoyed most about this story is that it inspired me to write a story of my own (with some added comedy, hopefully).

 

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