Tuesday, February 12, 2008

How To Ruin A Summer Vacation, by Simone Elkeles

Amy has hardly ever seen her Dad (the "sperm donor"). He shows up about once a year but otherwise ignores her. So, it's quite a surprise when he insists that she come with him to Israel for a summer. Amy does not quite know what to expect. She's heard enough about Israel but does not know much about it. And her reception there, meeting her father's family, is pretty rough. But over the summer, she grows out of her selfish American roots as she discovers new friends, new love, and an ancient heritage.

The book is well written but I found it hard to relate (or sympathize) with Amy, who is fairly self-centered and rude. And her transformation comes so easily that it seems either fake or simply wishful-thinking from the author. That made it hard to like the book.

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