Cover Image: 12 to 22

12 to 22

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

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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A remake of 13 going on 30 for the modern age and set to my specific age? Absolutely and immediately. I love the fact that actually social media was used. The cover also pulled me in immediately so Kudos there. 

Jen Calonita is the perfect person to write a quick fun read. Harper is just like me. Absolutely relatable and fun. And she was annoying but like the kind of annoying you expect from a 12-year-old in a 22-year-old’s body. 

By writing this story in the first person, it really makes the reader feel like they are Harper. It's great. I am worried a bit about how this book will age considering just how in the times it is with its almost non-stop references but for a look at our current times. And yes Harper 22 is not as cool as it looks, yes I’m feeling 22 but yeah I really know “nothing at 22” word to Taylor. 

I kinda wish this story was longer but it feels ripe for a Netflix adaptation!
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This was such a cute remake of 13 going on 30. I loved the way the author brought 13 going on 30 to present day with TikTok and the rise of social media influencers. Harper is 12 and a half and wants to be 22 like Taylor Swift in her song 22. When she uses a birthday TikTok filter, she is suddenly 22 and is a famous social media influencer. She learns that there is a cost to her newly discovered fame, and must right some wrongs before she figures out how to return to her life at 12 years old. Overall, I really enjoyed this book, and I could see middle-grade readers really loving it!
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Well this is the first book in a while that I read in one day & it was simply charming. I’m a huge fan of 13 Going On 30 and this definitely gave off a lot of those vibes but more modern. Harper is 12 1/2 and all she wants to be is 22, famous and happy. When she makes a wish while using a Tik Tok filter, she wakes up 22 but realizes fairly quickly that getting everything she “wants” isn’t all its cracked up to be. This one was adorable & I loved Harper’s sweet relationship with her sister throughout the book. If you’re a fan of 13 Going On 30 or just like seeing the “what if’s” of life come true, pick this one up!
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I cannot wait to add this to my classroom library! I think my students will really enjoy reading it. Considering using it for a book club next year, too. A great read!
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Adorable “what would happen if“ story. Very quick read with fun characters and a compelling plot that makes the reader reevaluate what’s really important in life and who you want to be.
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Harper Lancaster wants to be part of the exclusive "Cambridge Street Girls", finally download Tiktok, start a dog walking business with her best friend, and be just like her idol, Blake Riley, a famous Tik Tok star. When she gets invited to the party of the exclusive girls, her first reactions are joy and excitement that she has finally become more popular, and her viral Tiktok caught their notice. When she hears something that upsets her at their party, escaping to the bathroom and putting on a fun Taylor Swift filter seems like it's the only option. But, the 22-themed filter transports her to the world where she left her friends to become an influencer, and maybe lost sight of some things along the way. 

3.5/5 is what my final rating on this book would be. Normally, I'm definitely more apt to love a book, but I think I may have set my expectations too high. I know the Tiktok craze is for real, and influencing and beauty are becoming a big part of today's social world, but some of this book felt like the world faded away and it was simply revolved around the app. Additionally, I had loved Jen Calonita series about Hollywood life so much that I suppose I slightly underestimated how different this would be. However, it was an amusing book that certainly made me laugh and smile, and seeing Harper learn important lessons along the way.
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I absolutely love this story. It transported me back to middle school and perfectly encapsulated the daily dramas of trying to fit in and stress, as well as wishes for the future. The Taylor Swift references are a bonus.
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Harper is 12 (and a half) but just wants to be 22, as inspired by the Taylor Swift song. She, like all of us as kids, figures being older will make her childish problems go away and that she will obtain the true freedom she so desperately wants. After a weird power outage in a bathroom, Harper’s wish comes true and she finds herself to be a very famous 22-year-old influencer.

The ten-year age difference between Harper and her younger sister was a perfect storytelling decision, since toddler Reese turns into the new 12-year-old character while Harper is 22. This is a middle grade novel after all, and I was the most curious how Calonita was going to make this accessible and interesting for the intended audience. Of course we all wanted to “read up” as young readers, but reading about an adult character (even though she’s still 12 in her mind) can’t actually feel overly mature. This book balances that well.
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this book was so cute and precious!!! i really enjoy romances at the moment and this sweet one did not disappoint! Thank you so much netgalley! this was splendid!!!
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Thank you NetGalley for the ARC to read and review! 

What a cute book! Definitely 13 going on 30 inspired with more modern updates. Harper is 12, but she wants to be 22 - thanks to Taylor Swift and her song. She can be free, do whatever she wants, and post all the time on social media. But when a half birthday wish gone wrong happens and she wakes up 22, things aren't exactly how she thought they would be. 
I was able to get through this book in less than a day and I enjoyed it. There were a few parts that were awkward, but for a twelve year old main this made sense. I would recommend for a cute, fast read.
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Anything Jen Calonita writes is gold and this book is no different! I know young readers are going to love this story! I feel like most kids are going to be able to relate so closely to the main character.  Thank you so much for the opportunity to read and review!
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Thank you so much to the author, Delacorte Press, and NetGalley for the complimentary ARC!
This review contains my honest and unbiased thoughts and opinions. 🌸

Such a super cute and fun read!

I absolutely adore the movie "13 Going On 30" so when I saw this book and it being compared to 13 Going On 30, I just had to read it! 

As many others will mention, 12 to 22 is 13 Going On 30 for the new generation! The author definitely keeps the book current with social media, Tik Tok and several popular singers. 

The MC (Harper) struggles with being "too young" due to her parents rules of waiting until she's a certain age before she's allowed to do things. Harper thinks that being 22 is the answer to everything, no more rules, no more anything, just living it up and having fun just like her favorite singer does in a music video. Which is honestly how so many kids see things, they see their favorite stars or influencers "living the life" in movies, on social media, etc and believe that's how life is. 

As a half-birthday surprise, Harper's parents decide she's responsible enough to post on Tik Tok! And this is when the story really begins! A birthday wish via Tik Tok suddenly has Harper waking up 22!! 

Is 22 all Harper dreamed it would be? Is it careful, having fun, just living life? 
Needless to say, Harper realizes that 22 isn't quite what she pictured and she's not all that happy with who she is at this age, in this life. Now she just needs to clean up the mess she calls life at 22 and somehow get back to living life at 12! 

I enjoyed this book and loved how the author kept it current, kept the topics and characters real and relatable. Definitely a book I'll add to my daughter's bookshelf!
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This was a super fun homage to 13 Going on 30! A tween girl finds out it is like to be 22 when she jumps in time with the help of a mysterious TikTok filter. 12 to 22 is a quick, easy read that is perfect for tweens.

A thank you to Delacorte Press and NetGalley in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.
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This was a fun read. There have been many books and movies about going into the future but this is the first one I have read that is a teen book. 
The story engaged me, and it was interesting to see how the author sees the future..
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