BOOK REVIEWS

13 Gifts (Willow Falls) Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-05-29 
Review Score: 5 out of 5 star From 210 user ratings
ISBN:0545310040
LANGUAGE:English

"When Tara Brennan is suspended from school for a foolish prank, her parents decide to send her to stay with her aunt and uncle in Willow Falls, the town where both of them grew up. Tara is rather socially inept, partly because the family has moved so often. While they travel to Madagascar for her mother's lemur project, Tara navigates the small town's social order, gaining confidence and making friends as she does. When Tara realizes that she has no money for a bar mitzvah present for David, one of her friends, she ends up making a deal with a mysterious elderly woman to collect 13 objects. As is often the case, Tara finds herself and gains confidence while she is in on this quest. Perhaps most important of all, she realizes that relying on others for help makes tasks easier. Although some parts of the story were too mystical, coincidental, and heavy-handed for my tastes, Tara's journey to self-acceptance seemed realistic. The story is deeper than the cover and the opening pages might indicate. As Tara turns 13, her life seems to have taken a turn for the better. " said.

"13 Gifts by Wendy Mass is a marvelous book in a series of three. 13 Gifts is about a girl turning 13 named Tara, who after stealing her school mascot gets sent away to spend the summer with her cousin in Willow Falls. The story all begins one day when she walks into an old store down one of the alleys in town. That store is a strange store with a suspicious old lady running it. Going in that store nearly ruined her birthday and in the book she gets caught up in the stress of saving it from being ruined by one mischievous old lady who runs the beat up store! This book made me laugh and was definitely a page turner! I never wanted to stop reading this book, every chapter made me want to read on. Wendy mass expressed the growth of the character Tara and how it felt to be her really well. This book was extremely good and I recommend it to everyone. I especially recommend it to people who like a lot of action, anticipation, and comedy! 13 Gifts is a perfect conclusion to the Willow Falls series and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did! " said.

"A fun read and a perfect story for teenagers. I have not read the pervious books in willow falls series. But after reading this have become more interested to read all the books in this series.

Tara Brennan, an introvert girl, in an attempt to get fit in with other kids her age, participates in a school prank. She tries to steal a stuffed goat from her school's principal office and get the principal pepper sprayed. She is suspended from the school for two weeks. As a punishment, Tara's mom Molly decides that Tara will not accompany with her parents to Madagascar. Instead she was exiled to Willow Falls to stay with her Aunt Bethany and cousin Emily during her summer vacations. First time she travels alone to Willow Falls via train. By the time she reaches Willow falls, she realizes that her money, mobile and iPod are missing from her back pack. Tara finds some new friends in Willow Falls but she needs money to hang out with her new friends. She decides to sell one of her uncle's expensive comics. She goes to Angelina D’Angelo's junk shop to sell the comic. But Angelina, comes to know that its stolen comic and in exchange of not telling about the theft to Tara's uncle and aunty, she gives Tara a random list of 13 objects to collect. Tara's new friends helps her find those objects.And in the whole process, Tara finds out the reason she is in Willow Falls and what she really wants in her life.
" said.

"SPOILERS! I Enjoyed 13 Gifts, but not as much as 11 Birthdays. Firstly, I don't think Wendy Mass can ever write anything in this series as good as 11 Birthdays. She wrote something then that is unable to be recreated. Finally and 13 Gifts are just follow-ups that are, I feel, somewhat copying her first book. But I did still enjoy all of them. My favorite part that happens throughout these books, is that you cannot read them in a random order because you find in Finally and 13 Gifts, Wendy Mass is relating to what happened between Amanda and Leo. "oh, something wired happened to them in 5th grade and now they swore that they cannot speak to eAch." I think that that is ingenious. I love hearing Bout the other characters from past books. Another thing that I love is how a random person connects back to someone In the main characters life. For example, in this book, a woman who has an object that Tara is looking for, knew her faster I high school. And it ends up being that the object that they get from this woman, connects back to her parents: how her father used a love potion on her mother so that she would love him. That was a sad part for all of us, I think, because we all realized (including Tara) that her parents might just be fake. I can't say anything else on this matter. Sorry, I'm not remembering what happens next and I'm on vacation, so I can't look in the book for it. Will change it ASAP. Hope you enjoyed it!" said.

" Having never read the other books in this series, I picked up 13 Gifts because I was looking for a good Tween recommendation. This was a cute story with very likeable characters. Although I felt it had a bit of a slow start, it was definitely a fun read once I got into it.
After participating in a school prank, Tara's parents decide not to take her along on their summer research trip to Madagascar. Instead, she is being sent to live with her aunt, uncle and cousin (who she barely knows) in Willow Falls. Introvert Tara is crushed to be away from her parents for the first time in her life - especially with her 13th birthday looming on the horizon (Friday the 13th, naturally). Her situation becomes even worse when her backpack is raided on the train ride and her money,cell phone and iPod are all stolen.
Once in Willow Falls, Tara meets some kids her own age. She realizes that she'll need some spending money to hang out with them and decides to sell one of her uncle's expensive comic books. However, she tries selling it to the wrong woman. Angelina owns the junk store in town that is shrouded in mystery. In exchange for not telling her uncle, Angelina gives Tara a list of 13 random objects that she wants her to find and get for her. Tara's new friends, some who have had run-ins with Angelina themselves, decide to help her with her task. However, no one, especially not Tara, expects what Angelina has in store for her next.
13 Gifts was a very cute story that was completely perfect for a Tween girl. I am definitely interested in checking out the previous books in this series.
" said.

"Wow... started off good, and then got better! After just finishing Finally it took me a while to accommodate myself to a few new characters and an altogether new storyline, but overall I really like that each book in this series focuses on a different character. Those from previous books are still around - and are impressively consistent with their former appearances - and it's interesting to see them from another perspective.

Each of the tween/young teen characters is quite different, but all are going through that arduous journey of growing up.

Tara is the star of this story, and the first half of the book helps us to get to know her. She likes to 'live on the sidelines', lacking the confidence and motivation to be part of the main game. She doesn't have many friends, partly because her parents need to move house every other year. The relationship between Tara and her parents (especially her mother) is ok, but not great.

When Tara is sent to Willow Falls for the summer as 'punishment' for attempting to steal a teacher's stuffed animal (it's a long story) her life is forever changed for the better.

As she has in all of the books, the mysterious Angelina appears once again to help sort out the 'life priorities' of a young teen, but again the lessons are not heavy handed and manage to be both deep and lots of fun. In fact, for the first half of the story I wondered where it was going, which only heightened the impact when everything came together at the end.

There's a little more young love implied in this story than in the previous ones - 13 is just that little bit older than 12 - but it is wisely kept at the very early 'friendship' stage.

Young readers will find plenty to gush about - movie stars who show themselves to be good friends, characters who love dancing and performing, the light-hearted dramas of teen friendships and more... but this is all wound through a highly worthwhile story about learning to notice the needs of others rather than being too self-centred, and making a positive difference in their lives.

I'm really looking forward to the next one - I wonder if it will be about Grace...?
" said.

" This book will help you understand the importance of true friendship and true love. People can't fall in love with purple potion. But they can with real love. Tara finds true friends and learn's her parent's didn't fall in love because of.....but true love. You also can't run from your problem they will eventually come up one point in time. " said.

" I really liked the first book in the Willow Falls series, the sequel, and now this one. When I first read what 13 Gifts was about I was like, "why would you steal a goat?!" Yeah, that doesn't make any sense to me but I still really like this series! Wendy Mass has done it again! " said.

June 2018 New Book:

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