The 13th Sign (A MG/YA Book Review)


The 13th Sign by Kristin O’Donnell Tubb

The 13th Sign is a middle grades/possibly reluctant YA reader novel. Jalen doesn’t believe in astrology, but in honor of her cancer-stricken Nina she keeps the tradition of visiting the voodoo psychic on her birthday. Before she leaves the shop with her best friend Ellie, she finds a strange book. It is soon revealed that this book unlocks the 13th sign of the zodiac: Ophiuchus. The problem is that once Jalen mistakenly unlocks the sign, everyone’s personality changes as their signs shift. Including Jalen’s and her ill Nina. The rest of the zodiac signs are determined to keep Ophiuchus from becoming a permanent sign, namely due to the healing powers of that sign and its influence on death. As a result, Jalen finds herself battling each of the zodiac signs in twenty-four hours in order to prevent the zodiac changes from becoming permanent forever.

This book was okay. I loved the idea and I think if it had been written for a YA audience (Jalen is 13) that it could have been really epic. The writing is simplistic and the zodiac battles are pretty cool, reminding me of Percy Jackson. Don’t get me wrong, the writing is not on par with Percy Jackson, but I see how it could have been. I gave this book 3-3.5 out of 5 stars, keeping in mind a middle grade audience. It may be just the book for a reluctant MG or YA reader. Overall, for me it was a fun, easy read.

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