Friend Is Not a Verb

Friend Is Not a Verb

by Daniel Ehrenhaft


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You know things are bad when your dreams come with a washed-up '80s soundtrack

Henry "Hen" Birnbaum's sister, Sarah, missing for over a year, has come home unexpectedly, with no explanation at all. But he can't leave well enough alone; Hen needs to figure out why she disappeared, even if she won't tell him. It's not like he has anything better to do. His girlfriend just dumped him and kicked him out of their band. He can't play the bass worth crap anyway. His social life consists of night after night of VH1 marathons with his best friend and next-door neighbor, the neurotic Emma Wood.

Hen's sure the answers to Sarah's lost year lie with Gabriel Stern—Sarah's friend from college who also happens to be a twenty-two-year-old fugitive from the law and Hen's bass teacher . . . too bad he can't play bass worth crap either. A month into his quest, Hen has had countless consultations with Emma, watched approximately fifty-three reruns of Behind the Music, and made one new Facebook friend. Unfortunately, he's no closer to any revelations about his sister. The thing is, he's too distracted to notice it, but while Hen's been looking for all the answers, something mind-blowing happened: He got a life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061131066
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 05/04/2010
Pages: 241
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Daniel Ehrenhaft is the author of many books for teens, including the Edgar Award-winning Wessex Papers (under the pseudonym Daniel Parker), Dirty Laundry, and Drawing a Blank.

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Friend Is Not a Verb 3.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
roses7184 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Let's start with the positives shall we? I always like to get off on a good foot. This book is pretty funny. Plain and simple there are parts in this book where I found myself laughing out loud, "Hen" or Henry, the main character, is witty and ridiculous at times. He tends to surround himself with other characters of the same magnitude, and watching them interact with one another can be pretty hilarious.I also very much enjoyed the multiple pop culture references in the story, especially Henry's love for the 90's and all the nostalgia there within. Bands, television shows, it was all there in its truly cheesy 90's glory. Truthfully I began to get a little peeved near the end at how many times Facebook was mentioned, however I know this to be true to life. I can't count how many times I've been at a bar and heard that word thrown around. Yes, it's pop culture and yes it's here to stay. Daniel Ehrenhaft's mention of these items did help me form a connection with the characters as I read.However this is where my love for the book ended. Although I found Henry to be funny at times, I mainly found him to be awkward and obnoxious. His incessant side notes to himself (set off like this) throughout the book were endearing at first, and then became extremely distracting. Henry's sole focus in this story was to be a rock star, and it seemed to me like it was a little forced. He knew he wasn't good at bass, and yet he continued to convince himself that that was what he needed to be happy. In Henry's mind, stardom = money = happiness and I just couldn't get behind that. Maybe it's just me, but I really thought he could have directed his confusion and family angst into something more worthwhile.As for his sister Sarah and her story, the entire first half of the story had me wondering out loud when I was going to get to find anything out about her disappearance. There were no clues, no hints, her parents didn't even seem fazed when she showed up out of nowhere. I was also so frustrated at how uncaring she seemed and how distant. She was Henry's sister after all, doesn't that afford them some kind of confidence? As the book neared the end and I finally unraveled the mystery behind Sarah's disappearance, I began to wonder why it was all such a big deal. Why couldn't Henry's parents have shared that with him? It just seemed like extremely poor parenting to me.Overall this was a book that just irked me too much to really appreciate it. There were high points and low points, but sadly the things I disliked really weighed in strongly. More than once I had to resist simply giving up on reading this book, and that made me sad. It's not often that I find a book I have that much trouble reading. I think that this book has great potential, but that the quirkiness makes it a difficult read. Perhaps there are those out there who will think differently than me and if so, great! Let me know what you think in the comments if you have read this book already.
eejjennings on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Can guys and girls be friends? When his sister Sarah runs away, her brother is lost and turns to his best friend for help.
callmecayce on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really loved this book. In a way, it reminded me of Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, partly because there were a lot of music references, but mostly it was the style. Ehrenhaft's book didn't take place in one night, but it was fast paced and everything flowed as if it had. The story's strong and intriguing, both Hen's life and the mystery of his sister's disappearance. But right near the end there was a twist in his personal life that was so satisfying that I wouldn't have minded if the book ended there without solving the mystery of Sarah's (his sister) vanishing. We do get resolution, though, and it's also quite satisfying. There was something not quite realistic about this book, like with Nick & Norah, but that just made it all the more awesome. In some ways (also like Nick & Norah) it was almost like reading a book version British tv show Skins (the first season). I think I'm going to have to check out more of Ehrenhaft's YA books, if only to find out if they're all this good and fun.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
wordforteens More than 1 year ago
I'm tackling my books-that-are-smaller-than-the-first-Harry-Potter-book pile. I started with Lark and moved on to this one; this is another small one that packs a whollop of a good story into a fast read. Henry may have become one of my favorite protagonists to read through the eyes of of. He manages to complain without being whiny, think deeply without trying to appear intentionally philosophical, and make sarcastic or ironic jokes without ever breaking character. He's got the head of most of my guy friends, which is rare for me to read. (Maybe due to lack of excellently written male protagonists in what I've read or due to high expectations of the male figure in what I've read. Who knows.) I loved the way the story was written; the answer to the biggest mystery in the story was given to you all along, and maybe if I hadn't been so sucked into the story I would have looked at it and been able to figure it out. But I didn't want to put the book down to figure it out - I wanted to keep reading and find out what happened to Hen and Petra and PETRA and Emma and everybody. So I managed to be thrilled at the shock of the answer and pleased that it could be sensed coming simultaneously. Also, the title for this book - and the discussion within the novel about said title - makes me extraordinarily happy as somebody who can have hour long conversations about these types of things.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago