How to Ruin a Summer Vacation by Simone Elkeles

I’m lukewarm on this one. On the one hand I thought it was really interesting reading about typical modern day teenage life in Israel. Seeing it through the eyes of a teen raised in America was a great way to experience the reality as contrasted with the images I have from media. On the other hand, I found Amy, the main character, somewhat unlikable. howtoruin.jpgAnd the romance really fell flat for me. The basic story is that Amy’s father (whom she sees once a year and has no relationship at all with) brings her to his homeland of Israel for entire summer. [And I don’t believe for a minute that Amy’s mother would agree to this after a 20 minute phone call with Amy’s dad.] There she hangs out with other teens, doesn’t like them, isn’t liked by them, yet somehow manages to end the summer having a romance, appreciating the culture, having a new relationship with her dad and his family, and deciding to study Judaism. It all just seemed to happen a little too quickly, not enough depth to make the father-daughter storyline, or the romance, very believable for me. And, as I said earlier, I thought Amy was kind of unlikable–bratty and self-centered. I didn’t hate the book though, bits of it were very funny, and I really did like the perspective of Israel.


4 thoughts on “How to Ruin a Summer Vacation by Simone Elkeles

  1. I also loved this book How To Ruin a Summer Vacation and the sequel How to ruin my teenage life. They are both great books and I enjoyed them as well your websites cool great job!

  2. I didn’t realize there is a sequel! I’ll have to check it out. I hope it tells me more about her relationship with her dad. Thanks for the comment!

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