Arminzerella's Reviews > 11 Birthdays

11 Birthdays by Wendy Mass
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** spoiler alert ** Amanda and Leo have been celebrating their birthdays together since they were born in the same hospital on the same day. But last year, at their 10th birthday party, Amanda overheard Leo tell some friends of his that he didn’t really like Amanda and didn’t want to celebrate their birthdays together, but that he felt sorry for her because she didn’t have a lot of friends. She was devastated and hasn’t spoken to Leo for an entire year. Now, it’s their 11th birthday, and they’re each having separate parties, and Amanda’s not looking forward to what’s turning out to be a popularity contest. Leo’s having all kinds of attractions, and Amanda’s Hollywood costume party just isn’t measuring up. Plus, she totally bombed gymnastics tryouts, and even her best friend would rather be at Leo’s. She goes to bed without opening any of her presents and when she wakes up…it’s her 11th birthday all over again. And the same thing the next day, and the day after that, until Amanda starts wondering if she’s ever going to see another day in her life. After she figures out what’s going on, Amanda begins to change her routine – see if anything she does has an effect on the outcome. And that’s when Leo realizes that he isn’t the only one stuck in a loop. He takes Amanda aside and finally gets a chance to apologize to her. Together they figure out who is behind and how to break the mysterious enchantment that was placed on their families almost 100 years ago.

Reminiscent of the movie Ground Hog Day, this short, fast, read will steal your heart. Amanda and Leo are genuinely likable, and it’s great to see them renew their friendship as they muddle through the same day over and over again with sometimes hysterical, sometimes disastrous results. It’s empowering to watch learn how to overcome their fears when they realize that with this sort of free do-over power, they can try anything without having to live with the consequences. Sweet story, fun read.
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