Tuesday, June 23, 2009
11 Birthdays, by Wendy Mass
It's been a year since Amanda stopped speaking to Leo. The two of them have shared a birthday (and birthday parties) since they were born, but at last year's party, Leo humiliated Amanda. This year, they are having separate parties and Amanda's day is horrible. But the worst part is that the day is never-ending. She wakes up the next morning to discover that the day is repeating itself. Every painful moment is happening all over again! And it will keep on repeating until Amanda (and Leo) can figure out how to make it stop.
Now, Groundhog Day is one of my favorite movies, so one has to have a soft spot for this particular niche genre. And since the target audience of this book probably hasn't (and won't) see Bill Murray doing this shtick, it's worth reading. But, even if the storyline isn't very original (and yes, the ending is pretty much the same as the movie), Mass does lovely work with these sort of supernatural stories (Jeremy Fink is a lovely example). She does great characters too and understands the tween mind well. Finally, the book passes the entertainment requirement: I started this while I was waiting in the dentist's office and completely forgot where I was and what I was doing. Later on, I found it irresistible and managed to finish it on the same day I started it. I recommend it for fun reading!