Review: How to Ruin My Teenage Life by Simone Elkeles

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


In this sequel to How to Ruin a Summer Vacation, EVERYTHING in sixteen-year-old Amy Nelson Barak's life is going wrong! Her mom got married and moved to the suburbs, and now they are going to have a baby. Amy moves in with her dad in Chicago and signs him up for an online dating service. His first four dates are that night . . .

What else? Her dog Mutt impregnated her grumpy neighbor's prized poodle, so Amy will actually have to get a part-time job to pay for half the veterinary bill. And there's this totally annoying boy, Nathan Rubin, who just moved into her apartment building. Luckily, Amy has a cute boyfriend named Avi. Only he's more like a non-boyfriend considering Avi is in the Israeli army for the next three years.
What's a girl to do when everyone is conspiring to ruin her life?

I read this immediately after How to Ruin a Summer Vacation and again loved it. The story is set in Chicago this time with Amy now living with her father.

Amy has to endure trials and tribulations of being a late starting Jew, owning a dog for the first time, and wondering what the heck Nathan's problem is. Plus Jessica, her best friend, is going through problems with her boyfriend that Amy just can't deal with.

Amy is again a delight to read. She copes and keeps on coping until she boils over. Disaster follows her whatever she does, and are only made worse when Avi turns up out of the blue.

An emotion rollercoaster of a book, it doesn't disappoint. The religious part of the book does take a bit more precedent than the first so if you aren't jewish and don't mind reading about it then you'll really love the story.

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