Review: How to Ruin a Summer Vacation by Simone Ellkeles

Posted 29 September, 2012 by Gabbie in Review / 2 Comments

Review: How to Ruin a Summer Vacation by Simone EllkelesHow to Ruin a Summer Vacation by Simone Elkeles
Series: How to Ruin #1
Publisher: Flux on October 1, 2006
Source: Library
Pages: 240
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Moshav? What’s a moshav? Is it “shopping mall” in Hebrew? I mean, from what Jessica was telling me, Israeli stores have the latest fashions from Europe. That black dress Jessica has is really awesome. I know I’d be selling out if I go with the Sperm Donor to a mall, but I keep thinking about all the great stuff I could bring back home.

Unfortunately for 16-year-old Amy Nelson, “moshav” is not Hebrew for “shopping mall.” Not even close. Think goats, not Gucci.

Going to Israel with her estranged Israeli father is the last thing Amy wants to do this summer. She’s got a serious grudge against her dad, a.k.a. “Sperm Donor,” for showing up so rarely in her life. Now he’s dragging her to a war zone to meet a family she’s never known, where she’ll probably be drafted into the army. At the very least, she’ll be stuck in a house with no AC and only one bathroom for seven people all summer—no best friend, no boyfriend, no shopping, no cell phone…

Goodbye pride—hello Israel.
Favorite Quote(s):

“Don’t ask me how I came to be straddling no-shirt-cute-jerk.”

“Sometimes we have to prove to other we’re strong even when we’re not.”

Favorite Character: Amy. She is just so hilarious, and she made this book worth reading!

First Line:

“How does a relatively smart sixteen year old girl get stuck in a sucky situation she can’t get out of?”

My Musings: First things first. This was the most hilarious series I have ever read in my entire life. Every single one of these books, on every single page, I was cracking up. Cracking up while reading at dinner, cracking up in the middle of class, cracking up while reading at night; just cracking up in general.

So this review is about How to Ruin a Summer Vacation. After reading the first few chapters, I was torn. The writing was very simplistic and sometimes redundant, but absolutely hilarious. I couldn’t figure out if I liked it or not. However, as the book progressed, the writing helped me develop a sense of identity pertaining to the main character, Amy. Although not nearly as eloquently written as many of the novels that I have read, the writing style was unique, and it fit the tone of the book perfectly.

Amy is your typical city girl; so when she is sent to spend her summer in Israel with her estranged father, of course she just about has a cow! Who wouldn’t? I mean, Israel is a war zone for God’s sake! (That, of course, is Amy’s opinion on the matter). Why should she have to spend her summer there?! So Amy is not happy to begin with. So when she arrives to find out her cousin, who she’s sharing a room with, and her cousin’s friend positively hate her, she  believes things can’t get worse. But I’ll stop now, before I tell you what happens in the whole story!

Amy’s character is unique to say the least. I enjoyed her thoughts and rants. It was refreshing.  She really matures and grows over the course of the novel. It was a good change to see, and I enjoyed seeing it change even more in the second and third novel. And needless to say, of course I loved Avi’s character; well, maybe not at first, but once he started softening, of course! He was absolutely swoon worthy. I loved the interactions between Avi and Amy. They are, to say the least, polar opposites. They’re adorable.

The plot of this novel was pretty exciting, even though it was contemporary. This novel was a good and easy read, and I really enjoyed it. It was a good read, and I recommend it to anyone who loves them some comedy and romance!

4.5 Stars

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