Customer Reviews for

How to Ruin a Summer Vacation

Average Rating 4.5
( 73 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 74 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 4
  • Posted November 1, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Randstostipher "tallnlankyrn" Nguyen for TeensReadToo.com

    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. <BR/><BR/>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. <BR/><BR/>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. <BR/><BR/>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.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 28, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    I can honestly say that is was a witty heartwarming beautiful 1

    I can honestly say that is was a witty heartwarming beautiful 175 page story .
    I didn't expect this book to be ..... whats the word .... Amazing . Everything felt natural and pure .
    Amy Nelson Barak starts out Hating Ron aka the Sperm Donor as she likes to call him . Her parents , That never actually act like parents , decide that she should go to Israel with the Sperm Donor , saying it would be good life experience . She is furious and scared of going Israel aka the War zone . The she meets her sick Grandmother or Safta (Grandmother) that her same blue eyes , Her Dodor ( uncle) Chaim , Her Doda (aunt) Yucky , Matan her cute baby cousin , and her cousin O'snot along with her friends Moron , Ofta , Avi , Doo-Doo , O'dead . She starts with a very rocky beginning .
    O'snot and Avi act like they hate her while the others support he the best they can as friends . Moron leaves to join the Israeli army . And after that things start looking up . She finds herself falling hard for Avi and him falling for her , besides the fact that his leaving to join the army . She starts a-new with her Cousin O'snot . And finally embraces her Jewish heritage and being proud of it .
    I recommend this book !!!!!!!! 100% .

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2008

    I don't know why, but I loved this book.

    I can't figure out why I like this book. I didn't like the main character. I don't like the lame title. I thought it was overall, predictable. But I couldn't put this book down. There was something about that made me want to keep reading. And in the end, I loved it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2007

    Really a good book!

    This is a good, interesting and funny book. It was a more serious Chick-lit book, but i like that. It tells the story of Amy, who is going to live with her dad in Israel and the family there she doesn't know. It is also the story of how to place yourself in another culture then you are used to.She learns a lot about herself and her surroundings during the story. I like how its written by SImone Elkeles. It is written in a clearly way and its never dull or unclear where the story takes place and what is happening. That is really a good point about this book! I found it really interesting to read about! This is a reccomendation! I am looking forward to read more of Simone Elkeles books. Marlayne

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2007

    The book

    This book is the funniest book I ever read. I have this book and I`m going on to chapter 9 already.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2007

    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

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2012

    loved this series

    could not put this book down ... totally funny

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2012

    Amazing.

    This book is simply wonderful. Everything about it was to DIE for. I wish it was a bit longer though. :-)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2012

    Country Gal :)

    Best book ever!!!!! I couldn't put it down.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2011

    Subtle but Enchanting

    When I first started reading, i thought this book was going to be about a spoiled brat. But it was about more. I love how the author takes us through the traneformation of amy. Reading this book made me want to embrace my own culture even more. Thank Simone. Thanks a lot!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 2, 2011

    MOOMOOMACIE: Read and enjoy it!

    Best book ive ever read in my life luv the author....i never read but u cant put this book done....dont forget to read all three books! This book is what us teenagers can relate to and problems that we go through as: love and relationships,divorce,friends and family.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2011

    BEST.BOOK.EVER!!!!

    Amy Neslon is taken by surprise when her deadbeat dad wants to take her to Israel for the summer. She is HILARIOUS! And I LOVE Avi. No Joke, go and buy this series...LIKE NOW! I'm big on readig, so I've read and spent ALOT on books, but this was the best ten dollars I've ever spent! The third book annoyed me a little bit, but this series is deff my FAVE

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 5, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Great author, all her books are excellant!

    This serious was hilarious, my best friend told me to read them and I loved them so much that I ordered my own copies so I can reread them whenever I want.
    This may be a teen book but Ms. Elkeles is very good and I am sure she could write for age group and be great. For I am most defiently not in the Teen book age group. ;-)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 14, 2010

    A Great, Fun Book

    I don't have a lot to say about this book, except I really liked it. I thought it was going to be a stupid kid's book, because of the title, but it turned out to be really good, and good for teens and older. I would recommend this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 7, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    How to ruin my summer vacation!!!!!!!!!

    This book was awsome i loved it from beginning to end!!! i just got reading the first 2 books and cant wait to read the 3rd. Amy is so fun to just read about. She keeps me hanging on what she will do next. I liked how she found herself and i think thats a problem we all have on who we are or what we define ourselves as. Over all this book was aswome this book rocks!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2008

    A Wonderful, Entertaining book

    I first found out about this series from a friend of mine. She told me it was one of the best books she's ever read. I didn't believe her. I finally caved and bought my own copy. I devoured the book in about two hours. It was well- written, hilarious, entertaining, and heartwarming. It taught many wonderful life lessons, for example, to be proud of who you are and where you come from, because that's one thing about yourself you can never change. The romance in this book is also very exciting. The second I finished this book, I ran to the bookstore to pick up the sequel, and that, I can also say, did not disappoint me. Elkeles has done a phenomenal job, and I hope to see a third book out shortly.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2013

    Good Book

    I like it. Great read. Great couple. I would not have like my dad to do that, but really like Avi

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2013

    Best book ever

    Wow. Read it in 1 day. Just read it. No matter your age thhis is a nice story. I really dont laugh reading books but this made me a couple of times

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2013

    Great Read

    I enjoyed learning about a different country almost as much as I enjoyed the romance between Avi and Amy. Well written.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2013

    Ok, before I start reviewing the book I have to say a couple of

    Ok, before I start reviewing the book I have to say a couple of things a bout Israel. I live in Israel. My mom lived in the US for 20 years and moved to Israel because of my dad, therefore I read only english books and speak english better then I speak hebrew.. Sad I know.
    I started reading this book knowing it will be fun reading about a book that is about Israel and America. About Israeli’s and American’s being together. While I was reading this book I understood that the author didn’t really know many things about Israel. Understandable. But when you write a book you need to make sure you have all the right facts. So before I tell you what I thought about the book I have to clarify somethings that bothered me throughout the book.

    first of all, in the twenty first century teenagers name’s aren’t usually Osnat, Ofra. It’s more like: Maya, Mia, Noa, Dana, Natalie…

    2. I am 19, which means that I am a soldier.We, soldires, are not, I repeat, are NOT bodyguards or work in any security company.
    We do not stand in airports with guns, outside of clubs (which we don’t call disco- number three of the list that bothered me) checking I.D’s and being called when there’s a fight- That is for the police to take care of.
    What we REALLY do is: guard our country. Not the clubs or hotels, but the country itself! So reading about soldiers being like bodyguards just had me wanting to explain to you all that it’s not true.

    3. We don’t say disco anymore. My dad didn’t even say disco when he was a teen. Just wanted to clarify things.

    4. People don’t lick one another at clubs. Sorry to burst you guys’ bubble…

    Now about the book:
    I, actually, really liked it. When I started reading it I thought it will be horrible, but I instantly liked it and read it in one sitting. Amy was, sometimes, annoying and too much to handle. I liked that she grew throughout the book.
    I LOVED the cute relationship between Avi (a typical guy name, even now lol) and Amy. It took some time but I’m happy it happened.
    I can’t wait to read the second book and see what happens to Amy when she’s in the US. I hope Avi will be involved.
    Overall it was a fun read. I found myself laughing and smiling to myself most of the time. I really recommend this book.
    But again, I had to explain some stuff. I give this book 4 stars.

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