Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy

{July 7, 2012}   {ARC Review} Don’t You Wish by Roxanne St. Claire

From Goodreads: When plain and unpopular Annie Nutter gets zapped by one of her dad’s whacked-out inventions, she lands in a parallel universe where her life becomes picture-perfect. Now she’s Ayla Monroe, daughter of the same mother but a different father—and she’s the gorgeous, rich queen bee of her high school.

In this universe, Ayla lives in glitzy Miami instead of dreary Pittsburgh and has beaucoup bucks, courtesy of her billionaire—if usually absent—father. Her friends hit the clubs, party backstage at concerts, and take risks that are exhilarating . . . and illegal. Here she’s got a date to lose her V-card with the hottest guy she’s ever seen.

But on the inside, Ayla is still Annie.

So when she’s offered the chance to leave the dream life and head home to Pittsburgh, will she take it?

The choice isn’t as simple as you think.


This was an interesting story with a great concept.  What if we could be someone else?  What if we lived like movie stars, had plenty of money, and didn’t want for any material thing?  Would that be enough?  Annie Nutter has always wanted to be in with the popular group, to have plenty of money, friends, gorgeous clothes, but it’s just not her reality.  Not until her inventor father creates a mirror that zaps her into an alternate reality.  But as time goes on, Annie begins to realize that looks, money, and popularity aren’t all one needs to be happy.

This is a great coming of age story with some awesome themes for young adults, though at times I found it to be a bit slow.  When Annie becomes Ayla, she is tempted by all the material things she’s never had, but as she witnesses her “friends” doing things she’s never contemplated before, she must ask herself if this new life is what she really wants.  The beginning of the story was okay, but I felt like there was a little too much time spent on Annie getting the hang of being Ayla, and not enough time spent on more interesting things, like… Charlie.  Charlie’s a real great guy, and one that makes Annie question whether she wants to remain Ayla or go home to her real family in her own universe.  Once Charlie entered, I was torn too.  I really liked him, and watching Annie/Ayla change and fall for him was wonderful.  I fell for him alongside her, and as I learned more about his home life, the mirror invention, and universe travel, I found that I began to enjoy the story that much more.  Of course, it ends well, which made me very happy, because for a while I wasn’t sure what was going to happen, especially if Annie went back to her own universe… what about Charlie?  Well, you’ll have to read it to find out.  Three stars.

Random House Children’s Publishers has been extremely gracious in allowing me to read an ARC of this novel, via Netgalley, prior to its release on July 10, 2012.


wni says:

I love the cover. It’s gorgeous. But it seems like a decent novel.

Interesting . . . reminds me of that episode of “Angel” where Cordelia is transported to a parallel world and gets everything she ever wanted. Then, she must decide whether to remain there or return to “real life” to help her friends.

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