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How to Ruin a Summer Vacation

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Overview

YALSA 2007 Teens’ Top Ten

"A breezy read." —Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

“Fresh, fun and fabulous! Guaranteed NOT to ruin your summer vacation!” —Mari Mancusi, author of Boys that Bite

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 Jessica has ...

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Overview

YALSA 2007 Teens’ Top Ten

"A breezy read." —Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

“Fresh, fun and fabulous! Guaranteed NOT to ruin your summer vacation!” —Mari Mancusi, author of Boys that Bite

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 Jessica has is really awesome. I know I’d be selling out if I go to a mall with Ron (my biological father), 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 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.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Brenna Shanks
When the Israeli grandmother she never knew about gets sick, sixteen-year-old Amy Nelson's biological father overturns her summer plans and drags her off to Israel. As the illegitimate daughter of a college affair, Amy realizes that her relationship with her father is rocky at best. Now it is goodbye tennis camp, best friend, and new boyfriend, and hello moshav, new family, and strange customs. Amy, somewhat spoiled and stubborn, wants nothing to do with her father or his homeland. Mine fields, soldiers toting machine guns, and a cousin determined to hate her do not encourage Amy to change her mind. Gradually her grandmother, father, and new friends win her over. A summer fling with a brooding nemesis turned thoughtful boyfriend helps move the story along. Although the lessons learned and final revelations are predictable, Amy's feisty attitude and penchant for drama keep the reader engaged. With just a touch of spice to the romance, this fast read is good for public and school libraries and will appeal to chick-lit readers who like a few serious issues tucked in with their fluff.
KLIATT
Amy Nelson, a spoiled 16-year-old who refers to her biological father (Ron) as "Sperm Donor" because he rarely calls and is never around, is about to spend a life-changing summer in Israel. Ron wants Amy to get to know her grandmother, who is sick. Given no other choice, Amy goes with Ron but makes it clear that she is doing so unenthusiastically. Ron tells Amy what to expect, but fails to tell her until the last possible moment that his entire family is unaware that Amy exists. As her time in Israel progresses, Amy often finds herself in self-inflicted embarrassing moments and on the outside of a tight-knit group of friends and family. If Amy can let down the wall she has built up around herself, she just may discover that she is not as alone as she thinks. Humor and subtle character development are featured; readers will at once like and hate Amy as her determined nature is revealed as both a flaw and a strength. With witty and telling chapter headings like "You can run from some problems, but then you get caught up in others," this book is sure to please readers looking for a fun read that also digs deeper into complex emotions. KLIATT Codes: S--Recommended for senior high school students. 2006, Llewelyn, Flux, 234p., $8.95.. Ages 15 to 18.
—Stephanie Squicciarini
VOYA - Jane Chen
The cover and the title are misleading, and I was happily surprised that the book was better than I expected. The plot deals with issues such as split families, religion, and loyalties. It is comical and entertaining, although a bit shallow at times. The tone is light-hearted. I would recommend it to girls who want a light read that does not require much brain activity, and who want to laugh.
VOYA - Ava Donaldson
How to Ruin My Teenage Life appears to be a typical pink read, full of shallow characters and a predictable plot. But as you read further, you find that although you can probably guess what is going to happen, the characters are not all that superficial and do in fact care about those around them. This book might not be all that different, but it is fun and upbeat, with an entertaining story line.
VOYA - Cindy Faughnan
Amy Barak is a Chicago teen who has moved in with her father because her mother has married and moved to the suburbs. She has two best friends and does well in school. She owns an endearing dog named Mutt who escapes or farts at the most inopportune moments. She met her boyfriend, Avi, while in Israel with her father. She calls him her non-boyfriend because of the distance between them, but she has high hopes for their relationship. She is in classes to convert to the Jewish religion. Then Amy uses her dad's credit card to sign him up for an online dating service, Amy's mom announces that she is pregnant, and a new boy, Nathan, moves into the apartment building. Amy must get a job to deal with the credit card fiasco, face becoming a big sister, and find a way to handle Nathan-something that is complicated by the unexpected arrival of Avi. This book has laugh-out-loud moments. Amy manages to mess up her life in very funny ways, attending dates that she set up for her father and interviewing prospective stepmothers, kissing Nathan in the elevator, being kissed by Nathan in front of the entire school cafeteria, and kidnapping Avi with plastic handcuffs to fix their relationship. Amy is an intelligent, caring character. Readers will be glad to see that she can handle relationships with both Avi and Nathan. Amy's thoughtfulness and depth raise this book above most of the chick-lit genre.
School Library Journal
Gr 8-10-Amy Nelson is a stereotypical spoiled teen who has stereotypical plans for her summer vacation: shopping, friends, boyfriend. Then, out of nowhere, her long-absent father calls to inform her that the grandmother whom she has never met is ill and that Amy needs to go to Israel to meet her. Before the teen can say, "But I'm not even Jewish!" she is on an Israeli moshav sharing a room with a cousin who hates her for being a spoiled American, lusting after a brooding older boy on the verge of his mandatory military service, and learning more than she ever thought possible about her faith, her family, their history, and their present. The characters are stock, and the lessons Amy learns are expected, but readers are still drawn into her story. The lightness of the narrative sometimes belies the depth of the topics on which it touches, but it is true to the manner in which many American teens would encounter these issues. Best for avid readers of realistic, high school dramedy.-Morgan Johnson-Doyle, Sierra High School, Colorado Springs, CO Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal

