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Twelve Minutes to Midnight (Twelve Minutes to Midnight #1)

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3.45  ·  Rating Details  ·  435 Ratings  ·  88 Reviews
Penelope Tredwell is the feisty 13-year-old orphan heiress of the bestselling magazine, 'The Penny Dreadful'. Her masterly tales of the macabre are gripping Victorian Britain, even if no one knows she's the author.
256 pages
Published February 2nd 2012 by nosy crow (first published February 1st 2012)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,194)
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Eve
Mar 07, 2012 Eve rated it liked it
I thought the beginning was great, particularly the idea of the mental patients predicting the future. My 10 year old and I enjoyed working out which 20th century event matched the prophesies. The story conclusion got a bit silly in my view, but the 10 year old loved it.
Jennifer Boyce
Jun 23, 2014 Jennifer Boyce rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids-ya, thriller
The title and cover of this book caught my eye while cruising through the library today. While I normally don't read children's books, this one certainly caught my eye and I'm glad that I read it.

The plot of Twelve Minutes to Midnight is rather original. A young girl, Penelope, is a writer but she must keep it a secret as the story takes place during a day and age when female authors were rather uncommon and frowned upon. Not only is Penny a writer (and publisher), she also gets caught up in a
...more
Liaba Hassan
A bit childish and unbelievable at times, but nothing short of what can be called a great children's book. Definitely looking forward to read the sequel.
Barb Middleton
Dec 13, 2014 Barb Middleton rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, mystery
At twelve minutes to midnight, the mental ward patients at Bedlam Hospital get up and scratch future writings on any surface they can find using a writing utensil or wearing the skin off fingers leaving blood scribblings. Penelope Tredwell, thirteen-year-old literary genius, owns The Penny Dreadful magazine where she writes macabre stories under the pen name of Montgomery Fitch. It would seem that women during the 1800's did not write this type of cheap fiction. Penelope is looking for her next ...more
Teresa
Dec 26, 2012 Teresa rated it really liked it
This is one of the books on my 12 yr old son's list for his reading group and is also nominated for the Northern Ireland Book Awards. I'm not sure it will be his cup of tea given that it has elements of fantasy but I, personally, enjoyed it and found the whole concept of Bedlam patients predicting the future intriguing. Good writing, vivid descriptions and a feisty heroine in the shape of Penelope Treadwell.
Barbara
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Fatima Juarez
Oct 08, 2015 Fatima Juarez rated it really liked it
Shelves:
Would you like to live in a life with a lot of secrets to hide?
The book 12 minutes to midnight is a mystery, horror, and suspensful story.***Spoiler alert*** this book contains a lot of complex mysteries to be solved witch Penelope ( main charecter) finally solves during the entire book but it can be very challenging.This book to me can be very realistic so I considered it Realistic fiction or Science fiction (syfy). i considered them realistic fiction becouse maybe this could happen oneday Imea
...more
Kaitlyn
Oct 09, 2015 Kaitlyn rated it really liked it
I don't normally read books from the junior fiction section, but while browsing it caught my eye and I decided to give it a go.

Over all, it was an interesting and entertaining read that I know my twelve year old self would have absolutely idolised.

I adore that it's set in the late 19th century as well.

If this were not a junior book I would be very disgruntled at the lack of explanations for things. But seeing as how it is I'll let them slide.

I gave this a four as the ending was really quite
...more
Eustacia Tan
Mar 30, 2016 Eustacia Tan rated it really liked it
I don't actually know how I stumbled across this book, only that it was in my wishlist in my eNLB account.

Twelve Minutes to Midnight is about Penelope Tredwell, an ultra-talented young author who writes macabre tales under the pseudonym Montgomery Finch. On the day where the actor she hired to be 'Montgomery Finch' debuts in public, she received a letter from Bedlam Madhouse about a strange madness spreading around the patients there, and goes to investigate (dragging along said actor).

As it tur
...more
Paula
Apr 30, 2015 Paula rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In order to increase circulation of the Penny Dreadful, her family’s literary magazine, Penelope Tredwell, its 13-year-old heiress, begins writing mysteries and horror tales under the pseudonym of Montgomery Flinch. Her work becomes so popular that she must even hire an actor to play Flinch for public appearances, for it is 1899 Victorian England and no one would believe that a child could pen such chilling tales. Flinch is contacted by an asylum, commonly called Bedlam, where patients exhibit s ...more
Helen
Oct 10, 2015 Helen rated it really liked it
Arachnophobes beware! This book should have a trigger warning. There are lots of nasty spiders in here.

