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  • Writer's pictureNutty Bookworm


Book Info:

Twelfth by Janet Key

Genre: Middle Grade Mystery Historical

Publishing Date: May 17, 2022


Better Nate Than Ever meets The Parker Inheritance in this heartwarming mystery about finding your people and accepting others as they are. Twelve-year-old Maren is sure theater camp isn’t for her. Theater camp is for loud, confident, artsy people: people like her older sister, Hadley—the last person Maren wants to think about—and her cinema-obsessed, nonbinary bunkmate, Theo. But when a prank goes wrong, Maren gets drawn into the hunt for a diamond ring that, legend has it, is linked to the camp’s namesake, Charlotte “Charlie” Goodman, a promising director in Blacklist Era Hollywood. When Maren connects the clues to Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, she and her new friends are off searching through lighting booths, orchestra pits and costume storages, discovering the trail and dodging camp counselors. But they’re not the only ones searching for the ring, and with the growing threat of camp closing forever, they’re almost out of time.

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About the Author:

When Janet Key was twelve, she sang and danced onstage in the background of musicals, stayed up too late reading Shakespeare, and had a closet full of themed, handsewn vests.

This is her first novel.

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I requested Twelfth as it sounded quite an intriguing mystery but when I came to read it I found that the story was a bit of a mix bag and to be honest it could of been a whole lot better. Not a bad first novel.

Twelfth is trying to be a lot of things but only succeeds in the mystery part but only because the Charlotte Goodman chapters were short and snappy while Maren's were far too long which made me put the book down. Usually I eat up my Middle Grades but got frustrated at the length which could of been easily sorted by adding extra chapters. I get that Janet wanted to cover the subject of Mental Health she did a good job to an extent but I think she could be more successful if she did a separate story concentrating on Hadley and Maren's relationship. I also didn't think that Maren was a strong main character but Theo on the other hand really made the book and in my opinion saved the book. To me Sal and Graham were just there . As for the other characters I found Allegra was very annoying and again just another mean girl who really used words beyond her years like "power couple". As for the Baddie they were just so OTT and reminded me of a very bad pantomime character and did a disservice to the book.

I do believe if Janet kept to the Mystery side it would of been a very different story and for all these reasons Twelfth is getting 3 stars

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