Gr 7-10
Amy Nelson Barak, introduced in How to Ruin a Summer Vacation (Flux, 2006), is back. She's living in a Chicago high-rise with her Israeli-born father, a security consultant and workaholic, and a dog named Mutt, a gift from her summertime Israeli "non-boyfriend," Avi. Amy has been enjoying a new religious education and exploration of her heritage, which got a running start during her trip to Israel, but the list of annoyances potentially ruining her life is almost too much for her. Dad needs a date and a life, so she signs him up for a Jewish online dating service using his credit card without mentioning it. Her mom and stepdad are expecting a baby, which freaks Amy out. Avi is out of touch while doing basic training in the Israeli army. Perhaps the biggest insult is from Nathan, a geeky-looking but intriguing new guy who completely rubs her the wrong way, but she kisses him anyway. A retaliation kiss from him in the cafeteria is hard to explain when Avi shows up for a surprise visit. Readers picking up the book without prior knowledge can settle into Amy's brink-of-ruination life easily, and they will enjoy her take on the world. This is an undemanding read in which what's wrong can be made right by the last page-just the choice for teens who seek realistic YA fiction free from heavy issues but with appealingly ordinary drama and humor.
—Suzanne GordonCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780738709611
  • Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
  • Publication date: 10/1/2006
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 163,912
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 710L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.26 (w) x 7.98 (h) x 0.57 (d)

Meet the Author

Simone Elkeles

Simone Elkeles is the author of Leaving Paradise and four other Flux novels, including How to Ruin Your Summer Vacation and How to Ruin Your Boyfriend’s Repuation. She is also the author of the New York Times bestselling Rules of Attraction (Walker). A popular speaker at libraries around the country, when the author is not writing she TiVos reality television and watches teen movies. She lives near Chicago with her family and two dogs.

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Read an Excerpt

How does a relatively smart sixteen-year-old girl get stuck in a sucky situation she can’t get out of? Well, as I sit at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport on a Monday afternoon during the one hour and forty-five minute delay, I think about the past twenty-four hours of my now messed-up life.

I was sitting in my room yesterday when my biological father, Ron, called. No, you don’t get it . . . Ron never calls. Well, unless it’s my birthday, and that was eight months ago.

You see, after their affair in college, my mom found out she was pregnant. She comes from money, and Ron . . . well, he doesn’t. Mom, with her parents pushing her along, told Ron it would be best if he didn’t have a big part in our lives. Boy, were they wrong. But the worst part is he gave up without even trying.

