Blog Tour Review: Twelfth by Janet Key

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A fun and thrilling mystery novel with great representation.

Thank you so much to TBR and Beyond Tours and Janet Key for allowing me to be part of this experience and also providing me with a complimentary eARC and media kit!

Book Information

Genre: MG Mystery/Historical
Publishing Date: May 17, 2022

Better Nate Than Ever  meets The Parker Inheritance in this heartwarming mystery about finding your people and accepting others as they are.

Twelve-year-old Maren is sure theater camp isn’t for her. Theater camp is for loud, confident, artsy people: people like her older sister, Hadley—the last person Maren wants to think about—and her cinema-obsessed, nonbinary bunkmate, Theo. But when a prank goes wrong, Maren gets drawn into the hunt for a diamond ring that, legend has it, is linked to the camp’s namesake, Charlotte “Charlie” Goodman, a promising director in Blacklist Era Hollywood.
 
When Maren connects the clues to Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, she and her new friends are off searching through lighting booths, orchestra pits and costume storages, discovering the trail and dodging camp counselors. But they’re not the only ones searching for the ring, and with the growing threat of camp closing forever, they’re almost out of time. 

Content and Trigger Warnings

For a list of warnings, tropes, and representation for this book, check out its page on BookTriggerWarnings.com.

About the Author

When Janet Key was twelve, she sang and danced onstage in the background of musicals, stayed up too late reading Shakespeare, and had a closet full of themed, handsewn vests.

This is her first novel. 

Author Links:

Review (no spoilers)

If you’d like to follow along with the rest of the tour, you can find the tour schedule here.

I had so much fun reading Twelfth! The novel is told through dual timelines (the main timeline is contemporary while the other gives short sneak peaks into the lives of related characters back in the 40s-50s). The main story follows a young girl named Maren who gets sent to a summer drama camp and begins to discover hidden clues leading her to a mysterious treasure. Legend has it that there is a valuable diamond engagement ring hidden on the camp’s premises and Maren (and her friends) set out to find it. Unfortunately for them, Maren isn’t the only person on the hunt, and the malicious second party is not unwilling to get rid of anything and anyone in their way. Can Maren find the ring before it’s too late?

I don’t read many middle grade mystery novels, so I was a bit worried that I was going to find this a bit too young for my tastes. Luckily for me, I actually really enjoyed the setting, the plot, and the characters. I felt as though the characters in this book were a lot more mature than I expected–more mature than some YA novels I’ve read in the past, in fact—and it worked incredibly well.

On top of that, there is an amazing amount of representation included throughout. Though I don’t think it’s ever explicitly stated, I believe several characters were Black and brown with one Spanish-speaking character. There were also a lot of queer characters (which I kind of expected as a book about drama kids). We have trans rep, gay rep, lesbian rep, and even a historical sapphic romance.

Now that I’ve read and enjoyed Twelfth, I’m interested in checking out the other two books mentioned in the blurb. I can only hope that I like those just as much!

Twelfth was released today, so don’t forget to grab your copy at the links above!

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