domingo, 27 de fevereiro de 2011

Review: How to Ruin a Summer Vacation (How to Ruin #1) by Simone Elkeles

How to Ruin a Summer Vacation (How to Ruin, #1)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.
I think that almost everybody knows who is Simone Elkeles. She is writing the Fuentes Brothers series (I'm gonna to do a review about the two first books later). She wrote this series in 2006, and she was already dealing with people of differents backgrounds getting acquainted and falling in love. And the best part of her books is: You always can see yourself in the skin of one of her characters -Well, I can do that.- And it wasn't different with this book.

At the start, we're introduced to Amy Nelson, a normal 16 year-old girl, from Chicago.  She lives with her mother, and doesn't have much contact with her father because she's the result of a one night-stand, while her mother was in the college, but it's going to change. She receives a call from her father (aka Sperm Donor. It's what she calls him.), inviting her to go to his birth country, Israel, because his mother is ill, and he believes that she probably won't survive, so he wants to introduce Amy to his family. This is when she starts to freak out, because to her, Israel is a place where you can die from a bombing at any minute! You weren't safe anywhere!  I know that almost everybody already thought that at the least once in your life. I thought that, but It's because we're just like Amy: We don't know the country. We just know that places because of TV, and almost every news related to Israel, Iraq and etc, is a bomb related news.
So, after much discussion, she pack her things and gets on a plane, to Israel, where she mets her grandmother, her aunt and uncle and two cousins, but the problem is:  They didn't know that Amy existed. And this hurts her, but after some time she doesn't mind anymore, and start to like her father's family. But it doesn't mean that she starts to like Israel.
Well, for every strong heroine, there must be a hero who is strong enough for her. And this hero comes in the format of a hot Israeli guy, named Avi. And of course, we can't forget the cute dog, Mutt, who is with Amy all time after she got in Israel, but there're two things that bothered me:

  1. I didn't get how Amy and her grandmother "connected" with each other. I mean, it was because Amy makes her grandmother remember her good days? Because they're cute? That wasn't well explained to me.
  2. Simone characters always have big chest. After reading her books, I'm starting to get complexed with my own boobs.

But, in the end, this book is a book where you can see yourself in the place of the main character, and understand her emotions and her decisions, because if you were in her place, probably you would do the same things that she did. And by bonus, we can learn a little about Israel and it's culture, what it's awesome!  

I give to this book: