4.5 729
by Wendy Mass

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Turning 12 isn't all it's cracked up to be! Get a cell phone. Stay home alone. Go to the mall with best friend and No Parents. Wear makeup. Get contact lenses. Attend a boy-girl party. Rory Swenson has been waiting her whole life to turn twelve. And she's got a list to prove it. Whenever Rory asks her parents for something, they always say, "When you're twelve . . ."…  See more details below


Turning 12 isn't all it's cracked up to be! Get a cell phone. Stay home alone. Go to the mall with best friend and No Parents. Wear makeup. Get contact lenses. Attend a boy-girl party. Rory Swenson has been waiting her whole life to turn twelve. And she's got a list to prove it. Whenever Rory asks her parents for something, they always say, "When you're twelve . . ." Well, in exactly, 18 hours, 36 minutes, and 52 seconds it will finally happen. Rory's life will officially begin!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Mass revisits Willow Falls (the setting of 11 Birthdays) for this entertaining treatment of the weeks following Rory Swenson's eagerly anticipated 12th birthday. Upon turning 12, Rory begins working through a list of fervent wishes she's been compiling since she was seven: owning a cellphone, going to the mall without parents, and getting her ears pierced, to name a few. Each wish's fulfillment, however, is predictably accompanied by a minor disaster (an allergic reaction to a gold stud, an unusually aggressive pet bunny). The plot is bolstered by the filming of a movie at Rory's school, starring the “coolest, hottest fourteen-year-old boy in this or any other universe,” with students playing extras. Angelina, the wizened, ageless seer of 11 Birthdays, appears to Rory early on with a prophetic warning, “You won't get what you want... until you see what you need,” but Rory's wishes are trivial enough to make the final scene of self-discovery fall flat. Though long on page count, the book feels slight, but Rory's chatty, friendly voice and relentless optimism in the face of her many mishaps are heartwarming. Ages 8–12. (Mar.)
Kirkus Reviews
Rory Swenson just cannot wait to be 12, that magical age at which her parents will lighten up and allow her some independence. She's been promised that she can get her own cell phone, get contact lenses and attend a boy-girl party, among other things. Just as the long-awaited birthday arrives, Rory and her friend are selected to be extras in a movie being filmed at their school. As Rory begins to tick off items from her list, catastrophes begin. She learns that she is highly allergic to both gold and plant-based make-up, and she mangles her legs when she tries shaving. None of this makes her look good on camera. Rory's amusing disasters foreshadow the lessons she learns at her first boy-girl party, from which she escapes rather than participate in a kissing game: Growing up doesn't have to happen all at once, and it isn't always all it's cracked up to be. A couple of clunky plot points notwithstanding, Mass provides a pretty entertaining and solidly worthwhile read. (Fiction. 8-12)

Rory Swenson has been waiting her entire life to be twelve. Of course, when she reaches that magical age, she discovers that all its intensely imagined coolness and independence is intertwined with complications that she hadn't anticipated. This novel by Wendy Mass (11 Birthdays; Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life) burns as brightly as the very best birthday cake a young girl could ever receive. Now in paperback.

From the Publisher

“Finally is a treat–a delicious story about fitting in, falling down, and growing up. Wendy Mass has done it again!”–Rebecca Stead, author of When You Reach Me

A Washington Post KidsPost Summer Book Club selection

“Author Wendy Mass captures the frustration of pre-teens as they reach the magical time that allows them to begin experiencing tidbits from the grown-up world. Finally will have readers laughing, nodding in agreement, and sighing in sympathy as they follow Rory's tale of reaching 12.”–

“Children will relate to this warm, funny story of a heroine who can't wait to grow up.”–School Library Journal

“Rory's lively first-person narrative clearly expresses her emotions as she seesaws between longing and fear, confidence and insecurity. The jacket photo will attract tween readers.”–Booklist

“Rory's chatty, friendly voice and relentless optimism in the face of her many mishaps are heartwarming.”–Publishers Weekly

“A funny story that will appeal particularly to girls who are just learning what it means to begin growing up.”–Rave Reviews Log, blog review

“I was either smiling, chuckling, or outright laughing all through this book.”–Everead, blog review

“Finally is a fast-paced, hilarious novel…Mass captures an authentic 12-year-old here that never once feels forced, too old, or too young.”–Stacked, blog review

Chantelle Pritchett
Finally introduces Rory, a spunky and clumsy preteen who finds herself in awkward social situations. Rory's story is sparked when she finally turns twelve, and can do all the things her parents promised that she could do at that age. On B-Day, Rory finally gets to work on her goals. Get her own house key. Check Shave her legs. Check Get a cell phone, wear makeup, and get a pet. Check, Check, and Check. If only accomplishing her list was so easy! Along the way, Rory gets into some scary situations and always seems to land in a less than graceful manner. Rory's family and friends keep her laughing and teach her that turning twelve means more than just checkmarks on a page. Mass's writing style is witty; she gets into the mind of a twelve-year-old girl spinning a humorous story that makes readers laugh out loud. Reviewer: Chantelle Pritchett
Children's Literature - Sue Poduska
The author's charm shines through again in this sequel to the popular 11 Birthdays. Amanda and Leo appear as a teaser, but the reader is left wondering what happened to them in the previous book. This time, nearly-invisible Rory is turning twelve, and she wants to make the most of her newly advanced age. For as long as she remembers, her parents have told that her she has to wait until she's twelve to do certain things: stay home alone, get her ears pierced, get a cell phone, go to a girl-boy party, babysit, and more. In anticipation of her birthday, Rory makes a list of these items and informs her parents that she's ready to try them. Disaster strikes with each item Rory crosses off the list, but she learns a lot about being a responsible person and makes many new friends along the way. The journey is an amusing, fast-paced good read. Reviewer: Sue Poduska
School Library Journal
Gr 4–7—Rory Swenson just can't catch a break. She's been waiting for what seems like forever for her 12th birthday. According to her parents' rules, that is the magical age when she'll finally be able to partake in many formerly forbidden activities such as wearing contact lenses, getting a pet, owning a cell phone, piercing her ears, and staying home alone. Now that the day has finally come, she finds that growing up isn't as satisfying as she imagined. She's completely unprepared for the minor disasters that result: her new pet bunny seems homicidal; staying home alone is scarier than she thought; and her attempt at having her ears pierced reveals an allergy to gold. The only silver lining is her growing friendship with movie-star Jake Harrison, who is filming at her school. There's a nice twist at the end, when the many good deeds Rory has done without thinking of herself pay off, and she realizes that her misfortunes are minor. This novel pairs well with Mass's 11 Birthdays (Scholastic, 2009), but it stands on its own. Children will relate to this warm, funny story of a heroine who can't wait to grow up.—Madigan McGillicuddy, Los Angeles Public Library

