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Finally by Wendy Mass
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Finally

by Wendy Mass

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4793321,531 (3.99)3

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Rory Swenson has been keeping a list of things she'll be allowed to do once she turns twelve, and although she's sure her parents have forgotten a lot of the things they've promised over the years, she has the documentation to prove that they agreed to a variety of things.

Rory is a wonderful character and her big dreams may seem small to some, but when you’ve been waiting FOREVER for a cell phone, a pet, and to be left alone in the house (just to name a few of her wishes), they seem like the key to happiness. Rory plunges into achieving those dreams with reckless abandon that leaves her a bit batter, bruised, and hopped up on caffeine—all while being paid to be an extra in the teen movie being filmed at her school. Along the way, Rory helps others achieve their dreams too, and she does it with such subtlety that there’s a great lesson for readers within the pages of the book without feeling hit over the head with it.

Rory’s parents offer a fine balance between strict and understanding, and her three-year-old brother, Sawyer, offers some excellent comic moments through the course of the book.

Mass’s book reminds me a bit of Judy Blume’s offerings for this age group. Unfortunately there are hints of magical realism that fall flat—especially at the end—and that lowered the number of stars I give it to four.

Read this book to hang out with Rory and her friends. She’s an incredibly likable pre-teen and she handles the many misadventures that come with turning twelve like someone much older—but not in an unrealistic way. The book is completely suitable for its target age range and a refreshingly light read while remaining interesting.

My thanks to the publisher for a copy of the book in exchange for my unbiased review. ( )
  kalky | Aug 2, 2016 |
Very cute, funny. Not Mass's best. You might want to read [b:11 Birthdays|4835838|11 Birthdays|Wendy Mass|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1255792439s/4835838.jpg|4901046] first as it's set in the same school and those characters are friendly with the main chr. in this (and it's a better book imo). This needed a little more depth, a bit more intensity, I think. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
This review is also available on my blog, Read Till Dawn.

Hopefully you will have read my review of 11 Birthdays, the first book in the Willow Falls series, before reading this review. I am reviewing all four of the books in the series because I started rereading all of them when I was recovering from wrist surgery (side note: physical therapy is going well!). While I love the first book, I haven't actually purchased it yet. I don't really know why, but I've always just thought that if I wanted to read it I could get it from the library. I do, however, own this one. I bought it with a gift card almost 2 years ago, and have reread it countless times. It is arguably better than the first book, and was the book that truly cemented my love for the series.

The book follows Rory as she ticks off a birthday bucket list of sorts: she has been waiting her whole life to turn 12, which is when her parents will finally let her do "grown-up" things like drinking coffee and going to boy-girl parties and staying home alone. The first time I read this book, I had done practically nothing on Rory's list. Several years later, I have done most of the things on her list (still waiting for the coffee, though!). Rereading it now is like a step back in time to my first experiences with things like getting my ears pierced, babysitting, and getting contact lenses. Rory's experiences as a sheltered girl trying out grown up activities for the first time mirrors my life in more than one way, and out of all the characters I believe I share the most in common (both in life experiences and personality) with Rory. Though I have to say, my mishaps were never near the scale of hers.

You don't have to read these books in order. Well, at least you don't have to read the first two in order. The third one is much more enjoyable if you've read the first two, because the characters from the first two books are featured heavily in the third one. The fourth book is definitely much more meaningful and less confusing if you've read the other books 1st. But for the first two books, you can read them in either order. They are both built to be standalones, and are perfectly wonderful under their own power. I read them in order, but it wouldn't have mattered if I'd read Finally first. In fact, if the plot of the first book doesn't appeal to you, just read this one. They are very different books, but both are excellent reads.

Stay tuned for my review of 13 Gifts! ( )
  Jaina_Rose | Mar 1, 2016 |
Took me a while to get into. It was fun, but not as good as A Mango-Shaped Space and nowhere near as wonderful as Every Soul a Star.
  mirikayla | Feb 8, 2016 |
This is one of Wendy mass's books love recommend for kids 11 and10 I think fun for any one though ( )
  hannah7248 | Jan 21, 2015 |
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For Allison and Colleen and our 888 adventures!
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I'm a big wisher.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0545052432, Paperback)

Turning 12 isn't all it's cracked up to be!

Get a cell phone. Stay home alone. Go to the mall with best friend and No Parents. Wear makeup. Get contact lenses. Attend a boy-girl party. Rory Swenson has been waiting her whole life to turn twelve. And she's got a list to prove it. Whenever Rory asks her parents for something, they always say, "When you're twelve . . ." Well, in exactly, 18 hours, 36 minutes, and 52 seconds it will finally happen. Rory's life will officially begin!

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:38 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

After her twelfth birthday, Rory checks off a list of things she is finally allowed to do, but unexpected consequences interfere with her involvement in the movie being shot at her school, while a weird prediction starts to make sense.

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