Cover Image: 12 to 22

12 to 22

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Member Reviews

Thank you to #NetGalley, Jen Calonita, and the publisher for eARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 
Move over "13 Going on 30"! There's a new time traveler in town. Harper's half birthdays are always more special than her real birthdays (since it's close to Christmas). So turning 12 1/2 should make Harper feel excited especially since her parents allow her to get a Tik Tok account which she has been dying to have to post videos. When she posts her first video though, she stumbles across a filter that takes her forward 10 years and now she is 22 1/2. 
Harper is so excited at first because she has been dying to be in her 20's, but soon she learns it is not all it is cut out to be.
As she spends time in her 20's, Harper has learned she has made mistakes and is now set out to correct them. Will Harper be able to correct her mistakes and get back to being a normal 12 1/2 year old?

I loved this book and it definitely had 13 Going On 30 vibes. I hope this book shows young people the importance of enjoying being a kid and not being so quick to want to be an adult. Trust me, it's more fun to be a kid!
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I'm a huge fan of 13 going on 30 and when I heard about this book I was immediately excited! This was a really cute middle grade and it had the perfect vibes for someone who loves taylor swift and the movie!

Although it was a little weird reading about a more recent social media platform, I thought it was fun and definitely relevant! I especially loved the use of the tiktok filter to have her be transported into the future! Of course, my favorite part was the character growth. It was so great to see this little girl grow up (literally and figuratively) and realize how much the people around you can influence what you become.

The friendships and sibling relationships were wonderful to read and I think Jen always does a great job writing interesting sibling relationships, especially!
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First I would like to thank the author and the publisher for allowing me an advance copy of this book in exchange for my review.

I really wanted to like this book, and for the most part I could enjoy the silliness of the "wishing I was older and then I wake up older" trope, but I had a few issues with the book that made it hard for me to totally relax and enjoy the story.

First, the edition I read contained several errors.  I am thinking this may be due to the fact that this is an advanced reader copy, and hopefully errors such as words that appear to be missing from sentences, etc, will be smoothed out before publication.  However it did make the reading a bit clunky for me, and made me want to get out the red pen and make corrections, so that slowed me down a little.

Another issue I had with this book is more personal.  I was initally surprised and delighted to discover that a good portion of the book is set where I currently live, Haverhill, Massachusetts.   However, this eventually became a negative for me as it soon seemed that the author was not very familiar with Haverhill.  For example, the main character attending, "Haverhill MS," for grades 6, 7 and 8, when in fact Haverhill is a big enough city that we have 4 middle schools go from grades 5-8, and one is a school that is grades 1-8.  Not one of them is named something like, "Haverhill MS."  I didn't expect the author to use an actual name of a local middle school, but I have seen authors typically at least make up a school name instead of just naming it after the city.  Little details such as this distracted me as well.

I also began to wonder how well the book will age, considering all the Pop Culture refernces such as Taylor Swift and Tik Tok.  They are popular now, but things change so quickly - anyone remember My Space?  For example, in the 10 years from ages 12 to 22, in the story, cell phones have become something we wear in our ears, and no one can work an iPhone, but Tik Tok is still the rage?

Overall, the book was cute, it made me smile, and was a light, read that didn't take itself very seriously.  As long as I tried not to take it too seriously, it was enjoyable enough. I found that this was one of those books that sometimes you just had to not question too much and go along for the ride and that made it more enjoyable.  Overall, It was probably about 3 - 3.5 stars for me due to some of the clunkiness that I mentioned that distracted me from the silly fun and slowed the pacing down a little.
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Half birthday wishes hold a lot of power but Harper didn’t realize that they had enough power to turn her from 12 ½ to 22 in a blink of an eye.  When Harper’s parents finally allow her to post videos on Tik Tok she is so excited to finally show the world her easy affordable makeup tips and tricks.  Little did she expect her first video to get so much attention.  So, when she is invited to one of the coolest girls in school’s birthday parties, she is excited to attend.   Maybe her life is finally turning around.  12 ½ is going to be the best half year ever.   The night sadly doesn’t turn out as expected and Harper makes a wish on the birthday filter on Tik Tok to be 22 and carefree, only to wake up in a world where she is 22 and all her dreams seem to have come true.  Yet is being 22 really all that Harper thought it would be?

	This book is really a lovely modern twist on 13 going on 30.  Kids will easily be able to identify not only with the content in this book, but also all the references to modern technology and interests.  Jen Calonita always just does such a lovely job of bringing characters alive in her book and this one is no different.  I also really enjoyed the fact that Harper learns that while Taylor Swifts song 22 focus on some of the fun parts of being 22 that it also shows that it is not always as easy and breezy as some might think it is.   Overall, I really enjoyed this book.  I think that it will be a fun fall read and look forward to recommending it.