I spotted this book among the returns for other branches at the library where I work. The blurb intrigued me, so I intercepted it. Initially, I was thinking it might be suitable for my Chatterbooks group. I abandoned that idea - but mostly only because it had certain similarities with other titles we have read recently. Having said that, this is actually a very interesting and original premise.
...more
Linda
Nov 06, 2015 Linda rated it it was ok
It helps if you kinda sorta like the protagonist. And I like books with strong, intelligent female protagonists. But this one was short-tempered with those who tried to help her, short tempered with her guardian, short tempered with the actor she hired to pretend he was her, and dang it, she hissed every other sentence she said. What is this with YA writers having their characters hiss instead of say? Once she hissed something three times on one page. You can't really hiss the word "Don't." Seem ...more
Eunise
Sep 28, 2015 Eunise rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Phoebe
13-year-old Penelope Tredwell has a major secret: she is also the famous horror author, Montgomery Flinch. If her true identity as a young girl was made public knowledge, she'd be ruined. Because of his affinity for the macabre, Flinch is called in to investigate strange occurrences at Bedlam Hospital. With an actor posing as Flinch, and Penny posing as Flinch's niece, they discover that at twelve minutes to midnight, each night, patients at the hospital begin to write, madly and unstoppably, on ...more
Kristen Jaques
Oct 25, 2014 Kristen Jaques rated it really liked it
This was a fun, dark, suspenseful mystery. I strongly felt like it had the potential to become a series and I would read any sequels that may be written someday (upon looking it up, there are sequels!) Adult readers may find the plot a bit unwieldy and kind of predictable once you get the hint of where it's going, but overall, it was a racing, truly different, and enjoyably creepy tale. I did feel like it could have used more female supporting characters, instead of just a *spoiler alert* good v ...more
Maggie
Jul 29, 2014 Maggie rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya-and-kidlit
Disappointed in this one. The setting and the premise sounded so interesting! But while the sentence-level writing was fine, and Penny was a likable heroine, the book was just a bore. There was very little in the way of plot, and what little plot there was, I couldn't buy into at all. On top of that, while I am all for edgy books for kids, it just seemed weird and unnecessary to have a supporting character who seemed to have no interest in anything but drinking--it wasn't particularly funny, and ...more
April
Jun 18, 2015 April rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult, 2015
I know that this book is fiction, but it is a bit too much to ask me to believe that the heroine--a girl of 13--writes, edits, and distributes a publication with a circulation of 750,000 in Victorian London. Even allowing for the fact that children of the era took on adult responsibilities at a younger age, that really requires a lot of faith from the reader. A LOT of faith.

Furthermore, the plot is convoluted and relies heavily on
(spoiler below)
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MAGIC SPIDERS.

No. No, I don't think so.
Angie
Every night at twelve minutes to midnight the patients at Bedlam start writing. They do not awaken and do not remember what they wrote when they wake. The modern reader will recognize the writings as events of the 20th century. However, the story takes place in 1899 and the people reading the writings have no idea what they are. Penelope Treadwell is an orphan and a writer. She is the owner and managing editor of the Penny Dreadful paper and has created storytelling sensation Montgomery Flinch. ...more
Miss Bookiverse
Das Setting (viktorianisches London) stimmt und der vorliegende Fall hat es in sich. Überraschend, spannend, nur leider mit einer zu überdrehten Auflösung. All das könnte trotz des für ein Kinderbuch sehr nüchternen Schreibstils so schön sein, wäre da nicht Pappfigur Penelope. Nicht nur, dass der Autor mich gar nicht erst richtig an sie herangelassen hat (alle Figuren scheinen eher Mittel zum Zweck zu sein), sie kann mit ihren 13 Jahren auch einfach alles. Penny ist klug, gerissen, talentiert un ...more
Danielle
Short:
First completed read of 2012 and it's going to be hard to live up to it. This was incredible!

Review:
After inheriting a newspaper empire, thirteen year old Penelope Tredwell does what any inquisitive thirteen year old would do…she goes into the family business, incognito. Writing under the name Montgomery Flinch, no one in the greater London area has any idea that their recent reading obsession comes by way of Penelope herself. Her tales of terror and mystery have a larger audience than alm
...more
Kirsty (overflowing library)
Twelve minutes to midnight was an enjoyable read set in Victorian England with a lead character who I adored.

Penelope is an orphan living in Victorian London. She took over the running of the Penny Dreadful after the death of her father and is its main editor and contributor (under a pen name) and is fast becoming London's most popular author with her frightening tales. In order not to be found out she hires an actor to play her pen name and keep up appearances with an ever increasingly nosy pre
...more
Anne-Marie
Twelve Minutes to Midnight is the first in a series of books about Penelope Tredwell, thirteen year old proprietor and writer for The Penny Dreadful – a monthly periodical she’s made so successful since her father’s death that it’s now outselling The Strand.

