Monday, January 28, 2013

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: Book Review: The 13th Sign by Kristin O'Donnell Tubb

By: Kristen O'Donnell Tubb
Published by: Feiwel and Friends
Released on: January 8th, 2013
Source: arc from author/publisher to review
4 stars: I Really Enjoyed It!
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

What if there was a 13th zodiac sign? 

You’re no longer Sagittarius, but Ophiuchus, the healer, the 13th sign. 

Your personality has changed. So has your mom’s and your best friend’s. 

What about the rest of the world? 

What if you were the one who accidentally unlocked the 13th sign, causing this world-altering change—and infuriating the other 12 signs?  
Jalen did it, and now she must use every ounce of her strength and cunning to send the signs back where they belong. Lives, including her own, depend on it. - quoted from Goodreads

A journey rich with mythology, brimming with magic, and rip with lore, The 13th Sign is a story with an exciting adventure readers of all ages can enjoy. I really enjoyed the concept of this book. Not only does it entail something that's not been common in MG (middle grade) and YA (young adult) books, but the over all storyline connected with me. I remember being addicted to finding out what horoscope was when I was in middle school. I can't remember which magazine it was, but one of the teen magazines (back in the day) always had a spot for the horoscopes, and of course being that it was big back then to read those, I became obsessed. Like to the point I wondered who my horoscope was referencing to when it mentioned something about a new crush. Outside of being taken back to my tween days, I really enjoyed the story itself. 

This is Kristen's third book, and the third one I've read of hers. Each time I've read her books, I've loved the way she's allowed me to fall in love with her characters. It's not just her main character Jalen that I enjoyed reading about. Kristen's characters how ever great or small of a role they play, always have a sense of purpose and reason for being in her story, and I love that. For me that makes the story that much more in-depth. Another thing I enjoy about Kristen's book is the sense of family. Jalen's on a quest to do whatever it takes to protect her family. To me that makes her a hero in her own right. I also loved the zodiac characters and seeing them morph from people at the beginning of Jalen's into their true forms during her journey. Huge props to Kristen for making these characters stay true to their zodiac personalities/traits. They're what kept me hooked with this book. Through their cunning ways, Jalen for me grew more into a character I came to like.

Let's talk about Jalen. Jalen was a character I didn't like at first. I felt she was to, I don't even know. She just didn't connect with me, and I was at a point where I kept reading, because I wanted to find out which zodiac character she was going to run into next. Something surprising happened, at least for me. Somewhere along her quest, Jalen became much more than an annoying character I didn't like. She became a fearless hero who wasn't going to let her fears get the best of her. She wasn't going to give up hope when things seemed impossible. She became a hero of a different sort. She was going to do whatever it took to succeed at her challenge, and fulfill her destiny. By the time the story came to an end, I greatly admired Jalen. She grew up a lot. She learned to trust in herself. In doing so she grew into the character she needed to accomplish what she set out to do. 

If you're looking for a fun, fast paced reading with an unique concept, and unforgettable characters, I'd recommend picking this one up!

I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves. ~ Anna Quindlen

Good children's literature appeals not only to
the child in the adult, but to the adult in the child.
~ Anonymous ~