Genre: YA Realistic Fiction/Fantasy
Pub. Date: July 10, 2012
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Goodreads says, “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.”
Annie Nutter is a wallflower at her current school in Pittsburgh. She is in the band, is unpopular and wears braces. Her dad is a wanna-be inventor that is forever coming up with weird gadgets and ideas, much to her mom’s dismay. One day Annie, testing out her dad’s invention, gets zapped into a parallel universe where everything is entirely different from her life at Pittsburgh. She is good looking, extremely rich, popular, and lives on sultry Miami on Star Island. Ayla, as she is known as here in her parallel life, has the world at her finger tips and is starting to enjoy it all. Her mother is still in this world, but her dad is her mom’s old ex-boyfriend who is an extremely successful businessman. The ultimate question is whether Annie will stay in Miami if given the opportunity or will she miss her old life? Don’t You Wish by Roxanne St. Claire is an entertaining mix of realistic fiction and fantasy. It will have you thinking about your own parallel universe and what might have been.
Don’t You Wish is the kind of read that is perfect for the beach. It’s light, it’s fun, but Annie’s journey will hook readers in. Annie is the kind of heroine that I love to root for; she's the underdog. When she arrives in her new life as Ayla, you imagine the world of possibilities that she can explore, such as luxury cars, couture, platinum credit cards, boats, etc. You name it, Ayla’s got it. The one thing that is missing though is her reliable best friend from Pittsburgh, her strong relationship with her mom, and her fun-loving dad, who in this world, is replaced by someone who is all about money.
Ayla meets a boy, Charlie, that will make her question whether she should stay or go given the chance. He turns her world upside down, much to the popular crowd’s disapproval. Charlie makes her question her very existance and helps her to figure out how she ended up in this parallel world.
I really enjoyed Don’t You Wish. It had the perfect mixture of everything I look for in a beach read. I think it also possesses a good message for young adults as money truly isn’t everything and just because someone appears to have it all doesn’t mean they actually do. I could see many of my female students enjoying Don't You Wish and Ayla’s journey. To me, Don’t You Wish is a fun combination of Clueless, Back to the Future, and Freaky Friday. Plus, it doesn't hurt to imagine living on Star Island in Miami, right?
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