Lovin' los libros

A book blog dedicated to young adult and new adult novels

Review: The 13th Sign by Kristin O'Donnell Tubb

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The 13th Sign
   by: Kristin O'Donnell Tubb

Publication Date: Jan. 8, 2013
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Genre: Fantasy
Age Group: Middle Grade
Source: Purchased
Page Count: 272 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 3/5 stars

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.

I don't read a whole lot of Middle Grade, but after hearing Kristin talk about her book The 13th Sign last year at a book signing, I was really interested. I don't really read much into horoscopes or anything like that, but that doesn't mean I'm not interested in them. I love the premise of this novel and I've read a few books that have discussed Opiuchus now, so I was definitely intrigued by this one. With the incorporation of a new zodiac sign, that would mean many people's signs would change, thus altering their personalities. I am a Scorpio, which, according to Astrology.com, means I am passionate, determined, and motivated. Were the signs to shift I would then be a Libra, which would mean I would be peaceful, fair, and in harmony. *snorts* You can see the issue here as our main character Jalen has accidentally unlocked the 13th sign, Opiuchus. Not only does she have the other 12 signs after her, but she must make things right before the change becomes permanent.
Pacing: I felt this was a really action-packed, fast moving story. Jalen is on a deadline, and has 12 very angry zodiacs coming after her for disrupting the order of things.
Storyline: As I said above, I really liked the premise for this one. It was cool to see how the different signs manifested, and the different challenges they presented to Jalen and her friends: not just mentally, but physically also. This is where the story loses some of its believability, however. Jalen is a 13 year old kid. In the beginning, she's rather skeptical about astrology and things it's a waste of time. However, once they get their hands on an ancient astrology text, and she unlocks the 13th sign, her personality does a 180. She's not afraid to say what's on her mind and she definitely has an assertiveness about her she didn't before. But as for being able to kick butt? That was not so believable, especially how hard the other signs were coming at her.
Characters: I liked Jalen as our main character. She was driven and determined to make things right. The entire fate of the world rests on her shoulders. She has a guide, who is not really the most helpful, along with her best friend Ellie and her older brother Brennan. I really didn't like Ellie's character post-personality change. All she seemed to do was cry and freak out, which, while legit of the circumstances, was not really helpful. And we get this in double time. I don't want to spoil what I mean by that, but yeah. Brennan, on the other hand, was a much more likeable character. In the beginning, he is rather impatient and irritated with the girls, not really wanting to help them or drive them around. After the change, he is much kinder and really acts like an older brother should. And there's a hint of something between him and Jalen, though it's not expanded upon.
Final Thoughts: Overall, this was definitely a cool story, even though I did have some issues. I'm not used to reading middle grade, so that might be why this only earned 3 stars for me. I liked it, enjoyed it, but wasn't completely sucked into the story and wowed by it. If you're into astrology and interested in the signs, definitely give this one a shot.

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  1. This sounds fun and a bit different for me. I don't read much with astrology either but I am always looking to change things up. I think my sister might enjoy this one. Great review!

    1. Thanks Teresa! It was definitely a welcome change from my usual contemps!

  2. I very rarely read MG, but the premise of this is interesting. It sounds like the actual story doesn't live up to its potential, though, which is a bummer. I'm loving that cover at least. Great review!

    1. Sadly that was the case Natalie. I felt like it had the potential to be really great and just missed the mark. I really enjoyed the premise though.

  3. This does sound like a very different kind of read. The astrology aspect of it seems interesting and unique! Sucks you had some issues with it, but glad you did enjoy it though!

    Great review!

    1. Thanks Magen! I wonder if it's just because it's MG and I don't really read those.

  4. Yeah, it's been a couple years since I've read MG, but I think I would struggle too. I do think the concept with the zodiac is neat, I always find that issue interesting.
    Thanks for the review!

    1. Same here Andrea. I just don't think I'm into MG unless it's Rick Riordan. Haha.

  5. Yeah, Im not much for MG either, but I am liking the Percy J series so far. Anyways, I really like that cover.

    1. That is my favorite MG author. I will read anything he writes!


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