THIRTEEN by Tom Hoyle


Age Range: 10 - 12
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Only one boy has the power to stop a dangerous cult from wreaking havoc in the city of London.

Adam leads the boring life of an average 13-year-old—hanging out with friends, going to school, and attending the occasional music festival. But then his life is turned upside down when members of a cult convinced that he must die before he reaches his 14th birthday begin to stage attacks. He manages to escape their clutches but at the same time puts everyone he cares about in danger. Cults are not yet an overdone topic in literature for teens, and a refreshing plot element is always welcome. However, these characters are too underdeveloped to present any real tension, even as lives hang in the balance. Adam's personality does not stretch beyond the thoughts and actions he needs to defend himself, and too rarely does he question the weirdness of his life, leaving him resistant to readers' sympathy. The bad guys are nearly comical in their attachment to cliché and weak threats: "People are going to get hurt if you don't get into that car right now." The easy language and simple sentences feel more appropriate for an audience younger than 12 than for teen readers.

In a market saturated with tales of danger and heroic teens, this one is best left at the Tube station. (Thriller. 10-12)

Pub Date: May 15th, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-8234-3294-3
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Holiday House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2015


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