Book 1
How To Ruin Series

September 8, 2010





How to Ruin a Summer Vacation
by Simone Elkeles   


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 to a mall with Ron (my biological father), 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 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.


"4 STARS!"  By Terrill Rosado 1 year ago

- rating
- story
- characters


After perusing a few negative reviews, I hesitated beginning this one. I'm so glad that I persevered. I truly enjoyed the story, the humor, the romance, and the foreign locales. Yes, Amy acted like a spoiled brat at times, but I recognize this behavior in many self-entitled teens. I think it was realistic behavior of a 16 year old who has lived a spoiled life and feels slighted by a rarely-their father. You get to see somewhat of a turn-around in her behavior and hopefully even more in subsequent books. As for the romance, I can see the allure of a cute American girl to Israelian teen boys, regardless of her entitled behavior. For me, this was a realistic account of the beginning of a girls transformation after learning more about her heritage and faith. The added romance and humor was a beautiful bonus.