Friday, May 27, 2011

Review: How To Ruin series by Simone Elkeles

How to Ruin a Summer Vacation
 Summary: 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…
How to Ruin My Teenage Life
 Summary: In this sequel to How to Ruin a Summer Vacation, EVERYTHING in sixteen-year-old Amy Nelson Barak’s life is going wrong! Her mom got married and moved to the suburbs, and now they are going to have a baby. Amy moves in with her dad in Chicago and signs him up for an online dating service. His first four dates are that night … What else? Her dog Mutt impregnated her grumpy neighbor’s prized poodle, so Amy will actually have to get a part-time job to pay for half the veterinary bill. And there’s this totally annoying boy, Nathan Rubin, who just moved into her apartbuilding. Luckily, Amy has a cute boyfriend named Avi. Only he’s more like a non-boyfriend considering Avi is in the Israeli army for the next three years. What’s a girl to do when everyone is conspiring to ruin her life?
How to Ruin Your Boyfriend’s Reputation
 Summary: Guess who’s jetting to the Holy Land this summer! Remember me, Amy Barak-Nelson—a.k.a the queen of disaster? In case you forgot, my boyfriend Avi is in the Israeli army. A visit is definitely in order. Somehow my grandmother convinced me to sign up for two weeks of pure hell in a military training base. Getting up before dawn, peeing in a hole, and playing war games in the desert isn’t my idea of fun. But what’s worse? Our team leader turns out to be Avi!
Simone Elkeles never fails to impress me. This was the last series that I’ve read of her work after enjoying both Perfect Chemistry and Leaving Paradise series. I expected to see similarities from her other works and I’m happy to see none. How To Ruin trilogy was an eye-opener for me. Just like Amy, I saw Israel without so much affirmative judgments because of the war that’s still happening there. The author proved both Amy and I wrong. I had an 8-hour trip to the country and Ms. Elkeles successfully pulled off to take the reader’s imagination to where Amy is. It is a fun read that I finished the whole series in one sitting within less than twelve hours (I didn’t mind that my brother’s mumbling ‘no life’ loud enough for me to hear). It was highly entertaining to know Amy’s POV though she’s really annoying and is ruining a lot of things on every first part of the books. Her relationship with Avi was enviable and realistic. There were many times that they argue about a lot of things, but the moment they made up, nobody can separate them from each other –except Amy’s father, Ron, when they get too close--. It’s a wholesome series despite several sexual tensions between Amy and Avi. Religion was also a big part of the series. I’m a catholic and I respect every other religion equally. I know a little about Judaism from our Social Studies last year and it’s interesting to learn more of Jews’ cultures and traditions. 

Overall, I really, really liked it. Ms. Simone Elkeles taught and showed me a good deal of things and I’m counting the days to finally read CHAIN OF REACTION.

1 comment:

  1. great review. Ive not heard of this series but its sounds really good will have to add it to my wishlist!


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