Rory has been waiting for the day she turns 12 forever! She has a long list of things she can do when she is 12; things her parents have promised her like getting a cell phone, staying home by herself, getting her ears pierced. Her parents are very overprotective so they haven’t let her do a whole lot. But now they have to. So Rory starts working on her list and nothing turns out the way she thought it would and one mishap after another takes place. Her cell phone is a nightmare, she has one allergic reaction after another…first her face from makeup then her ear from the gold earring, she maims herself trying to shave her legs, her new bunny tries to kill her. It is all just going down hill fast. And to top things off a movie is being shot at her school with Jake Harrison, the cutest movie star ever! Will Rory survive turning 12?
I really enjoyed 11 Birthdays and 13 Gifts (yes I read them out of order) so I had pretty high expectations for this book. I think I would have enjoyed it more if I hadn’t read the other two first. Both of those books have a bit of magic and mystery woven into the stories whereas this one is more of a straight story. 11 Birthdays had the Groundhog Day style, 13 Gifts had the quest for the 13 items and this one has Rory who injures herself at every turn. I guess I was just expecting more. Sure there is a moral to what happens to Rory, but it barely fits in with the others in the series.
If I would have read this as a stand alone book I think I would have enjoyed it more. Rory is a fun character and all her mishaps are cringe-worthy but hilarious. You really feel sorry for her after so many things go wrong. Her parents go from being helicopter parents to very hands-off which I thought was strange, but made for a good story. I enjoyed her friends as well and thought everyone acted pretty much like typical preteens. I know from 13 Gifts that Rory and Jake become friends and I wish there would have been more of that in this book since it really isn’t touched on, but they have a great relationship in the next book. I like the lessons Rory learned even if some of them were a little heavy handed. Wendy Mass definitely knows how to write for her target audience and I think her writing is fun.