Sunday, January 6, 2013

33 Minutes: by Todd Hasak-Lowy



Sam Lewis is going to get his butt kicked in exactly thirty-three minutes. He knows this because yesterday his former best friend Morgan Sturtz told him, to his face and with three witnesses nearby, “I am totally going to kick your butt tomorrow at recess.”

All that’s standing between Sam and this unfortunate butt-kicking is the last few minutes of social studies and his lunch period. But how did Sam and Morgan end up here? How did this happen just a few months after TAMADE (The Absolutely Most Amazing Day Ever), when they became the greatest Alien Wars video game team in the history of great Alien Wars teams? And once the clock ticks down, will Morgan actually act on his threat?


Let me first say that 33 Minutes is a fantastic book.

One of my biggest pet peeves is when an author writes down to his/her audience. When I say this, I don’t mean writing for a younger audience, what I mean by this is purposeful writing a weaker plot, more anemic characters, and generally writing a lower quality book, all because it is for a younger audience.

Luckily, this is not such a book.

As the story unfolds Sam reveals more and more of the back-story through contemplation, concussions, and guilt. Through these mediums author, Todd Hasak-Lowy, does a fantastic job blurring the lines between who is actually at fault between Sam and Morgan. Making this YA book both realistic and engaging. Of course, without giving anything away, I was utterly shocked with how skillfully the final chapters were crafted. I would recommend this book on its ending alone because of this.

Luckily that’s not the only great thing about 33 Minutes though. I was also really impressed with how full and realistic Hasak-Lowy made Sam and Morgan. Everything from their feelings of guilt, resentment, and jealousy, to their actions that lead to the fight, to the fight itself and its aftermath all speak of a master craftsman in Hasak-Lowy’s writing ability.

All in all I highly recommend 33 Minutes. It’s well written, full of realistic likable characters, and moves at a good pace. Of course, don’t be dissuaded by the illustrations or the fact that this is YA, 33 Minutes is great for readers of all ages. 


Publisher: Aladdin 

Published: January 1, 2013

Price: $15.99

Link to Buy:


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