	Thank you to Random House Children’s and Netgalley for allowing me to read and advance copy.
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A thank you to #NetGalley and Random House Children’s Books for allowing me the opportunity to read a digital ARC of this middle grade novel. It will be published August 15, 2022. All opinions are my own.

Harper Lancaster is celebrating her 12 and a half birthday. She excited to discover that her gift is that she gets to start posting on social media, specifically TikTok, something she wasn’t supposed to get to do until she was 13. While at a party for the most popular girl in her grade, Harper discovers her mom got her the invite and rushes to the bathroom to hide. There she discovers a birthday filter on TikTok that she’s never seen it before. She opens the filter and makes her wish: to be 22, work for Blake Riley, and have great hair. She blows out the fake candle and when she opens her eyes, she’s in the future. She quickly discovers that growing up isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. She also realizes that she may have been focusing on the wrong things because now that she’s 22 and has her dreams, she doesn’t like the person she has become.

This is a modern day version of 13 Going on 30 which I loved as a kid. It has important themes about growing up, staying true to yourself, having true friends, and the effects of social media. The story line is solid. Harper’s dreams seem believable for a contemporary pre-teen/teen. That being said, I felt that there wasn’t enough uniqueness brought to the original story line which is why I gave it 3 stars instead of 4.
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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.
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Harper Lancaster just turned 12 and a half, but all she can think about is how much better life will be when she is 22. But what happens when she fast forwards to her 22nd and a half birthday? Find out in 12 to 22: POV You Wake Up in the Future. This modernized retelling of the early 2000’s rom-com classic 13 Going on 30, is centered around Tik-Tok and influencer culture, sending Harper into the future after she makes a wish on a Tik-Tok filter.

Harper can’t wait to turn 13, the age her parents have set for when she can start posting on social media, or better yet 22, when she will be an adult herself and have the freedom to do whatever she wants. But today, Harper is turning 12 and a half, all she can do is record her make-up tutorial videos in preparation for when she can finally post, and her parents won’t let her start a dog walking business with her best friend, yet they think she is responsible enough to take care of her baby sister, Reese. However, half birthdays are extra special in the Lancaster household, so maybe Harper will finally get everything she wants.

Harper is your typical middle schooler, extremely self centered and hyper focused on popularity. For me, it made the first half of the novel a bit of a challenge to get through, but middle school readers will find Harper relatable and compelling, rather than immature and whiny. When Harper fast forwards to her 22nd year she is still just a 12 year old in an adult body, so there are plenty of cringey moments, but during her time in the future Harper also experiences immense character growth that make it all worthwhile. When she finds her way back to her 12 year old life, the complete attitude 180 may feel a little too perfect, but I can’t say it isn’t a satisfying ending to this middle grade novel.

12 to 22: POV You Wake Up in the Future is a short and sweet novel, perfect for Tik-Tok obsessed middle graders. It’s a wonderful reminder to young teens not to grow up to fast. And, for my fellow 13 Going on 30 fans, while this could never live up to the original, it’s still a worthy read that will have you begging for a rewatch.
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This book is SO cute! A modern day retelling of 13-going-on-30, but instead it's a 12 year old who turns 22. Full of Taylor Swift and TikTok filters, this is such a cute YA book. My cousin is 12 and I can't wait to get this for her - I think she'll love it so much.

Harper's 12 birthday is the best one yet - her parents are finally allowing her to post on social media. But, when Harper tries a special birthday filter, all of a sudden she wakes up with her birthday wish come true - she's 22 and best friends with her favorite TikTok creator! What?! No Harper has to live in this new life....and face all the decision she made to get to this "perfect dream life"
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N.B. If you are an old person like me, before you read this book, watch the Taylor Swift 22 video. Decent song, really, with just a bit of a nasal, robotic, autotuned tone at some points that was hard to escape in the 2010s. The song figures largely in the book, so it's good to be familiar with it. 

