Cover Image: 12 to 22

12 to 22

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Member Reviews

Fun time-travel RomCom for middle schoolers!

***I recieved this book as an eBook from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Review also posted in Goodreads too***

Personal/Parent Thoughts- This is the book I didn't know I NEEDED to read! It reminded me so much of how I don't know what goes on in kids lives. I grew up as an only child, so I never experienced the responsibilities that are (usually) put on older siblings for helping care/supervise younger siblings. It is something that I don't want to forget as I raise my own child and contemplate expanding our family unit. This is EXACTLY WHY adults should still read middle-grade and YA books. There is such a stigma around reading non-adult books once you are deemed as an adult, and for no reason. Reading books with younger characters helps us connect to the current, younger generation, understanding their priorities and worries better. It also reminds us of our own experiences at that age. Sometimes, over time, we forget how we felt and how important we prioritized certain things in our younger lives. It is good to remember and reflect from time to time.
No content is explicit or inappropriate for the age. The most romance shown is a kiss.

Mind of a student- Very relatable. Love the social media element and futuristic tech possibilities. Always love a romcom that's sweet for middle-grade.

Teacher/Librarian Brain- No-brainer for middle grade library, class and school, collections. Nothing to "worry" about being inappropriate. Easily likable. Author already established and known by many upper elem and middle students. Not super lengthy or overly difficult.
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Jen Calonita remaking 13 going on 30? There was no way I wasn't going to read this and it met every single expectation!

12 to 22 is a super cute story of how being true to yourself is worth way more than likes on social media or being friends with the popular kids.

Jen Calonita makes this tween novel very current, heavily peppering her story with social media, influencers, trending restaurants and all the things that a 12 1/2 year old in 2022 cares about. The use of the tik tok filter transforming the MC Harper into the future is a great twist!

I also loved the imaginative future tech and how Harper has to lean on her baby sister to make her way in this weird new world.

Thankfully, even when she travelled through time, Harper didn't lose her moral compass. If I had a tween daughter I would definitely buy her this book.
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Such a fun book!  

12 to 22 is a modern-day take of 13 Going on 30.  The characters are very relatable for today's teens & tweens - social media is queen, the fight for more freedoms, siblings doing their part to make life good or many fun twists make this book engaging. 

Yes, I am an adult, and I enjoyed it. Yes, I teach high school, but I will still recommend this to my students as I know they will be able to relate to the crazy capers that Harper gets involved with (when 12 AND at 22).
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Thank you NetGalley for this eARC!

Jen Calonita wrote an incredibly sweet book in 12 to 22. It's an updated take on 13 going on 30 in which the MC (Harper) wakes up as her 22 year old self after making a half-birthday wish on TikTok. All of Harper's dreams have come true... but she finds herself not liking what she has become. Can she clean up the mess she's made of her 22 yo life AND get back to being 12 and a half?

As a middle school teacher, I really think this book will resonate with a lot of tween/young teen girls. She really captures the struggle of growing responsibility without actually being fully in charge of one's choices. There are a lot of great lessons as well- not just popularity isn't everything, but Harper also had to learn that facing challenges is better than avoiding them. 

Of course, the amount of love shown towards one Taylor Alison Swift is perfection.
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I would love to interview Jen for Pop-culturalist or do a live with Jen on my podcast Raise Your Words. This is a fun retelling of 13 going on 30 with a modern day twist to it!!
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Everyone is already saying it but I will too: 12 to 22 is 13 Going on 30 for a new generation. 

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. 

I think it could have been longer. I enjoyed the work dilemma Harper found herself in but felt it was resolved a little too quickly. There were also a few cliched elements that might have been necessary but not very original: the ex best friend, the popular girl being the mean girl, the guy friend crush, etc.

This was a very cute read and can see many young girls at my library picking this up, if only for the bubbly cover.
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First of all, I want to thank Jen Calonita for sending out postcards of ‘12 to 22’ to check out before it’s released. I read it all in one day! 

I loved the modern take on ‘13 Going on 30’. As a Swiftie myself, I love all of the Taylor Swift references. The message throughout the book hit home for me about Harper learning to speak up for herself & doing what’s right! No spoilers from me, but I did get teary eyed at the end. Overall a great book & highly recommended!
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My review:

Warning: this might be a lot about Jen Calonita ----- Onto the review:
	So many things to discuss. Firstly a big thank you to Delecorate Press and Jen Calonita sending me the postcard with the link to get a digital Advanced Readers Copy on Netgalley (if you are a publisher reach out to me). I was so excited when I got the postcard and read the book attatched in literally two days! TWO DAYS! It was so fantastic. 

	The cover. Can I just say WOW. When I first saw this, I thought it was an actual TikTok. That’s how good the cover designer is, and I thought it was super genius. 

	I always love a book that is in the First Person Point of View. It really gives you a feel for the main character, and in this case it was Harper. I know it is much harder for a writer to describe how the person is feeling in first person narrative rather than third person. I say this because the writer has to be extremely empathetic, or feeling the same emotions as the character they are writing about. Jen Calonita does a wonderful job of transporting you into the characters mind (Harper). 

	Jen always finds a way to stay up to date with the times, and a quote she gave me was “I try   to keep it current” which shows in this book. She has celebrities in this book that just rose to fame in the past year. For example Billie Eilish, Harry Styles, Olivia Rodrigo, etc. Keeping things current keeps readers interested. 

	This is one of those stories that will make you feel good. Even when someone does something wrong, and they know what they are doing is, they always try to make it right. The characters always have a moral compass that points north, which makes you feel good.

	There were also little easter eggs in this book that only true Jen Calonita fans will recognize. Can you find them?
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Same basic story as 13 going on 30 but with its own personality. I liked this variation. It is updated and relative to life now. I think kids will really enjoy it.
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I absolutely adored the references towards actual social media, and ones that us kids really use. TikTok, Instagram, YOUTUBE!! Many authors use some fake name like VideoTube, and it's kind of weird, lol. 

The amount of relatability and AMAZING!! Harper is just like me, and I'm glad. I also wasn't allowed to post onto social media until I was around 12, and when I finally did. It's something that kids can relate to. 

The filter idea is actually an amazing concept, and really creative. She uses a filter, and it makes her older, just like she'd wanted! The book actually reminds me of the movie Little, but in reverse. 

Overall, I love it! The writing style reminds me of my own, and the character does as well. Five stars!!
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Jen Calonita with a "13 Going on 30" retelling? Yes, please!! Calonita is an auto-request/buy author for me so this book was a no-brainer as far as me wanting it goes. But on top of that, it was a retelling of a fantastic movie! How could I say no?! 

I loved the modern take she took on this beloved movie. She took a popular social media app, TikTok, and wrote a great story with it! Also, she worked Taylor Swift into every possible moment throughout the book (which I loved). I admire her ability to see the current trends in middle graders/teens lives and turn them into awesome books.

I really liked the main character, Harper, who had a hard time speaking up, wanted so desperately to be popular, and was nervous to mess up her friendship with her best friend by having a crush on him. She felt relatable as she went through the struggles of being twelve and wanting so badly to have the freedoms of an adult. We see a lot of growth from her as the book progresses as I love the girl we're left with at the end.

Also, I really loved Reese, Harper's younger sister. I won't say too much about her since it can get spoilery, but just know, I wanna be Reese when I grow up!

I did feel like something was missing at the end. I can't pinpoint exactly what it was, but I was left missing something.

Overall, though, I really enjoyed this book! I devoured it in one night and regret nothing. It was fun, modern, and taught a great life lesson about what's important in life. It has similar vibes to THE RETAKE so if you liked that one, you'll also enjoy this book!
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