The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August - Claire North

Ok, so I am way behind on reviews, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been reading. I have been reading on planes, trains, and buses. I am on vacation in Florence, Italy, and honestly, it’s hard to look at a keyboard when everything around me is so much prettier! So that’s my excuse. Poor me, right?


First up on my vacation reading list was The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August. I was intrigued by this book because I loved Stephen King’s 11/22/63, and the premise seemed a little similar. If I had to reference something, I would almost say it was a mash-up of 11/22/63 and Groundhog Day, with a side of American Gods. Seriously, it’s different. This story asks the question: of all the things that happen in your life, what would you try to fix for the next generation? And, if you were able to do it all over again, what would you do? How would you live your life, who would you trust with your secrets?


There has been a lot written about the author, since Claire North is apparently a pseudonym for Catherine Webb. Since I had not heard of her, of course I looked her up. She wrote her first novel when she was 14, and she’s written 7 YA novels under the name Catherine Webb, and several fantasy novels for adults under the name Kate Griffin. Based on the photos I’ve seen, she’s about 16 now! And, no matter what she wants to call herself, her writing is a pure pleasure to read. This review has not been delayed because it took a while to read it, only because it got my summer reading off to such a great start I couldn’t stop. And, um, I’m in Florence, remember?


So that’s all I’m going to say about it. Read the summaries if you must. But I promise you, even if it sounds like the time travel book of the season, it is so much more than that. It’s a well-crafted story with a wonderful character at its center, who you will enjoy getting to know again and again and again.