New In Book Review: 33 Minutes

Author: Todd Hadsak-Lowy

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

  • Imprint:  Aladdin

Date Published: January 1st, 2013

Format: Advance Reviewer Copy

Source: Courtesy of Simon & Schuster Canada


Sam Lewis is going to get his butt kicked in exactly 33 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? Was it when new kid Chris showed up and suddenly Morgan kept having other plans on the weekend? Or when Morgan joined the football team while Sam became a star Mathlete?

And when it really comes down to it, will Morgan actually go through with it?

Told with equal parts laugh-out-loud humor and achingly real emotional truth, 33 minutes shows how the best of friendships can change forever

Number of Days It Took to Read: 1



Not much to say about the cover except that it will make more sense after you read the book.

The Writing Score: 3.5 out of 5

Recommendation: A Causal Perusal

Memorable or Forgettable: Memorable for the humorous illustrations

Rating: 3.5 out of 5


When you are young and a friendship ends it may seem like the end of the world because frankly it’s awful. But when you’re ex-best friend completely hates your guts and is out to get you well then that just sucks majorly. Unfortunately for Sam Lewis in Todd Hadsak-Lowy’s 33 Minutes, not only does his ex-best friend Morgan hate him but as indicated in the title, he is going to beat him up in 33 minutes.

This was a quick and cute read, and while the story is a sad one it is also told in such a light hearted and funny way. The black and white illustrations provided in the book truly added to the story and were quite amusing to look at. The narrator of the book reminds me a lot of Henry Larsen in Susan Nielsen’s The Reluctant Journal of Henry Larsen perhaps this is because both are young male protagonists who are close in age.

This book brought back some childhood memories, and not necessarily pleasant ones. As a kid I had a difficult time adjusting to change, and letting my friends go. And maybe in some ways I still find it tough to let go of some people from my past. I wish that I had this book when I was younger because it would have helped me to move on. As the story of the how the friendship between Morgan and Sam came out and fell apart is told back to the reader, you get the sense that maybe their friendship was not so perfect to begin with. Though both had a role in the fall out, after if only they had not let their jealously and insecurities get the better of them then maybe things would have turned out differently. As well, it did feel like their friendship became one sided as they got older. True friendship should be when both sides take the time to hang out and try to take an interest in what the other one likes; it’s also about supporting and accepting each other no matter how much the other has changed. Lastly I think when you are young everything seems like a huge deal but eventually it all comes to pass. That is what Sam comes to eventually realizes that sometimes you just should just accept the fact that you are too different to be friends anymore. In the end all we can do is learn from the bad and treasure the good times as we move on.

– Linh

The opinions expressed in this review are my own; I did not receive any compensation in exchange for this review.

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