Harper is a bit obsessed with TikTok videos by Blake Riley, and has even tried making some of her own, showing how to recreate music video looks with inexpensive makeup. Even though she's not allowed to post them on social media until she's 13 (her mother works for a local college on social media and is smart about this!), she enjoys doing them. Her best friend, Ava, indulges her, but really wants Harper to get permission to run a dogwalking business with her. Harper's parents won't let her babysit or have any jobs until she is 14. She's tried to show them that she is responsible, taking care of her own dog and helping with her two year old sister, Reese. For her 12 and 1/2 birthday (she was born around Thanksgiving, so her mother feels bad), her parents give her permission to post on social media. Right around this time, she also finds out that Celia, who used to be her friend and is now wildly popular, has invited both her and Ava to her birthday party at the exclusive and very fun Sugar Crazy restaurant. Harper's a little confused, but is feeling good because her video has gotten a lot of likes. When information comes up about the invitation that makes Harper feel awful, she makes a wish using a "Happy Birthday" filter on her phone... and wakes up the next morning to find she is 22! She's visiting home and very confused. Reese, who is now 12, picks up on this more than her parents do, and is soon planning on driving into the city with Harper to help her with her job. Harper is not only a famous social media influencer but works for Blake Riley's cosmetics company as a marketing expert even though she didn't go to college. She has her own apartment, and technology ten years in the future is kind of cook-- phones live in peoples' ears, cars drive themselves, and SkyMail will deliver packages to you by drone in fifteen minutes! The one odd thing is that Celia works with Harper, and the two have a shared TikTok account where they post; Harper thinks that the content is pretty shabby. There's a huge launch going on at a baseball stadium, and Harper is struggling to keep up with what she needs to do to help Blake get ready for it, with Reese's help. When she finds out that Celia is trying to sabotage Blake's success and that she herself instigated this attack, Harper has to find out what happened at Celia's long ago party to make things right. Will she be able to contact Ava, mend their friendship, and return to the past so she can live life differently?
Strengths: Last year, the 6th graders created locker biographies in language arts class, and I'd look at a few each morning. So many of my students want to be social media stars, even though I suspect they don't fully understand how much work that would be. Harper's trajectory makes sense, and seeing her magically travel ten years into the future is very fun. Brody's Addie Bell's Shortcut to Growing Up and Mlynowski's Gimme a Call both address this, and really, it's a trope I'd love to see more of! TikTok is one platform that I haven't had any desire to pursue, but I know my students are quite enthralled, so it's a perfect snapshot of 2022. Celia is an interesting character who just barely makes sense in Harper's life, which puts Harper's whole future in a very tenuous place. I liked the twists and turns this took when Harper met people from the past, and especially loved how she was able to navigate her life at 22 with the help of Alexa and her baby sister. What a great, light summer read!
Weaknesses: I never buy tween fame on the internet, but it's wish fulfillment at its finest. After 16 years of blogging, I have a hard time believing that Harper would get so many followers so quickly. 
What I really think: I'm a sucker for alternate future tales; can I travel back to 1979 right now and NOT major in Latin? Because I would in a heartbeat. Tween readers will be wild about all of the social media success that Harper has, and hopefully take away a little life lesson as well. Calonita's vision of life ten years in the future is really fun, and I hope to still have this book on the shelves in 2032 so students can see how reality compares! Definitely purchasing, since this author's 2007 Secrets of My Hollywood Life series still circulates!
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This story was too close to being a retelling of the movie 13 going on 30.  I enjoy that movie a lot, but, the book was hard to finish and just left me wanting to go watch the movie it reminded me of.  It is a fun idea, just one that needed a bit more originality.
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A-FREAKING-DORABLE. I think I smiled the whole time I was reading this book. A modern take on 13 Going On 30 for the TikTok generation, I related to our MC, Harper, in so many ways: wanting to be treated more like an adult, wanting to feel like I was special and part of the in crowd. While I didn’t have to deal with social media in middle school, the feelings and frustrations of that age were still prevalent. I do think it maybe could have been a bit longer to really get into Harper’s life at 22 and have more of a conflict of her winning back her friendships with Ava and Zach. It did feel like everything got resolved extremely quickly. And maybe digging into her relationship with her family and why it was a little strained. But I still really enjoyed it. This was just the sweet, lighthearted book I needed. Definitely a must for middle grade readers and fans of 13 Going On 30! Also forever: WWTD? (What Would Taylor Do?)

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Children’s for an advanced digital reader’s copy!
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13 going on 30 for Swifties! This was absolutely adorable but for sure for a younger audience. Either way I really did enjoy it.
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With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an early copy in return for an honest review.

A fun middle grade read that took me back to my days of watching 13 Going on 30 quite a few times! I can see tweens absolutely loving this book. I think this is also a book that can spark conversations with kids about social media use, the friends we choose, and our actions.
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“I don’t know about you…but I’m feeling 22!”

What a fun middle grade read! This book combines the movie 13 going on 30 with Taylor Swift music and adds a heap of Tik Tok and social media. Together? It all works into a story I would have no problems with my daughter reading when she is 12 going on 22 (reading ages is 9-12, so she won’t have to wait that long!) immediately followed by watching 13 Going On 30.