I know he puts money into an account for me. He also comes by to take me out to dinner for my birthdays. But so what? I want a father who’ll always be there for me.

He used to come around more, but I finally told him to leave me alone so my mom could find me a real dad. I didn’t really mean it; I guess I was just trying to test him. He failed miserably.

Well, the guy phones this time and tells my mom he wants to take me to Israel. Israel! You know, that little country in the Middle East that causes so much controversy. You don’t have to TiVo the news to know Israel is a hotbed of international hostility.

I know I’m off on a tangent, so let’s get back to what happened. My mom hands me the phone without so much as an “it’s your dad” or “it’s the guy who I had a one-night stand with, but never married” to warn me it was him.

I still remember what he said. “Hi, Amy. It’s Ron.”

“Who?” I answer.

I’m not trying to be a smartass, it just doesn’t register that the guy who gave me fifty percent of my genes is actually calling me.

“Ron . . . Ron Barak,” he says a bit louder and slower as if I’m a complete imbecile.

I freeze and end up saying nothing. Believe it or not, sometimes saying nothing actually works in my favor. I’ve learned this from years of practice. It makes people nervous and, well, better them than me. I huff loudly to let him know I’m still on the line.

“Amy?”

“Yeah?”

“Um, I just wanted you to know dat your grandmudder is sick,” he says in his Israeli accent.

A faceless image of a small white-haired old lady who smells like baby powder and mildew, and whose life’s goal is baking chocolate chip cookies, briefly races across my mind.

“I didn’t know I had a grandmother,” I say, emphasizing the ‘th’ because Ron, like every other Israeli I’ve ever met, can’t say the ‘th’—that sound is not in their language.

My mom’s mom died shortly after I was born so I was one of those kids without a grandma. A pang of sorrow and self-pity from never knowing I had a grandma and now knowing she’s ‘sick’ makes me feel yucky. But I shove those feelings into the back of my head where they’re safe.

Ron clears his throat. “She lives in Israel and, uh, I’m going for the summer. I’d like to take you with me.”

Israel?

“I’m not Jewish,” I blurt out.

A little sound, like one of pain, escapes from his mouth before he says, “You don’t have to be Jewish to go to Israel, Amy.”

And you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know Israel is smack dab in the middle of a war zone. A war zone!

“Thanks for the offer, but I’m going to tennis camp this summer. Tell Grandma I hope she gets over her illness. Bye,” I say and hang up.

Wouldn’t you know it, not more than four seconds go by before the phone rings again. I know it’s Ron. A little ironic he’s hardly called twice in a year and here he is calling twice in a matter of seconds.

My mom picks up the phone in the living room. I try to listen through my bedroom door. I can’t hear much. Just mumble, mumble, mumble. After about forty long minutes she comes knocking at my door and tells me to pack for Israel.

“You’re kidding, right?”

“Amy, you can’t avoid him forever. It’s not fair.”

Not fair? I cross my arms in front of my chest. “Excuse me, what’s not fair is that you two didn’t even try and live like parents. Don’t talk to me about fairness.”

I know I’m sixteen and should be over it by now, but I’m not. I never said I was perfect.

“Life isn’t simple, you’ll realize that when you’re older,” she says. “We’ve all made mistakes in the past, but it’s time to mend them. You’re going. It’s already settled.”

Panic starts to set in and I decide to take the guilt trip route.

“I’ll be killed. Unless that’s what you ultimately want—”

“Amy, stop the dramatics. He’s promised me he’ll keep you safe. It’ll be a great experience.”

I try for another two hours to get out of it, I really do. I should have known trying to argue with my mom would get me nothing except a sore throat.

I decide to call my best friend, Jessica. Supportive, understanding Jessica. “Hey, Amy, what’s up?” a cheery voice answers on the other end of the line. Gotta love caller ID.“

My parents decided to ruin my life,” I tell her.

“What do you mean ‘parents’? Ron called?”

“Oh, yeah, he called. And somehow he convinced my mom to cancel my summer plans so he could take me to Israel. Could you just die?”

