Thursday, March 4, 2010

Book Review: 11 Birthdays by Wendy Mass

*Review copy provided by publisher for Cybils*
11 Birthdays might sound like fun, but Amanda's about to find out, it's definitely not.  Amanda and Leo have shared birthday parties since they turned one, but after a fight during their tenth birthday, they haven't spoken in a year.  When that eleventh birthday rolls around, Amanda is not very excited about having this birthday party alone.  She just wants the day to end, but the day doesn't seem to want to.  By some strange twist of magic, she is stuck in a never-ending repeat of that dreadful day.

11 Birthdays

Things I Liked:
The book has a very fun idea (though it made me think of the movie Groundhog Day).  I love Leo and Amanda and the different adventures that happen each time the day repeats.  I also thought Mass was very smart in not having everything turn out perfect and easy.  Some things happened no matter what Amanda changed.  Also, the relationships Amanda has with her family and friends are interesting to watch develop and change.  A fun, if somewhat dull at times, book.  Loved this:

"What do you call it when every tomorrow is both tomorrow and today?  And every today is both today and yesterday?" p 77
Things I Didn't Like:
The magical elements seemed not very well explained.  The fantasy was just not that interesting.  I think the book does better if you ignore the somewhat fantastical details.  It also seemed to drag a little bit at times.  Even with some complexity, the ending was a little too neatly wrapped up. 

Style is very similar to Every Soul A Star also by Mass

Reminded me of Shug by Jenny Han

s-factor: none

mrg-factor: none

v-factor: none

Overall rating: ***

Do you ever find books are "ruined" by association with something else you've already seen or read?

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. I do find myself annoyed by books sometimes when they too closely resemble something else I've read or seen. I have to say that this one doesn't sound that appealing knowing that it's similar to Groundhogs Day.

  2. Yeah, it isn't nearly as adult as Groundhog's Day, but I just kept thinking about the movie when I read it.

  3. Ah, that's exactly why I've postponed reading this one! I really hate Groundhog Day and just don't know if I could like something similar in print. But my fifth grade girls gush about it and have read the sequel already, so I feel I should at least give it a shot.

  4. I didn't know there was a sequel...I probably won't be picking it up, though. I can see how fifth graders would love it!


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