Tuesday, January 4, 2011

MG Book Review: Finally by Wendy Mass

Reading level: Ages 9-12
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press; 1 edition (March 1, 2010)

Summary: You can pierce your ears when your twelve. You can go to the mall with your friends when you’re twelve. You can babysit little Timmy next door when you’re twelve. You can get a cell phone when you’re twelve. Hey, you can even ride in the front passenger seat when you’re twelve, when you’re twelve, when you’re twelve . . .

My name is Rory Swenson, and I’ve been waiting to turn twelve my whole life. In exactly 18 hours, 36 minutes, and 52 seconds, it will finally happen.

My life will officially begin.

My review: Rory’s been waiting all her life to turn 12. This number is so magical for her she's fantasied about blowing out the candles on her cake and FINALLY getting to do everything she’s been adding to her “12” list: getting a cell phone, going to boy-girl parties, drinking coffee, shaving her legs, staying home alone and much more. Rory has so many expectations and is hopeful everything will be as she hopes it will. But everything doesn’t end up as planned. Everything goes wrong and luckily for us, they happen in the funniest ways. Some of my favorite scenes dealt with make-up and leg shaving.

FINALLY was an enjoyable, fun read. It was filled with humor, believable characters, and it had a great story line. Having read this book a month before I turned twelve, everything was easy to relate to. Rory and her world were so realistic. Her middle school seemed just like mine, her overly protective parents reminded me of my friend’s parents, and even the way Rory acted was just like me, a pre-teen. And I liked the story being told in present tense since I felt everything was going on in real time. There were life lessons here and the important idea that we shouldn't rush into wanting to grow up. We should enjoy what we have when we have it.

I think Wendy Mass did a fantastic job on this book, I can’t wait to read more of her books. (:

Rating: ++++1/2

Favorite excerpt: (From page 8.)

“You won’t get what you want, Rory Swenson, until you see what you need.”

I smile up at her in an attempt to prove she’s not totally freaking me out. “I’ve got it covered,” I reply. “I have a list and everything. And it’s full of things I need.”

“Is that so?” she asks with a slight raise of one eyebrow."

Cover comment: I thought the cover was extremely cute. It’s a picture of Rory's fantasy of blowing out her candles on her 12th birthday.

Book source: I purchased this book at my school's book fair.


  1. I love Wendy Mass! I haven't read this one yet but I read 11 Birthdays and thought it was adorable. I'm glad to hear that you could relate to it... That just goes to show what a fabulous writer she is!

    1. i agree with you and this story finally relates to me because i can't wait to be 12 too

  2. I read 11 birthdays and im finally reading 12 finally.I'm on page 159 in finally!!!

  3. I can't wait till I read 13 gifts!!!

  4. Does anyone know what the index for this book is? i need it for a reading log. Thanks...

  5. i loooove this book can't wait to read 13 gifts and another book by wendy mass

  6. I adored 11 birthdays and 13 gifts. I'm sure this will not let me down

  7. i like this story