12 TO 22: POV YOU WAKE UP IN THE FUTURE!, by Jen Calonita, Delacorte Press, Aug. 16, 2022, Hardcover, $16.99 (ages 8-12)
A teen jumps 10 years into the future in a twist on 13 Going on 30 in 12 to 22: POV You Wake Up in the Future! By Jen Calonita.
Turning 12 1/2 shouldn’t be the most exciting birthday in the world. It’s a half birthday after all. But Harper is thrilled because she is getting the biggest gift of all: her parent’s approval to finally get social media accounts.
Except when she goes to post her first photo, there is a filter she has never heard of before. One that shows you what you will look like when you are older. Curious, Harper clicks on it…but ends up flash forwarding in time to when she is 22.
She will quickly find that being in her twenties means the freedom she always wanted, money for the glow up she didn’t know she needed and working for her idol! But Harper soon discovers a lot more has changed than she expected — including the person she wants to be. Will Harper be able to use the filter to get the life of her dreams? Or will there be more glitches? —Synopsis provided by Delacorte Press
12 to 22 is one of those books you read because you want to read something fun and lighthearted. And that’s pretty much what you get. The book plays out cinematically — I could totally see this on screen — with touches of drama, laughter and a little romance thrown in for good measure.
As with all of Jen Calonita’s books, the prose and pacing are spot on. Calonita knows her audience and writes as if she’s having a conversation with her readers rather than talking at them.
The highlights of the novel come in the interactions grown-up Harper has with her sister. There’s a chemistry and familiarity there that feels natural. And having someone who’s “in on things” helps move the story forward without being clunky.
12 to 22 is fresh and fun, and middle readers will immediately identify with Harper while still appreciating the message to enjoy being a kid while it lasts. This is a fast read that will especially appeal to girl tweens ages 11 and 12.
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