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Sunday, July 1, 2012

How to Ruin by Simone Elkeles

Author: Simone Elkeles
Title: How To Ruin (three books in one)
Publication: October 8th, 2006
Publisher: Flux
Genre: Young Adult
Rating: 5 out 5
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One girl
Two guys
Three hot summers

'How to Ruin a Summer Vacation'
Leaving Chicago to go to Israel with her estranged father is the last thing sixteen-year-old Amy wants to do--until she meets handsome but aloof Avi, an eighteen-year-old soldier in the Israeli army.

'How to Ruin My Teenage Life'
Can a guy truly be your boyfriend if he lives in a different country? Avi might think it's possible, but Amy's edgy classmate Nathan wants a chance to prove him wrong...

'How to Ruin Your Boyfriend's Reputation'
Signing up for a ten-day boot camp at the Israeli military base where Avi is stationed might not have been Amy's greatest idea--especially since Nathan is there, too.

Thoughts: This three pack book is only sold in Borders, which is currently closed. Now you have to buy them separately. This review is all three together so it'll be fast, fun, and easy!

First off, I have never in my life heard of a Young Adult book that circled around Judaism. None. Simone bases this book on life in Israel, and is very interesting for the people who've never been there or want to learn more. Let's start with the main character, Amy. She's half Jewish, fun, strong willed, stubborn, high-maintenance, and impulsive. If you give her a challenge, she'll take it and wont stop until it's done. She does it without breaking a nail, which is always important to her. In the first book, she's in a type of farmland in Israel, so it's very difficult adapting. Being JAP (Jewish American Princess) where she's spending her "vacation" is impossible, so she learns how to cope in the new environment. Book two is based in Chicago, and three is back in Israel. You get to see Avi's home town in the first book, Amy's in the second, and how both their worlds collide in the third.

Now, let's talk about Avi, also known as "Mr. Extremely Sexy". At first he doesn't hit it off with Amy, seeing her as spoiled (which she is), lazy (which she is), and whiny (which she definitely is). Even though they both had a mutual dislike for one another, they also have a pull that get's them into situations which bring them closer. It's fun to see their feelings grow, and you'll see how they balance each other out. Avi has a calming effect on her, and that's one of the reasons they randomly end up together. He's also known to have an extremely healthy body. Amy narrates, "Avi is wearing black boxer briefs. That's it. His military-ripped bod should be outlawed. He's got a serious six-pack and has muscles in places I didn't even know existed." That's just a little teaser to get you started. How to Ruin has adventure, romance, comedy, teen angst, and morals. It's a definite to-read!


  1. Oh I LOVE this series! It was such a fun summer read for me a couple years ago. And many times I was giggling out loud :) I didn't realize it was being released in a complete set like this! I may have to get it!

    1. It's not sold in a pack like this anymore. I have a copy to giveaway in the future, so luck out for it. :)

  2. I'm really skeptical about these books, mostly because I'm Israeli-American. The summary alone was enough to ring my *you're doing it wrong* bells.

    1. I've never been there (yet)... I'm going on my taglit-birthright later this year. Very excited!

  3. This sounds interesting. I'm not a fan of whiny, angsty characters though. Harry Potter about killed me in the Order of the Phoenix, I was like alright, let's move on and get over it. I may give it a try just to see who she does or does not pick!

  4. i've never heard about a book like this before! It sounds good though especially since the author is simone elkeles:)

  5. I've never heard a plot like this before! Hopefully its good since simone elkeles is the author :P

  6. This three part book sounds great. I love Amy and Nathan seems quite determined and devious. A delicious read.