An Authentic Experience by Kelly Wittmann


Hello lovelies! I've realised that it has been a really long time since I read a book just for fun. Most things I read now are either from my university textbooks or required readings. And sure, sometimes it can be interesting but it's not the same as when I used to pick up a novel and read just to read. A while ago I was contacted by the lovely author, Kelly Wittmann, to read and review her new contemporary Young Adult novel, An Authentic Experience. I was super excited to have a new novel to read so, of course, I said yes! I personally am not great at describing plotlines, so instead of focusing on describing the plot, I will share the things I enjoyed most.

An Authentic Experience by Kelly Wittmann - "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. It’s a really bad time to fall in love, so you can pretty much bet that Silver will. Enter Jake Sullivan…"

First of all, I really enjoyed the different family and friendship dynamics explored in Silver's life. Silver and her mother seem to have a close relationship with each other, as well as with her maternal grandparents. However, the relationship Silver has with her dad is rocky and near non-existent. It was intriguing to follow the relationship between Silver and her dad throughout the story, especially after a frightening encounter she has with one of his friends. What I liked about the relationships in Silver's life is how varied they were from each other. But my favourite little storyline throughout the novel is the relationship Silver pursues with Jake.

Jake is introduced right in the beginning of the novel as the popular, good-looking, football player in junior high school. Initially, he seemed a bit arrogant but it wasn't far into the book that I began to actually like his character. Their relationship is a sweet portrayal of young high school love between the two. I also thought that Silver's 'unique' upbringing was a great feature throughout the story. Silver has been homeschooled her entire life and has in some ways lived through her cousin to have the whole 'teen and high school' experience.

The novel throws in many humorous rock references that I'm sure plenty of readers would appreciate. I wish I'd got them but I've never been a huge rock listener, nonetheless I always like when books and films throw in some witty references.

I found the story easy to follow, sometimes a little bit too easy in some ways but still engaging. I really liked how Silver's character was unique in many ways, particularly with her style! She strikes me as someone who is a bit nervous around people but quite strong headed.

I think this novel is great for younger readers around their early teens. It was fun to read a novel which featured something new for me such as rock as I am not too familiar with it. Thank you to Kelly who sent me a free digital copy of her new novel so I could share it with you! It was great to read something new. You can purchase a copy of An Authentic Experience here