In this tale, Penelope’s alter-ego Montgomery Flinch is requested to help a baffling mystery at Bethlem Royal Hospital – the notorious Bedlam. Fortunately for Penny, she has already hired actor Monty Maples to ‘play’ Montgomery Flinch, as she
...more
Ingrid Fasquelle
Oct 15, 2013 Ingrid Fasquelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Douze minutes avant minuit est une intrigue pleine de suspense et de rebondissements, qui revisite habilement les codes du roman gothique. Sur fond de récits prophétiques et de complot vénéneux, Christopher Edge entraîne le lecteur dans une aventure palpitante au cœur de Londres.

A seulement treize ans, la jeune Penelope Tredwell est déjà un écrivain et un rédacteur en chef accomplie. Elle dirige d'une main experte le magazine Le Frisson illustré dont elle a hérité à la mort de ses parents. Les h
...more
Katia
May 23, 2013 Katia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tout d’abord, je remercie les éditions Flammarion Jeunesse de leur confiance.

Si mon avis en cours de lecture était mitigé, je ressors de ce livre avec une grande satisfaction.
En effet au regard des premières pages, j’étais assez perplexe concernant deux protagonistes. Pénélope est une petite fille de treize ans, et l’auteur lui confère le statut de propriétaire d’un magazine. J’ai trouvé cet élément totalement incohérent, la littérature jeunesse ne justifie pas forcément de donner des rôles d’ad
...more
Mandi
Aug 08, 2015 Mandi rated it really liked it
Shelves: children, mystery
This is a great book for kids. As an adult, the majority of it was predictable, but still entertaining. I think most kids would be on the edge of their seats wondering what was going to happen next. In the spirit of full disclosure though, I have to admit that my 11 year old daughter didn't like it at all. However, she only read the first chapter, and admittedly doesn't like to read in general. (Imagine my horror! If she didn't look so much like me, I'd think she were switched at birth. :-P )
Karen
Mar 26, 2015 Karen rated it liked it
I had to suspend a lot of reality to get through this book. Yes, I know fiction is not real, but I still like my fiction to be tied to reality. This story floated off like an untethered hot-air balloon.

Having said that, I did like the main character, although could we mention her green eyes just one more time? She was likable; Monty was believable, but the ending was weak. I will probably read another book in this series just to see which way the writing goes.
Alison
May 30, 2012 Alison rated it really liked it
At the end of the 19th century, thirteen year old Penelope Tredwell has inherited the Penny Dreadful magazine, whose fortunes she has revived through her macabre Gothic stories, written under the name of Montgomery Flinch. Unfortunately she has been almost too successful; her public are longing for a glimpse of the author, so she hires a shambolic, unsuccessful actor to play him. After a public reading, she and "Flinch" are asked to visit Bedlam, where the strange behaviour of the patients has a ...more
Jacqui
Apr 25, 2014 Jacqui rated it really liked it
A spine-tingling mystery, atmospheric and macabre, cloaked in the muck of the seamy underside of life in Victorian England. Seedy pubs, grimy streets, creepy basements and a horror- movie madhouse are the unlikely places dauntless 13-year old Penelope tramps into in pursuit of the evil villain. Wicked smart, intrepid, and free from the ordinary constraints of childhood- she answers to no one - Penelope may be a bit unbelievable, but she steals the show.
Jen Traub
Aug 11, 2014 Jen Traub rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
A classic mystery story. Penelope is really a famous author, though she hides behind an actor so people take the stories seriously. When a real madness takes over Bedlam (a mental asylum), Penelope attempts to solve the real mystery.
This story definitely caught me at the library this week! There are some true historical threads, and some real people make an appearance (Freud, HG Wells). It was intriguing. The ending, however, was a tad unbelievable. Mixing mystery and the fantastic has mixed res
...more
Erin Fowler
Jan 10, 2016 Erin Fowler rated it it was ok
Penelope is a young author whose pen name is Montgomery Flinch. She writes mysterious factual stories for the Penny Dreadful and has a very large following though many of her fans believe her to be a adult male author. She is very much like a young Sherlock Holmes. She works diligently to solve a mystery involving an asylum where patients wake up and write visions of the future.
Although I enjoy this genre I admit this book did not hold my attention long. It is riddled with detail and back stor
...more
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How has the use of figures of speech benefited the plot of the novel? 1 1 Jan 15, 2016 02:55PM  
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