Book Review: 12 to 22

Posted November 25, 2022 by geograph in contemporary, middle grade, review, science fiction / 0 Comments

Book Review: 12 to 22The Retake by Jen Calonita
Published by Random House Children's Books on February 1, 2022
Genres: Juvenile Fiction / Science Fiction / Time Travel, Juvenile Fiction / Social Themes / Adolescence & Coming of Age, Juvenile Fiction / Social Themes / Friendship
Pages: 272
Format: ARC, eBook
Source: Netgalley

"A book about a time-traveling app? I'm in! Jen Calonita strikes again with a coming-of-age middle grade full of wit and a little bit of magic. "-
Sarah Mlynowski,New York Times bestselling author of the Whatever After and Upside Down Magic series

"A brilliant friendship story that champions kindness, resilience and the courage to challenge long held expectations - both of others and of yourself."--Lauren Myracle,co-author of the New York Times best-selling Upside-Down Magic series

You can retake your photos...but what if could redo moments in your life too? With one magical app, Zoe is able to do just that! A smart and funny twist on time travel from New York Times bestselling author Jen Calonita, for fans for Disney's Zapped and The Swap.

Zoe knows that the only thing harder than middle school is losing a best friend. She and Laura used to do everything together from taking silly selfies, to joining all the same clubs together and even throwing surprise birthday parties for one another.

But lately things have been weird between them. Now Laura will post a photo of her hanging out with other girls before responding to Zoe's simple text. She doesn't even want to sit with her at lunch anymore. Zoe is heartbroken--all she wants is for things to go back to normal.

But then a magical app downloads on her phone...and things get even weirder! Suddenly Zoe can travel back in time to moments where her and Laura started drifting apart. It is like a dream come true. A chance for Zoe to mend their friendship.

But as Zoe goes back to moments of middle school drama--sleepover games gone wrong, field trips with cliques and crushes, and school projects that bring on more-than-awkward encounters--she realizes that second chances don't always go as planned and that sometimes you need to trust the magic of new beginnings.

The Retake is a picture-perfect look at tween friendship, that also explores more serious themes of social media pressure, bullying and what it means to be yourself.

"Jen Calonita puts a magical spin on all-to-real middle school drama. Warm, witty and wise,The Retakeis for anyone who has broken up with a best friend and wished they could go back to the way it used to be."-Megan McCaferty, author ofTrue to Your Selfieand Jessica Darling's It List series

"As addictive as your favorite app, you won't be able to put it down." - StacyMcAnulty,theauthor ofTheMiscalculations of Lightning Girl

Love this book about social media and the effects it has on middle graders; both the bad sides and the good sides! I found this a charming, quick read; it involves some wish fulfillment for middle-graders and also how sometimes that wish fulfillment isn’t all you thought it would be. Also, major plot hole: kids aren’t allowed to post on social media until they are 13 due to COPPA laws, so basically everyone in this book is breaking a Big Law. Nevertheless, it’s cute and fun; I’d recommend it for your middle-grade library. Four stars.

Goodreads link. Storygraph link. Booksweet link.


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