Reviews for Finally

Booklist Reviews 2010 February #1
Rory has a list of things she longs to do when she turns 12: stay home alone, shave her legs, babysit, wear makeup, drink coffee . . . So overprotected that she has never ridden in the front seat of a car, Rory can't wait for her birthday. But those long-anticipated experiences bring some disconcerting surprises. In this sequel to 11 Birthdays (2009), Amanda and Leo play minor roles and wise woman Angelina works her magic again. Rory's lively first-person narrative clearly expresses her emotions as she seesaws between longing and fear, confidence and insecurity. The jacket photo will attract tween readers. Copyright 2010 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2010 Fall
Having lived a sheltered life, Rory can't wait to turn twelve when she can do things like wear makeup, get a cell phone, and stay home alone. However, when the big day arrives, she realizes that getting older may not be all she thought it would be. Tweens will relate to Rory's insecurities as she faces a new year of challenges. Copyright 2010 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2010 February #2
Rory Swenson just cannot wait to be 12, that magical age at which her parents will lighten up and allow her some independence. She's been promised that she can get her own cell phone, get contact lenses and attend a boy-girl party, among other things. Just as the long-awaited birthday arrives, Rory and her friend are selected to be extras in a movie being filmed at their school. As Rory begins to tick off items from her list, catastrophes begin. She learns that she is highly allergic to both gold and plant-based make-up, and she mangles her legs when she tries shaving. None of this makes her look good on camera. Rory's amusing disasters foreshadow the lessons she learns at her first boy-girl party, from which she escapes rather than participate in a kissing game: Growing up doesn't have to happen all at once, and it isn't always all it's cracked up to be. A couple of clunky plot points notwithstanding, Mass provides a pretty entertaining and solidly worthwhile read. (Fiction. 8-12) Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2010 February #1

Mass revisits Willow Falls (the setting of 11 Birthdays) for this entertaining treatment of the weeks following Rory Swenson's eagerly anticipated 12th birthday. Upon turning 12, Rory begins working through a list of fervent wishes she's been compiling since she was seven: owning a cellphone, going to the mall without parents, and getting her ears pierced, to name a few. Each wish's fulfillment, however, is predictably accompanied by a minor disaster (an allergic reaction to a gold stud, an unusually aggressive pet bunny). The plot is bolstered by the filming of a movie at Rory's school, starring the "coolest, hottest fourteen-year-old boy in this or any other universe," with students playing extras. Angelina, the wizened, ageless seer of 11 Birthdays, appears to Rory early on with a prophetic warning, "You won't get what you want... until you see what you need," but Rory's wishes are trivial enough to make the final scene of self-discovery fall flat. Though long on page count, the book feels slight, but Rory's chatty, friendly voice and relentless optimism in the face of her many mishaps are heartwarming. Ages 8-12. (Mar.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2010 July

Gr 4-7--Rory Swenson just can't catch a break. She's been waiting for what seems like forever for her 12th birthday. According to her parents' rules, that is the magical age when she'll finally be able to partake in many formerly forbidden activities such as wearing contact lenses, getting a pet, owning a cell phone, piercing her ears, and staying home alone. Now that the day has finally come, she finds that growing up isn't as satisfying as she imagined. She's completely unprepared for the minor disasters that result: her new pet bunny seems homicidal; staying home alone is scarier than she thought; and her attempt at having her ears pierced reveals an allergy to gold. The only silver lining is her growing friendship with movie-star Jake Harrison, who is filming at her school. There's a nice twist at the end, when the many good deeds Rory has done without thinking of herself pay off, and she realizes that her misfortunes are minor. This novel pairs well with Mass's 11 Birthdays (Scholastic, 2009), but it stands on its own. Children will relate to this warm, funny story of a heroine who can't wait to grow up.--Madigan McGillicuddy, Los Angeles Public Library

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