How to Ruin a Summer Vacation
By Simone Elkeles
October 8, 2006
Flux, 240 pages
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.
— Amazon.com description
Reading this book was like eating dessert. I scarfed it down in one sitting and felt nice and sugary and happy afterward. It really is a perfect, quick YA rom-com novel.
The main character was likeable and had a very realistic, relatable teen voice, the romantic lead was cute and intriguing, and the story had a strong message about the importance of family pride. As a bonus, it knocks down a lot of stereotypes readers probably have about Israeli life and is a great look into Jewish culture. What more could you ask for?
I'll be getting the sequels soon because I can't wait to find out what happens to Amy next. Simply put, a charming read.
The next books in the series: How to Ruin My Teenage Life and How to Ruin Your Boyfriend's Reputation
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