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How to Ruin a Summer Vacation (How to Ruin a Summer Vacation Novel)

(Book #1 in the How to Ruin Series)

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

How To Ruin a Summer Vacation 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... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

Courtesy of Teens Read Too

All Amy Nelson wanted was to have a regular summer. To spend time with her best friend, Jessica, and her new boyfriend. But that won't happen for Amy by a long shot. It seems that her estranged father wants her to go back to Israel with him to visit her grandmother. Sure, going to Israel may seem exciting to most people, but not for Amy. Not when there are wars going on and the fact that she has to go with a man that she hardly knows. The one good thing that may come from this is the coolest fashions that her best friend is always telling her about. Before she knows it, Amy's mother makes her go and she's on the next plane to Israel. Things couldn't get any worse for Amy at this point; well, actually they can. When she arrives, Amy sees something totally different then what she would see at home in Chicago. There seems to be soldiers and guards at every corner. Not only that, but Amy just discovered that she isn't sleeping in a fancy hotel, but more like an old house, with one bathroom and seven other people that she's never met. Then there's her cousin Snotty, I mean Osnat, who seems to hate Amy the moment she sees her, and the no-shirt cute-jerk, Avi, who Amy happens to see everywhere she turns. If only she could just get him out of her mind. There's also her aba, or grandmother, that for someone she hardly knows, Amy discovers there's a deep connection between the two of them. With an entirely new family and obnoxious people in a totally different country, it seems like this might be the craziest summer yet for Amy. HOW TO RUIN A SUMMER VACATION, no doubt, was the greatest book I've read in a long time. Not only does the basis of the book pull you in, but the cast of characters all charm their way into your heart. Even though Amy may be a little bratty at times, every obstacle she goes through and every awkward situation for her makes reading the book worthwhile. Simone Elkeles eliminates all the myths we had about Israel and introduces a completely new culture that I, for one, hardly knew anything about. Not only will you begin to appreciate Amy's new culture, but you'll also think about your own culture and how unique it is. The sequel to this book, How to Ruin My Teenage Life, will release on June 1, 2007. Reviewed by: Randstostipher "tallnlankyrn" Nguyen

Romance and angst in Israel

A perceptive and poignant look into a young woman's exploration of family and heritage, How to Ruin a Summer Vacation brings us a complex and fascinating teen who, despite her low expectations, has the type of summer any girl should envy! Simone Elkeles is unafraid of tackling serious issues alongside engaging adolescent angst and romance. I can't wait for Amy's next adventure! Don't be turned off by the fact that the heroine, Amy, acts like a little punk in the beginning of the book. As you continue to read, you see the reasons for why she would behave in this manner -- while you are secretly cheering on the guy who seems destined to show her the benefits of getting with the program!

A Fun and Fabulous YA Read!

How to Ruin a Summer Vacation is a humorous YA novel with big heart. It's a wonderful coming-of-age story that teens (and adults, as well) will appreciate and find compelling. Amy is a character Elkeles skillfully brings to life with her witty quips and her very human foibles. As Amy struggles to deal with her foreignness in a strange land, her views of the world and its people expand. Being along for the ride as Amy begins to grow up is one of the many delights of this well-written novel.

A Big Thumbs-Up from a Middle School Language Arts Teacher

Simone Elkeles has a winner in her first novel, How to Ruin a Summer Vacation. Young readers will love the spunkiness of Amy, the story's heroine, and adults will appreciate her humility as she matures during her three month stay in Israel. When I first saw the book, I thought it was going to be another tired story about a spoiled adolescent not getting her way. How to Ruin a Summer Vacation is NOT that at all, instead, it is a hilarious coming-of-age tale that has a very positive message about tolerance and self-esteem.
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