Sunday, July 8, 2012

Review: Don't You Wish by Roxanne St. Claire

Title: Don't You Wish
Author: Roxanne St. Claire
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
Release Date: July 10, 2012 by Delacorte
Pages: 368
Format: eBook
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Bookdepository
Read from June 30 - July 6, 2012 
My rating: 3 stars: I like it
Summary: 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 exhilirating . . . 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.


I slide on the sunglasses, covering my dazzling green eyes. Because this dream is so bright, I gotta wear shades. 

Don't You Wish by Roxanne St. Claire tells a story of Annie Nutter, daughter of Mel and Emily Nutter, who wishes she lived a different life. When Mel comes up with a cool invention called Picture Perfect, Annie literally wakes up in the morning to a different life--the one she wishes for--in a parallel universe. Annie is now living Ayla Monroe's life which is different from her own in most ways except that she still has the same mother, but now Emily Monroe instead of Nutter. Finally living the perfect life she always wishes for, Annie finds herself missing her Nutter family more than ever. 

I liked this book. It's fun. I didn't expect much in the first place so I wasn't disappointed. I really like the idea of time travel and parallel universe in this book. I used to be interested in quantum physics, too. The way they all fit together and create a plot for this story is well thought out. Although there are still some things that don't quite make sense, it doesn't affect my enjoyment because it's so much fun. 


"Be careful what you wish for," I think, is what this book tries to say. We must've all been in Annie's position at least once in our lives. Sometimes we wish we were something we're not, the better version of ourselves, or someone else entirely. We wish our lives were different, we wish we had money, we wish for success and happiness. The only difference is that Annie gets it. This book explores the idea of "perfect life" really well. The way Annie's character develops throughout the story is nicely done. She goes from a nobody wishing she was a somebody, to a pretty, rich, A-list girl perfection missing her old life and family. Maybe perfection isn't all it's cracked up to be. But oh, the length people would go to achieve perfection, not knowing that maybe the price can be too high. 


Another idea I really liked about this book is the "what if" and "what could've been". Sure, as human beings, we wonder all the time. What if I was born to a rich family? What if I had married a rich guy? Oh, I could've been living in that big house with so much money I wouldn't have to work for the rest of my life. These kinds of things. In this book, Annie is doing the wishing while her mother is responsible for the what-if's and what-could've-been's. I found it heart-breaking to have second thoughts when you look back at your life. The way you wish you hadn't made that decision, the way you wonder about the differences you could've made. And again, this book shows that maybe you're better off where you are now. Maybe it's all for the better. 


Near the end of the book, I was so much into the story that it was so emotional. Annie is torn between two choices. Will she stay or will she go? In a way, this Ayla Monroe life is perfect. Well, maybe it's not "perfect" perfect, but it's definitely a good  quality life, despite broken family and no real friendship. That Annie Nutter life, on the other hand, is full of mess but with loving family and a best friend. Will she stay or will she go? 


As you can see, I really liked many ideas in the book, but there's one that I didn't like. It's a decision Charlie and his family make. I think it weakens all the thought-provoking messages the book has been sending out up to one point. Running away from the problem, after everything the book has been saying, comes as a let-down for me. 


The characters are fun to read about and get to know. I like the way Annie learns to live and adjust to Ayla's lives while still trying to maintain herself. Charlie is one of the sweetest fictional characters I've ever read about. He's good-looking and very smart, but he's not welcome at school because of his background. He doesn't like bitchy queen bee Ayla, but Annie is good at heart, and Charlie can see that, and that's what he loves about her. 
"Yes, you are pretty, and when you pictured perfect, you came damn close, but the part of you I like the most is inside."
Of course, it's sweet. This can easily be the sweetest thing someone can ever say to someone else. But do you buy it? I don't. I'm a non-believer when it comes to the idea of loving someone purely because of the heart/soul. Surely appearance must play a part, however little or big. This goes against my personal belief, so I had a hard time believing Charlie's love for Annie. Other than these dislikes, this book is made of fun!


Don't You Wish is a fun, thought-provoking story with a touch of science (and time travel!) that explores the idea of perfection. I really enjoyed reading this. This book comes out on July 10, 2012. 



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This review is also posted on Goodreads.
I received a digital copy from NetGalley and the publisher for review.

4 comments:

  1. Congratulations! I've nominated you for the Liebster Award! You can find out more here: http://nettesbookshelf.blogspot.com/2012/07/liebster-award.html

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  2. Very nicely reviewed. From reading your review I would have thought you'd rate the book higher than you did. What aspects for you cause you to just give it three stars. I've read the book and for me, I thought the conclusion was slightly unrealistic in the way everything worked itself out in the end.

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    1. Haha good point. I gave this book three stars because I found it an enjoyable story and that's that. It doesn't make me think, and it doesn't affect me emotionally, nor did it leave any impression that would last. All of these are the qualities of 4-star books. This one's enjoyable, surely, but when I finished it, I stopped thinking about it and it wouldn't cross my mind again. In short, it's nothing special, but it's a good way to kill time. :)

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