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Don't You Wish Hardcover – July 10, 2012

4.2 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up-Awkward Annie Nutter is tormented by the rich, popular kids whom she both envies and reviles at Pittsburgh's South Hills High. Her home life isn't any better: her brother is annoying, her father is a failed inventor, and her realtor mother has just discovered that the med student she could have married is now a billionaire in Miami. One stormy night, when trying out her dad's latest invention, Annie gets zapped into an alternate universe in which her mother is married to the former med student and she's Ayla Monroe, the rich, beautiful queen bee of a ritzy private school. At first she enjoys the perks of her status, but eventually she realizes that her so-called friends are shallow, she feels nothing for her jerky boyfriend, her new dad is a womanizer, and her mom is miserable. In a satisfying feel-good twist, the school's brilliant but bullied scholarship student helps her get back to her old world as they fall in love. There is plenty here that readers will find compelling. Unfortunately, cartoonish stereotypes of socioeconomic groups (rich people are horrible; poor people have hearts of gold); a plot that moves forward largely by way of lucky coincidences; and some problematic treatment of race (Ayla's ethnically ambiguous best friend is ridiculously described as "a little bit of everything-Asian, Hispanic, black, white, with some island flair thrown in for added spice.") make this novel more of a light read than the deeper exploration of identity, family relationships, and society it strives to be.-Riva Pollard, American Indian Public Charter School, Oakland, CAα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


VOYA, June 2012:
"A charming tale that will especially appeal to kids who feel themselves to be Invisible, tormented, and in need of empowerment skills."

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (July 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385741561
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385741569
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.2 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,087,605 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
I don't read much YA at all, especially nowadays, because they all seem to have the exact same premise. I only picked up this one up because it was by Roxanne St. Claire, who's been one of my favorite authors in her other genres, and it wanted to give it a shot. Don't You Wish really surprised me in a great way, because it seems to be different from the current YA books being published. This books has such a fun, innovative story, with a creative, fast-paced, plot and lovable characters. I devoured it like a beloved desert. I've loved every page of this book. It's been one of my favorite reads this year!

Annie Nutter is supposedly your average girl, as she doesn't get noticed at school and doesn't get to hang out with the popular crowd at school. She's just a band dork who gets made fun of. Annie is really nice and fun, but she's shy and doesn't show that much of her lovable personality to the world. At the point where she becomes Ayla Monroe on the outside, yet continues to be Annie on the inside, is where the true beauty of the character lies. Because of this - Annie gets this huge initiative and changes Ayla's life. A life that would seem to perfect for everyone that wasn't really living it. It's like Annie gets the spark to light the fire within [Ayla] and starts to proactively make things better. And Annie finally stands up for herself. I love that about her.

Then, there's Charlie, a geeky guy, within a picture perfect world who gets bullied for not being rich enough for the Crop Academy. He befriends Annie as Ayla. Of course, the real Ayla would never have befriended him. Charlie is a key character as it's his genius that eventually helps Annie figure out her final solution. Charlie is a very authentic, multi-layered character.
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Format: Hardcover
I loved this book. I won't write a story summary since other reviewers have done so, but this book is well worth your time. St. Claire is a master story teller and she completely capture the voice and tone of Young Adult fiction. As Annie/Ayla confront the realities of her life there isn't a girl or woman of any age who won't identify with the idea of being someone different, of being someone "better," then realizing there's nothing like being yourself. Annie is a brave woman at her core -- whether she's poor Annie or rich Ayla.

Even as a 50-something, I found great take aways for my own life. This is a fun novel with deep, thought provoking layers. St. Claire braves technical and scientific details with easy and simplicity. Makes the whole alternate reality believable. Don't miss this read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As soon as I heard the "be careful what you wish for" premise of this book, I couldn't wait to read it, and it certainly didn't disappoint! DON'T YOU WISH is the story of Annie Nutter, a high school "nobody" who yearns for the charmed life of the popular crowd, then has to deal with the consequences when she is suddenly catapulted into a parallel universe where her real-life mom married the uber-rich 'one that got away,' and Annie is living the life she once envied. Annie finds out that things aren't always what they seem to be -- and when she has a chance to either keep the new life or return to the old one, she has to decide what to do. Complications include a budding romance in her new persona, and some soul searching about not only what she wants and needs, but in which life -- the old or the new -- she is needed the most.

I loved the 'fish out of water' elements of Annie/Ayla (her parallel universe name) fitting into a completely different life, and coming to grips with the fact that her alto ego really is not a very nice person. The characters jump off the page in this fast-paced, fun read.

Overall, I thought the book was delightful and would recommend it to both teens and adults. I bought it on my Kindle yesterday and literally could not put it down until I finished it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
With Don't You Wish, Roxanne St. Claire has done it again, this time in an altered universe that everyone--young adults, old adults, and everyone in between--fantasizes about. I don't mean sex-on-the-beach fantasies, though they're always swell (and which St. Claire does so very well in her recent adult novel, Barefoot in the Sand). Don't You Wish is something very different: a young adult novel with real psychological depth, complex characters, and a story based on the great "What if?" most of us secretly ask ourselves all the time. What if my life were different? What if I were richer, more beautiful, and lived in the house of my dreams?

Wallflower and orchestra geek Annie Nutter gets to find out the answers to those questions when one of her dad's whacky inventions goes awry and she's zapped into a parallel universe. In this world, she's rich and beautiful, lives in a picture-perfect house, and is the undisputed queen bee of her high school, with a picture-perfect boyfriend clamoring for her, uh, attention. It all seems pretty wonderful at first, until she begins to understand the unintended consequences.

Unintended consequences are what Don't You Wish is all about. It plays out the "What if?" scenario all the way, so Annie can see the price she and others have to pay for her exalted status. Those rich girls with the high-end Amex cards? They get their thrills from shoplifting! That gorgeous boyfriend? Not so nice. And what about the orchestra geeks and other "invisibles" who live on the margins of the high school social hierarchy, like Annie did in her previous life? Turns out they're not invisible after all.
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