Book Review of Don’t You Wish by Roxanne St. Clair

Posted July 1, 2012 by Kara in Uncategorized / 8 Comments

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Release Date: July 10th, 2012
Pages: 368
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Source: NetGalley from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Blurb: 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.

Review: Gotta be really honest here. I didn’t care much for the first half of this book. I loved the opening chapters, but as soon as Annie became Ayla, things went downhill. Somewhere around page 200, I was happy I had decided to stick with it. It got much better and by the end of the book, I was happy I had read it. My main issue is this: I have a real problem reading books with unlikable characters if there is nothing else about the book that blows me away. The story or world-building has to make up for it. And at that point in the book, I was feeling very meh about the story. It did get better though.

Once Charlie entered the story, my whole outlook on this book changed because I had an awesome character to root for. Charlie was amazing, not only as a love interest, but as an individual character. He was the kind of guy I would have had a crush on in high school, but now that I’m too old for that, I just wanted him to have all of his dreams come true. He was funny, sweet, super-smart, and had a wonderful relationship with his sister that had me wishing I had a sibling while I was growing up.

Charlie entered the book and changed Ayla/Annie. Once she met him, she became likable and I began to like this book. And then there was not only Charlie, but his sister as well. She was bad-ass and a girl I would have wanted to be friends with. Her situation was ugly but her personality was sunny and her determination to make the most of life really inspired me. I’m purposely being vague because I don’t want to give away anything too important about the story.

Things I Didn’t Like:

~Whiny, unlikable characters, including the parents.
~Plot lacked originality, although it was fun.
~Stereotyping of the popular kids and jocks as the usual jerks. Can we think of something new already?
~The writing was kind of blah. Nothing made it stand out. There was a lot of telling. Where was the imagery?

Things I Did Like:

~The evolution of the protagonist from a nasty, selfish person to someone I would like to know.
~Charlie. Annie’s Dad. Charlie’s Sister.
~The whole idea of the time-travel and the science behind it. I thought it was inventive, even though it was a little hard to believe.

Bottom Line:

This is a fun read if you are looking for a fluff piece of fiction. It’s not all sunshine and roses, but it’s not too depressing and it will make you feel good if you don’t get annoyed by the things I mentioned. If you stick with it, it gets better. It’s not perfect, but what it does it does well. I enjoyed it. I don’t know if I would ever re-read it (probably not), but I did have a fun time with this one once it got going.

To buy a copy of Don’t You Wish from, click here: Don’t You Wish.

8 responses to “Book Review of Don’t You Wish by Roxanne St. Clair

    • It wasn’t that she was whiny all the time, I was just irritated because she was selfish and unthankful. I don’t know. Just let me know what you think when you read it.

  1. Amy

    I’m glad you ended up liking it. I did too. I was about to give up, but I decided to give it another chapter or so and see if it improved, and it was literally the next chapter that convinced me to keep reading. I still mostly hated the characters, but I did like how Ayla/Annie changed and I liked Charlie and Missy!! Great review hon!!

    • I felt exactly the same way. I think the first half is kind of difficult to get through. There are some great character transformations if you can stick with it, but I worry that many won’t.

  2. Yeah, the plot sounds really stereotypical – the very common Girl Gets Perfect Life But It’s Soulless and Lonely. I also agree with getting tired of the cliche that popular girls and jocks are just bullies by default. They definitely CAN be, but people also become popular by being extremely, well, LIKEABLE and social.

    I was bullied a fair bit in high school by some popular girls, but others were just some of the nicest, most supportive people – who were popular BECAUSE they were nice and social to everybody. It takes all kinds, and I dislike books that use the “popular” label as some sort of obvious bully descriptor. It’s shame-y and very “I’m a special snowflake” cliche.

    • It really was, June. Sometimes i like mindless, fluff reads, but they still have to bring something worthwhile to the table.

      This one got a little better in the end. I bumped it up to three stars. Without the second half, this book would have been lucky to get a two.

      I completely agree with you about the popular kids. I knew some that were jerks, but I also knew MANY that were great people. I hate stereotypes and to me, using that one is taking the easy way out. I’d like to see authors be a little more creative than that.

      Thank you for stopping by and leaving me a lengthy and meaningful comment.

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