Don't You Wish, by Roxanne St. Claire

To mangle a phrase from Jane Austen, Roxanne St. Claire's novel Don't You Wish is one of the many YA books whose existence inspires no other emotion than surprise at there being sufficient reader demand to publish it. It's not that the novel is straight-up terrible (I'll even give it a solid “reasonably entertaining”), but it's been done before—and done better.

After falling victim to a cruel prank, sixteen-year-old Annie Nutter wishes her life was different, and her wish comes true after she runs afoul of one of her father's bizarre inventions. Suddenly, Annie finds herself in a parallel universe where her mother married Jim Monroe, a billionaire plastic surgeon. In this world, Annie is beautiful and popular, but (shocker!) her new A-list life has its downsides, too, and Annie finds herself torn between returning to her old world or attempting to fix her current one.

Frankly, I was surprised that I enjoyed this story at all. In addition to her total lack of originality, St. Claire includes three of my least favorite teen-book elements: designer label name-dropping, poorly explained science fiction, and references to real-world celebrities. It's a testament to the lighthearted readability of Don't You Wish and the charm of its sensible, self-aware heroine that I not only finished the book, but even recommend it to other readers—young readers, anyway. Anyone over twenty will see every twist and turn of the plot coming a mile away, but your average fifteen-year-old should find this story well worth eighteen bucks of their allowance money.

Review based on publisher-provided copy.
bookroxanne st. clairedon't you wish
Posted by: Julianka


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