12 to 22: POV You Wake Up In The Future. Jen Calonita. 2022. 256 pages. [Source: Review copy]
First sentence: "I don't know about you, but I'm feeling twenty-twooooooo!" It's a few minutes shy of seven a.m. and I'm belting out Taylor Swift at the top of my lungs. Don't worry. I'm not waking anyone in this house. We've all been up since five, when my little sister, Reese the Wrecker, climbed out of her crib and turned on the TV in my parents' room at full volume.
Premise/plot: Harper, our protagonist, is twelve and a half. Her family is BIG on celebrating half birthdays. So her half-birthday present (or one of them at least) is the permission to start posting on social media. She's been filming videos for months--but only for her family and friends to view. This will be her first chance to start uploading those videos onto social media platforms. The video she filmed that very morning was a video to Taylor Swift's 22. With permission granted, she uploads the videos. By the end of the day she's got hundreds of followers and even more likes. That night she's going to a super-exclusive, popular-and-trendy restaurant for a birthday party for a non-friend. (Yes, a NON friend.) Their moms are friends. Harper has invited her best, best friend, Ava, to the party as well. (Or maybe Celia's mom invited them both out of politeness knowing they are a packaged deal???) Ava knows that Celia and her copy-cat friends are ridiculously not worth it. But Harper, well, she wants to be just as awesomely popular as Celia. #lifegoals When Harper realizes that it was mostly a pity invite (a return for a favor essentially between the two moms), she has a complete and total meltdown...leading to her being a MESS on the bathroom floor. Which is where the novel really begins to get twisty....
She finds a birthday filter...and makes a wish...a wish to be a SOCIAL MEDIA STAR just as popular and big as Blake Riley (her current idol). And not just a star, but a 22 year old star. Because obviously, 22 year olds do not have any troubles or woes. They just have the most amazing lives every single day.
The next thing she knows...she's waking up...twenty-two. EVERYTHING about her life is unrecognizable. Her every wish has come true. She's famous, popular, rich, and FRIENDS WITH TAYLOR SWIFT (and other celebs). But she has NO MEMORY AT ALL of her life in those in between years. The technology has changed so much in those ten years. She barely knows how to do anything...it's a good thing her baby sister Reese (now 12) is there to help her out. (She just happens to be visiting the family. There was a reason. I just don't remember.)
Is being 22 everything she thought it would be??? Is she living her best life ever??? Does she like how her life has turned out???
My thoughts: I must have watched 13 Going on 30 a dozen times the year it first released. I ADORE that movie so much. I love just about everything. I loved in that movie that it started in the 80s and jumped forward to the present day, mid 2000's. Both times being familiar. That isn't quite the case with this one. The two time periods--presumably--are 2022 and 2032. (Or perhaps 2021 and 2031, I don't know how long it takes for books to go through the writing, editing, publishing phases.) So many of the essentials are the same. Perhaps the biggest difference being that it is more evenly balanced. 13 Going on 30 was clearly a rom-com. This one is more about all aspects of life. Plenty of DOG-LOVING thrown in as well.
I really enjoyed this one so much. I did. Obviously, it isn't realistic. Not just because of the wish-fulfilling fantasy elements....but because her instant success was definitely too much to believe. But even with all the unbelievable elements, this one just made me giddy.
© 2022 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews