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Leap Day
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Leap Day

4.0 279
by Wendy Mass

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This fascinating, surprising new novel is full of everyday imaginations and truths in the life and future of every teenage girl, as it tells the story of soon-to-be-16 Josie Taylor, who was born on Leap Day.


This fascinating, surprising new novel is full of everyday imaginations and truths in the life and future of every teenage girl, as it tells the story of soon-to-be-16 Josie Taylor, who was born on Leap Day.

Editorial Reviews

Josie's 16th birthday is also her fourth birthday: she is a "leaper," born on February 29th, and she revels in the quadrennial recurrence of her natal day. This offering's action occurs entirely on Leap Day, advancing in timed increments over the course of the day, each chapter divided into two narratives. Leading off each chapter is Josie's breezily ingenuous first-person account, which reflects the monumental narcissism of adolescents. The "B" side of each chapter relates events as they run concurrent with Josie's own account, but in a roving third-person narration that illuminates the characters around Josie. Both very little and a great deal happen in this recounting: Josie turns 16 and tries out for a play-and her father finds his life's calling, and a classmate gives birth. It's a fairly risky construction: Josie is agreeable enough, but aside from her birthday, she's not particularly interesting; it's the other stories that swirl around Josie's that give both the story, and ultimately even Josie herself as she becomes aware of them, real depth. (Fiction. 12+)
It's February 29th, and Josie Taylor is turning 16 but having her "fourth" birthday. Her family goes all out to celebrate her special leap year day, and Josie is looking forward to taking her driver's exam, nabbing the part of Juliet in the afternoon's play auditions, and heading out to the lake for the super-secret sweet 16 initiation ritual. Josie tells the story of her birthday in a series of first-person chapters, from the time she gets up in the morning to 11:59 that night. However, she's not the only one who gets to speak. Mass adds quite a twist to an otherwise straightforward tale by pairing each of Josie's chapters with another told from the various perspectives of all of the people around her. Readers get to see beyond Josie's point of view and find out the motivations and inner thoughts of the people she interacts with throughout her birthday. Adolescents are usually much more complex people beneath the masks they wear in public, and Mass's teenaged ensemble deals with sadness, insecurity, jealousy, and even the trauma of unplanned parenthood. What could be a lighthearted romp through a 16th birthday turns out to be a rite of passage, not only for Josie, but for many of her friends as well as they reflect on their lives as of February 29th, and their futures. KLIATT Codes: JS-Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2004, Little, Brown, 212p., Ages 12 to 18.
— Michele Winship
Josie Taylor's fourth birthday promises to be a special one-especially if she receives a set of keys to the car. Born on February 29, Leap Day, Josie is actually sixteen years old. She and her family and friends, however, reserve special celebrations for those years that contain a Leap Day. So, now on her official fourth birthday, Josie wonders what surprises the day will hold. Keys to the family car if she passes her driver's test, the starring role in the high school's production of Romeo and Juliet, and the annual scavenger hunt are among the possibilities that this day holds. What makes this novel a bit of a departure from a traditional coming-of-age story is not the Leap Day setting, although that certainly adds to some of the book's humorous twists. This story chronicles only one day in the life of Josie Taylor. The happenings of that day, from dawn until well after dusk, are related by Josie in the first chapter. Alternating chapters then reveal the events from the perspectives of other characters including Josie's parents, teachers, friends, and other family members. This back-and-forth viewpoint change adds a layer of texture to the tale. There are also plenty of secrets to be revealed during the course of the story. How these events affect not just Josie but also all of her fellow characters makes for a fascinating read. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2004, Little Brown, 212p., Ages 12 to 18.
—Teri S. Lesesne
Children's Literature
The life of a teenager is always bizarre, but for Josie Taylor, celebrating her "fourth" birthday is one wild event. Since Josie is a leaper (someone born on February 29), she only gets to celebrate her true birthday once every four years. This year she turns sixteen, and everyone around her plans to make it a unique day. The reader follows Josie as she tries out for the school play, takes her driver's test, and has her important sweet-sixteen initiation at the lake. This, however, is only half of the story. In this unusual novel, the reader gets to leap into the thoughts of everyone Josie meets. Mass arranges the chapters so that Josie's story is first in the chapter, labeled 1A. This is followed by chapter 2A in which appears the story of everyone with whom Josie has interacted in the first chapter. The entire book rotates in this fashion (A, B, A, B), many times not only explaining how the character is feeling at that moment but sometimes leaping into their future, as in: "When Mitch is nineteen and home from college for the summer, he will find himself at the same pool party as Josie. By that time, he'll have a girlfriend named Marcy who has heard all about his childhood crush." This book has little excitement, and its main character experiences no growth. By the end of the novel, the reader feels that everything could have taken place in fewer chapters. Mass doesn't fully utilize the narrator's full omniscience; since we only meet each character briefly, we form no emotional connection with any of them. In the end, the reader does not care about what has happened to the characters. Students would not have to read the entire novel to understand this author's technique with point ofview. For this reason, it could be used in a classroom as a creative writing assignment in which students write from different points of view. 2004, Little Brown and Company, Ages 13 up.
—Tiffany Burgess <%ISBN%>031600054X
School Library Journal
Gr 7-9-Today is Josie's 16th birthday, but because it is February 29th, it's really only her 4th "official" birthday. She wears her "The Few, The Proud, The Leapers" T-shirt and checks in with many of her e-mail leapmates from around the country. Her family and friends make a big deal of her "last" teenage birthday. In the meantime, Josie has a lot on her mind, including the tryouts for Romeo and Juliet, her driver's test, and, of course, hunky Grant Brawner. Josie's first-person narration, laced with touches of humor, is reminiscent of Alice's in Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's series (Atheneum), but Mass finds a special depth by augmenting Josie's chapters with third-person accounts of many of the same scenes in which readers learn what the teen's friends, family, and teachers are thinking and doing. Some of them are as superficial as Josie perceives, but most have complex stories and secrets far beyond what she could ever imagine. Mass also uses these chapters to comment on the characters' futures, such as the abusive and alcoholic father of a friend who readers are told will one day cause an accident, paralyze a motorcyclist, and never drink again. The style is unusual and interesting, but a little cluttered and slows down the plot. However, Josie remains spunky and good-hearted throughout the eventful day, and most of the other characters' situations are somewhat resolved. Despite the uneven tone, this is a good read.-Paula J. LaRue, Van Wert City Schools, OH Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.59(d)
Age Range:
12 - 18 Years

Meet the Author

Wendy Mass is the New York Times bestselling author of The Candymakers, the ALA Schneider Family Award winner A Mango-Shaped Space, Leap Day, Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life, Heaven Looks a Lot Like the Mall, and Every Soul a Star. Wendy lives in New Jersey with her husband and their twins. Her website is www.wendymass.com.

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Leap Day 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 279 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What can I say? I loved this book! It is mostly about Josie who turns 16 on Leap Day. Then it goes into the heads of all the people who come in contact with her on that day. It made me look at everyone in my school differently--like I just never thought of how my life effected theirs just by having a locker next to them or whatever. The book was also really funny and made me want to go to Disney World which is where some of it takes place.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My birthday is on a leap day too so it made the book really enjoyable for me to read! :) It was also written in the style of a diary which was nice.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I absolutly LOVED this book. I really don't love to read but when i beagn reading this i couldn't put it down. I read it last summer and it made all the long car rides I had EXTREMLY ENTERTAINING! I loved this book because i could definilty relate to it, and i think that most teenage girls can also.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was excellent! I happend to turn 16 the day I was reading this book so I could relate to Josie. At first I thought it would be boring to go inside everyone else's head, I figured I would just be reading the same thing but from a different person's perspective. But I soon learned that it actually was interesting. Wendy Mass wrote the book wonderfully. I recommend this book to all ages, especially teens.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Leap Day is one of the best books I've ever read. The way they take you through all the peoples heads. It was amazing. Wendy Mass is a great author. I def recommend this fantabulous book
Guest More than 1 year ago
Josie is finally turning sixteen, but here¿s the catch. It is actually Josie¿s fourth birthday! Josie was born on a leap year, so her birthday only comes every four years. In this story, you will experience a day with Josie as she goes through some tough times and as she maters things. Josie will also learn some new things that day about her family, friends, and even herself that she never knew. And, on everybody¿s sixteenth birthday they go out to the lake for a party. What happens at the lake stays at the lake. Read Leap Day and find out those things about Josie and her friends and family. Also find out what goes down at the lake. Some of these things may surprise you! What I liked about the book was that at the beginning it grabbed my attention and it never lost it. I also liked that the book would switch point of views. The chapter had two sections, A and B. Josie¿s point of view would be section A, and everybody that was involved in section A would tell their point of view in section B. I would recommend this book to girls. There are a lot of parts that are really girly that a guy would probably not like.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Totally get the book.... worth the money completley
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
God people are so annoying! "This is so innapropriate" " parents beware" like grow up. Just because they say boobs or sex or smoke doesnt mean its not a good book. And if 10 year olds are reading this and freaking out because they see the word breasts, put an age limit in the reiviews! Help me here! click yes if you agree!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Omg luv her books!!!!!! She should totaly have more books!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wendy Mass' books have always astounded me; but this one was a bit discomforting. I only reccomend this if you are okay with things such as "girl issues" and accidental pregnancy. It is not a bad book; it is just meant for mature people. Jessica the bug freak
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Being able to relate to a fellow leaper in my favorite authors book was awsome! It is a fantastic tail of falling up and fitting in. I completley loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I heard its a good book. I am a strong christian and i do not know whether to listen to the inappropriates or great books. I think i would be fine reading this book because i am often told how mature i am. I m 11 years old. Thank you!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome! I loved this book!! i recommend it to everyone
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im 11 years old... I am a Christaian. I do not want to read books that are inappropriate. Will someone please tell me wht this is about?! Please please respond.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If u r mature i would recommend this book cuz it has some things that u might not no about yet. Hope this helps! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read the sample, and some of it is inapropriate. From what i hear it is inapropriate too. Normally wendy mass books are good or okay, but i really dont think this is a good book. If you do still want to read it i would recommend checking it out at the library instead of paying for the whole book. If you want you can hook your nook up to your librarys website ang check books out on your nook.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is an awesome book!I adore this book!It is gr8!Wendy Mass has writen another wonderful book and i Love it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it because ypu really get pulled into the book an feel the feelings that she does. It is about this girl who turns 16 and is very unpopular amd has all her friends over and they have a great time.
Rachel Ward More than 1 year ago
Leap Day is such a great book for tween to teenage girls eho are looking for a great yet simple book to read. The plot is easy to follow and the characters each rlate to eachother. I definitely reccomend this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm a sophomore in high school and I read this book in the seventh grade. After the many, many, many, MANY books I've read this one is still in my top five. I'll love this book forever and it will remain in my top five as the years progress. I was never able to reread it because it came from my school library so I think you should buy it so you can have it forever and enjoy it time and time again!

p.s. The book is freakin awesome!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Hay, this book was KRAZY KOOL, like you always wonder what people are thinking and this book is a great opportuninty (hope I spelled that right) to find out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book!!!!! It's soooo good. I totally recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It might be good for u but its just a little inappropriate-- its really interesting because some parts are told from oter characters' points of view So yes i think u should read it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book. It really gave me a different perspective on other people and how they think. I read a lot of the reviews that said that it was an innapropriate book, its just for an older audience (so give it some time). All in all, this was a great book and I hope Wendy Mass comes with more books like such!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I <3 tis book its so good i love how there is first Josies perspective and then the other peoples that is so clever :'( cried about Missy but about the matureness of this book it is pretty mature; i.e. a girl goes into labor there is lots of talk about breasts, stuff like that. I'd say this is a wonderful TWEEN drama about friendship but honestly you should be around 11 or 12 to read this it depends on what kinds of things you are allowed to read ps if you like this book try reading The Clique series by Lisi Harrison :) funny and dramatic!!!