Are You Experienced? by Jordan Sonnenblick (book review) – time traveling back to Woodstock

book cover of Are You Experienced? by Jordan Sonnenblick published by Fiewel and Friends3 days of peace and love,
Music too memorable to resist,

Time travel with Rich as he meets his own dad as a teenager, hears Jimi Hendrix play his “Star-Spangled Banner” for the crowd, and tries to discover what he got sent back in time to accomplish.

Are You Experienced? embraces those three magical days whose musical and cultural legacies influenced generations – and its book birthday is tomorrow!


Book info: Are You Experienced? / Jordan Sonnenblick. Feiwel & Friends, 2013. [author site]  [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: One perfect chord on a classic electric guitar and Rich zooms from 2014 and world’s strictest parents to 1969 and Woodstock! Dad will never believe this, except he’s there, too, as his teenage self…

Why his mom and dad are so controlling, Rich will never know, especially since they were hippies and musicians back in the 70s. Dad still gets choked up about his big brother dying of an overdose at 18, but does he ever show Rich any affection? Of course not.

Sneaking into Dad’s always-locked den closet, the teen discovers a vintage electric guitar and a note about playing a special chord… Boom! Suddenly, Rich is on the road to the Woodstock Music Festival in 1969, picked up by David, Michael, and Willow – his own dad, uncle, and uncle’s girlfriend! Claiming the name Gabriel, he hangs out with them for the whole weekend of peace and music.

Living through all the amazing music played live by bands who’d become legendary, wishing for a cellphone to record it, a long late-night talk with Jimi Hendrix – amazing. Getting to know Uncle Michael (whose name grown-up Dad never even says) and his cool girlfriend – awesome. Meeting beautiful Donna and seeing David/Dad so excited about the trip and the music – priceless.

Michael is really worried about something and is trying to hide it from David – but he might talk to Gabriel.

How many of these people at Woodstock will get drafted for the Vietnam War?
What did Jimi mean when they talked backstage?
Is Gabriel/Rich ever getting back to 2014?

Time travel, recreational pharmaceuticals, rock and roll, dysfunctional families, mud, mushrooms, and music – welcome to Woodstock… the Jimi Hendrix song as title says it all.  (One of 6,000 books recommended on

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