Best friends Calista Snipe and Skyler McCray have finally made it to junior high school. Now in seventh grade, these thirteen-year-olds, along with their other close friend Tabitha Tyler, are ready to face a whole new set of challenges — new friends, adventures in after-school sports, challenging class projects, and dances are all interesting experiences. And, to top it all off, the kids are all dealing with their developing sexuality at the same time. But life isn’t all sunshine for the teens. There are threats to deal with too: a burgeoning drug trade, parties where kids feel pressure to do sexual things, and even the looming figure of the local crime lord.
Finally Thirteen is the third novel in Richard Read’s series starring Cali and Sky. These two have been through a lot together, including a kidnapping that is mentioned several times in this novel (although it’s not necessary to have actually read the previous book in order to understand this one). This story is quite character-driven, and while it’s easy to keep the major players straight, some readers might find themselves struggling to remember which is which in some chapters, such as the dances and the infamous party toward the end. In addition, many chapters are told extensively through dialogue, and some readers might want to see more action and less talking. The overall plot is generally enjoyable, though; young readers will be interested to see how Cali, Sky, Tab, Talia, and their other friends navigate the new realities of their everyday life, especially if those readers find themselves struggling in similar scenarios. They might groan a little at some of the scenes featuring the teens’ parents, while they worry over the scenes featuring the crime boss and his henchmen. After all of the excitement at the end of the novel, it will be fascinating to see where Read takes his teenage protagonists next.
|Page Count||534 pages|
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