Leane's Reviews > 11 Birthdays

11 Birthdays by Wendy Mass
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's review
Jun 22, 2010

did not like it
Read from June 22 to 24, 2010

This book was awful. I was really surprised because by reading the reviews and knowing that it was a Caudill nominee, I had the expectation that it would at least be entertaining. The story is simple enough. Amanda and Leo always share a birthday party since they were born on the same day. But when they have a fight that lasts a year, Amanda wakes up to find that her 11th birthday keeps repeating over and over. Eventually Amanda and Leo reconcile and all is right with the world.

My issues? First of all, Amanda's and Leo's birthdays are June 5th. Kids are usually nearing the end of school by then, but Amanda is still in the process of trying out for the gymnastics team. Not the typical cheerleader wannabe but still, isn't that a winter sport, at least at the high school level? Amanda is 11 years old and just entered middle school, so isn't gymnastics at this level a little odd?

Secondly, the impending sense of doom I felt by about page 70. Once we realize that Amanda is going to inevitably live the same day over and over again, we start to feel very hopeless. How is Amanda ever going to get out of this cycle? Why should we readers stick around to find out if it's ever going to end? To conclude, same day over and over again equals not very exciting.

Yet I will say that the plot becomes much more interesting when Amanda discovers that Leo is in the same predicament that she is. However the ending is lame. Trust me, when you think it's finally over, it's not, but the solution to the problem (something involving an apple seed?) comes out of nowhere and is pretty ridiculous.

I would not recommend this book for today's middle schoolers. They will be totally bored and uninspired. Maybe girls in 4th-5th grade.

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

From the reviews I have read here it sounds just awful so I appreciate your review.

Paigepossum I enjoyed the book back when it first came out and still enjoyed the story. I originally assumed the school was in Australia (I'm also australian so that sort of works) because we're still pretty in the swing of things.

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