This time around we meet Harper - she’s just turned 12 1/2 and has been allowed to start posting on social media. Her first post goes viral and she is invited to a birthday party with the popular girls. Harper thinks things are looking up, only it’s not what it seems, she’s now fighting with her best friend and when she goes to hide she finds a new birthday filter. She wishes she was 22, just like her favorite beauty influencer.

Then she wakes up to find she is 22, and now works with that beauty influencer, but she is not the same girl she was at 12. We go along for the ride as Harper figures out who she wants to be and how to get there.

I adored this story, as it can show my daughter that 1) the choices you make when you are younger can influence who you become as you grow 2) it’s never to late to change and 3) the life behind the scenes of going viral isn’t what you think it is. She knows Tik Tok at 7 and pretends that she has gone viral. I’m not ready for her to step into that world, but will be armed with books like this when she does.

A huge thank you to @jencalonita for providing me with an advanced copy to read! 12 to 22 is out in August, but you can preorder it now!
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Thank you Random House Children's for my copy of 12 to 22! All thoughts are my own.

I don’t read a ton of middle grade but when I saw this book from Jen Calonita come through my inbox, I was ready to channel my inner tween again. I loved Jen’s series Secrets of my Hollywood Life when I was a teen so I couldn’t help the nostalgia. Jen writes contemporary teens really well and pays attention to what is relevant to the day. But the lessons in her books, allowing her main characters to make big mistakes in order to learn, are the real magic. 

This is a fun, quick read inspired by the movie 13 Going on 30 and I think would be a great buddy read for parents and teens. Social Media, while great, is also a really difficult space to navigate. 


“Turning 12 1/2 shouldn't be the most exciting birthday in the world. It's a half birthday after all. But Harper is thrilled because she is getting the biggest gift of all: her parent's approval to finally get social media accounts.

Except when she goes to post her first photo, there is a filter she has never heard of before. One that shows you what you will look like when you are older. Curious, Harper clicks on it...but ends up flash forwarding in time to when she is 22.

She will quickly find that being in her twenties means the freedom she always wanted, money for the glow up she didn't know she needed and working for her idol! But Harper soon discovers a lot more has changed than she expected--including the person she wants to be. Will Harper be able to use the filter to get the life of her dreams? Or will there be more glitches?” —

What I Liked: 

The Concept—I love 13 Going on 30 so I knew I wanted to read this book. I also know that if I was 12 or 13, I would have begged for this book. Between the cover and the content, I would have loved it. And I still enjoyed it as an adult, though it does make me even more nervous to parent in the future. 

The Lessons—When we’re young, we’re so ready to grow up. And while there are benefits to being independent, slowing down childhood is never a bad thing. Sometimes I wish I could go back and tell myself it’s okay to just be a kid and not try so hard to be someone you’re not. 

What Didn’t Work: 

Very Literal—I would have loved to see a little more imagination behind the social media usage. It’s a slippery slope when using pop culture references because it doesn’t always leave the story as timeless. However, today’s tweens will eat this story us and it will be so relevant to them!  

Character Authenticity: 4/5

Steam Rating: N/A (Middle Grade)

Overall Rating: 4/5
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This book would have been so much better without the constant Taylor swift songs mentioned in the book. I'm usually a big fan of Jen Calonita's books but this one wasn't as great as her other books.
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Essentially this book is just a YA version of 13 going on 30. Now I enjoyed this book and how it was set during the modern times we live in. However, I am 27 and 13 going on 30 was one of my favorite rom coms to watch growing up. So as a result of that this book was just a huge miss for me. I feel like this book would be good for the YA age group. But just not for me. Now I did not hate this book but I just wish it was different. I am a fan of Jen Calonita's writing and I have read her other books. I just think I was not the target age for this book.
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This was so cute! Such a fun, modern take on 13 Going on 20. I would have totally devoured this book at 13. The story is compelling and fun, and the message is even better. Highly recommend for all libraries.
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3.5 star rating
This is a story about a young girl who uses a til tok filter and discovers what life will be like when she is 22. Harper learns some excellent life lessons about priorities in life and how to treat those who are most important to you. While I appreciated the themes of this novel I also would be hesitant to recommend this to a younger middle grade student as it just encourages the use of social media in a world that needs less of it. 
Teens and those who are avid users of social media would love this book.
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Very cute retelling of 13 going on 30 with updated references and technology! I loved all the different relationships -- Harper and her family, Harper and her friends, even learning how to deal with queen bees in a middle school setting. There's a tiny bit of romance, but it's a minor plotline compared to the movie.
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