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Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Willow Falls Series , #2
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Sales rank:
File size:
9 MB
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

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12 Finally (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 729 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is about a girl named Rory who has waited for her twelth birthday to finally come. Her overprotective parents have made promises to her since she was seven that when she was twelve she could have that thing or do that. Rory writes all of these down and keeps them over and FINALLY on her twelth birthday her long anticipated wishes come true. But Rory finds that all of these privilages are not so glorious and usual ends up either hurting herself, being smothered by her escape artist of a pet, almost having to open a pizza business, or losing something. I like the message that the Wendy Mass delivers because in the end Rory finds that it is alright to not be able to have the same things as every other person her age. She also finds out that the people that she has helped throughout the story all come together in the end. I laughed a lot of times at the results of Rory's 12 year old promises. I highly recommend this book for anyone from ages 10-14 although it can be very entertaining for readers of all ages (eapecially if you are eleven and just dying to be twelve ( = ). I also highly recommend Wendy Mass' other two books 11 Birthdays and 13 gifts which all tie together.
L-I-S-A More than 1 year ago
Whoever is a fan of 11 birthdays should read this at any age. Its a really good book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is sssoooo good! Wendy Mass really did a fantastic job writing this book! The story is about this eleven-year-old girl, Rory makes a wishlist of the twelve topmost things she wants to do/have when she's twelve. When the day finally comes this lady makes a prediction to Rory and it comes true. But the cool thing about this book is how Wendy Mass added some twists and turns. Sooo I really think you should read this book!!!!!!!!!!!! I would give this book a 5/5 star rating!!!!! :-)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the book i could not put it down
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was the best book in the world. LOVE WENDY MASS!!!!!!!!:)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book it has great detail and I love the character Rory. This is my favorite book in the trilogy. I would reccomend this book to all ages who like Wendy Mass she is a great author!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When I got this book for the nook tablet on xmas, I loved it so much that I finished it really fast! All of the birthday novels by Wendy Mass are so good, but this is my favorite so far! I can't wait to find out how that turns out, but I totally recomend this book to everyone who wants to read a book you'll never forget!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Rory's life is like any twelve year old girls life. Except for a few TWIST!!! When she was twelve she could every she always wanted, but those things are just what she wants, not what she needs.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book. I think that it has a great story line and i love how wendy's writing makes you feel like you can feel the girls feelings. It is a great read. I highly recommend this book it is great for teens and pre-teens. Its worth the money. You wont regret getting it (:
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book by Wendy Mass.I read it when I was ten before I got the nook tablet.I also recommend 13 Gifts and 11 Birthdays, because they all connect.In 13 Gifts a new girl comes to town and meets Rory,Amanda,Leo and the rest of the group and in 11 Birthdays, you find out the story behind Amanda and Leo.Also, I recommend you read them in the following order... Finally... 11 Birthdays... 13 Gifts... Hope you enjoy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So entertaning, has a great plot and is really good! <3
micah_a_teen_girl More than 1 year ago
This is an awesome book! I got this book when I was almost 12 now im almost 14 but I still love to read it and can relate to Rory so much! O h yeah! Also read 11 birthdays and 13 gifts I totally recommend 13 gifts
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an AWESOME book! It is definitly worth reading. I also LOVE Wendy Mass's other books. She is an amazing author. I love her books because I can totally relate to the characters in them. Like Judy Blume she TOTALLY knows that we are at a wierd time. I really agree with you Jennie Wells. READ THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is such a good book. I am almost twelve so it gave me lots of ideas for what to plan for. Two words to describe what happens to the main character BAD LUCK!!!!!! It does end up amazing in the end. Read this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book. It is sooooooooooo good. A definite recomend. Every age will love it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book at barns and noble is 16.99 ! So this is a great deal.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dear people who cant down load the book dont rate it 1 star its not the authors fault and you are giving her bad ratings Sincerly Cythia Mass
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It is very good and I would recommend it for all ages. It is funny and interesting. I really got attatched to it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. I love how rory made a list of every thing her parents told her she can have when she is twelve. This book does have a lot of humor in it which would make me laugh out loud at some points. From a killer bunny to hurtful contact lenses, you will laugh a bunch. Very good read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have heard that this is a awesome book should i read it? :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you want a good book, this one is the best! It is just lying here! Go grab it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is awesome. One of the best books I have ever read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Iloved loved loved this book it has really good meaning for kids my age and have a lesson of what kids could do when their 12 you just never know is going to happen next in life and somethings yes, are stupid, but if you believe, youcan be a great persin.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The best book ever!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was an amazing book! I loved ot sooooo much I think that alot of 12 year olds would lile to read it- and alot of preteens and teens would enjoy it! Loved it!