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Saturday, April 03, 2010

My Only Thought On Reaching the End: Finally

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Judging from the looks of 12 Finally, you might think Wendy Mass' newest is a sequel to last year's 11 Birthdays. Not so. While it's set in the same town, and familiar characters make cameo appearances, the story revolves around a different cast. This time, we're sucked into the life of 11-year-old Rory Swenson, who's counting down the days until her birthday. For as long as she can remember, her parents have been promising that her every desire - from a cell phone to her own house key to finally getting her ears pierced - will be fulfilled when she's 12. Rory's ready with a poster-sized checklist that will ensure all her dreams come true.

As Rory works her way through her checklist, she gets some rude awakenings. Keeping track of a cell phone isn't the easiest thing to do. Staying home by yourself can be downright freaky. And shaving? News flash: It hurts. Is it possible that the grown-up things she's been dying to do aren't nearly as glamorous as they seem? Is the universe conspiring against her to keep her a child forever? Life lessons are not what Rory wanted for her 12th birthday, but apparently, that's exactly what she's going to get. Like it or not.

After the disappointment of 11 Birthdays, I was hoping for more from 12 Finally. No such luck. Rory's antics are funny, but in a goofy, over-the-top, highly unrealistic kind of way. There's not a lot of plot to the story, the magical element seems forced, and the ending is just plain old cheesy. Maybe Mass is just trying to do too much with this one. I don't know, but it didn't do much for me. My only thought on reaching the end: Finally.

(Readalikes: 11 Birthdays by Wendy Mass)

Grade: C

If this were a movie, it would be rated: PG

To the FTC, with love: I received this book from the generous folks at Scholastic. Thanks!

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, I've been under-impressed by Mass. I think I've liked Every Soul a Star the most of all I've read. I felt pretty much the same way about 11 Birthdays as you did, too.


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