Monday, April 22, 2013

Don't You Wish by Roxanne St. Claire

TITLE: Don't You Wish
AUTHOR: Roxanne St. Claire
PUBLISHER/YEAR: Delacorte Press / 2012
SOURCE: Local Library

Goodreads / Author's Website

What would you do if you suddenly found yourself in an alternate dimension, a dimension where you're just a little bit prettier and a whole lot richer and more popular? Pretty crazy right. Well that's exactly what happens to Annie Nutter. She goes to bed one night thinking about what would have happened if her mom married the rich plastic surgeon Jim Monroe instead of the lovable, bumbling inventor Mel Nutter and she wakes up the next morning as Ayla Monroe. Sure her new life is great, lots of cars, a boyfriend, all the money she could dream of, but this new found fortune has its price and she just wishes she could be a little more like Annie Nutter again.

Don't You Wish is a pretty familiar story think Freaky Friday but replace the mother/daughter switch with alternate universes. I mean I didn't hate it, but it wasn't anything super groundbreaking. Like, this was a story that grew on me. I know the trope, I actually kind of like this particular trope when it's well done and Don't You Wish might not be the best example of it, but it's not the worst either. It's a light story and once I gave it a chance I enjoyed it, but I have to admit that was a long chance and I almost DNF'd more than once.

So Annie Nutter, not the most likable character which is kind of an important thing for me, especially in a book as light as this one. Her life isn't half bad, she has a loving family and a great best friend, but she's always thinking about the popular kids and refers to herself as an invisible. Okay so even if that's what the bullies call the unpopular kids, does she really have to internalize it to that extent. Additionally, once she's actually in this alternate universe she's obsessed with maintaining her status. She doesn't want to be completely horrible like the real Ayla was, but she does a lot of things she's not okay with to maintain her status. It just all seemed a little much.

The writing is also kind of stilted. Honestly, to me it read more like an adult trying to sound like a teen than anything. The characters just didn't feel genuine and it's written in the first person perspective so this was really jarring for me. I mean at one point she says that "this dream is so bright, I gotta wear shades." It was stilted and lines like that just kind of made me smirk and took me out of the story completely.

So yes, I had some major problems with this book, but it wasn't horrible. I persevered with it because I figured I would like it more when we got to the inevitable point in the story where she misses her old life. And I did. Once she starts to figure out that maybe her old life wasn't all bad it really picks up. I love watching characters grow and develop and Annie does. It just took a little too long for me. Once she starts thinking about other people and looking at how her actions affect them it picks up.

Don't You Wish  probably isn't a book I'd recommend to everybody, but if you want something super light and are into alternate universes maybe pick it up? I enjoyed it in the end, it just took so long to get to that point. Patience was definitely key, but it ended up being a fun, light read. Good for long trips on the bus.

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