“Um, you don’t really want to hear my opinion, Amy. Trust me.”

My eyebrows furrow as I slowly realize Jessica, my very dearest friend in the world, isn’t going to back me up one hundred and ten percent.

“It’s a war zone!” I say it slowly so she gets the full impact.

Is that a laugh I hear on the other end of the line?

“Are you kidding?” Jessica says. “Heck, my mom goes to Tel Aviv every year to go shopping. She says they have the clearest diamonds ever cut. You know the little black dress I love? She got it for me there. They have the best European styles and—”

“I need support here, Jess, not some crap about diamonds and clothes,” I say, cutting off her ‘Israel is all that’ speech. Jeez!“

Sorry. You’re right,” she says.

“Don’t you ever watch the news?”

“Sure, Israel has its share of problems. But my parents say a lot of what we see on TV is propaganda. Just don’t hang out at bus stops or go to coffee shops. Ron will keep you safe.”

“Ha,” I say.

“Are you mad at me?” Jess asks. “I could lie and tell you your life is ruined beyond repair. Would that make you feel better?”

Jessica is the only person who can make fun of me and get away with it. “You’re just a laugh a minute, Jess. You know I’d never get mad at you, you’re my BFF.”

Although what does it say about our friendship when my BFF has no problems sending me into a war zone?

Less than twenty-four hours later I’m sitting in the airport waiting for our El Al Israel Airlines flight to start boarding.

Looking around, I watch a guy in a dark suit as he crouches on the floor and examines the underside of each row of benches. If he finds a bomb, will he know how to disarm it?

I glance at my biological father, the almost non-existent man in my life, who’s reading the newspaper. He tried talking to me on the way to the airport. I cut him off by putting on my headphones and listening to my iPod.

As if he knows I’m staring at him, he puts his paper down and turns my way. His hair is short. It’s thick and dark, just like mine. I know if he’d grow it out it would be curly, too. As hard as it is, I straighten my curly hair every morning. I hate my hair.

My mom’s eyes are green, mine are blue. People say my eyes are such a bright blue they glow. I consider my eyes my best feature.

Unfortunately, the main thing I inherited from Mom is a big chest. Besides changing my hair, I’d like to have smaller boobs. When I play tennis, they get in the way. Have you ever tried a two-handed backhand with mongo boobs? They seriously should have handicaps in tennis for people with big chests.

When I get older maybe I’ll get a reduction. But Jessica said during a boob reduction the doctor removes your whole areola . . . you know, that pinky part in the middle of your boob, and then after they take out the excess boob they reattach the areola.

I don’t think I’d like my pinky parts detached at all.

As I think about detached areolas, I realize Ron is still looking at me. Although from the expression on his face he probably thinks I’m disgusted with him. I can’t possibly explain I’m thinking of what I’d actually look like with detached pinky parts.

Anyway, I’m still mad at him for bringing me on this stupid trip in the first place. Because of him, I had to drop out of tennis camp this summer. Which means I probably won’t make it on the high school team when tryouts start in the fall. I totally want to make the varsity team.

To make matters worse, Mitch, my boyfriend, won’t even know I’m gone. He went camping with his dad for a couple weeks on a ‘cell phone free’ vacation. It’s still a new relationship. If we’re not together the rest of the summer, he just might find someone else who will be there for him.

I don’t even know why Ron wants me to go with him. He doesn’t even like me. Mom probably wanted me out of the house so she could have privacy with her latest guy.

Her current boyfriend, Marc with a ‘c’, thinks he’s the one. As if. Doesn’t he realize once Mom meets someone bigger or better he’s out of the picture?

“I’m going to the bathroom,” I say to Ron.

I really don’t have to go, but I take my purse and walk down the hallway. When I get out of Ron’s line of vision, I take out my trusty cell phone and keep walking.

Mom got me the cell “for emergencies only.” I’m definitely feeling an emergency coming on.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 73 )
Rating Distribution

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(56)

4 Star

(11)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 74 Customer Reviews
  • 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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

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  • 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.

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  • 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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