Tuesday, December 13, 2011
13 Gifts by Wendy Mass
After pulling a dumb prank to impress some kids at school Tara is suspended for the rest of the school year. Her parents have plans to travel to Madagascar so they send her to their hometown of Willow Falls to stay with her aunt, uncle and cousin. Although she generally avoids other people Tara soon finds herself with a group of friends and social engagements. Unfortunately, she has no money since all of hers was stolen on the train. In order to get some spending money Tara makes a deal with the mysterious Angelina who runs a collectables shop. Angelina gives Tara a list of 13 items to find in exchange for the money she needs as well as a promise not to tell anyone about something Tara has done. Tara sets to work trying to find the items with the help of her new friends but it seems that Angelina has made deals with many people in town, not just Tara. I enjoyed this book as I was reading it and was curious to find out what connected each of the items on the list as well as trying to figure out what was going on with some of the other people in town. But after finishing it I don't think I liked it nearly as much as I thought. It seems like the book is going everywhere at the same time. Some of the many, many things happening in the book include: the items themselves, the reason Angelina has had Tara collect the items, the thing Tara has done that opens her up to blackmail, her cousin's secret ability, her mother's reason for acting so strangely, the celebrity coming to town, David's bar mitzvah and his feelings about that, etc., etc., etc.