I thought I knew what this book was going to be about based off the summary. Oh, it’s another one of those “Freaky Friday” switch-a-roo books, I mistakenly thought. The only real reason I picked it up is because Roxanne St Claire wrote it as her YA debut novel. But I was wrong to force it into the same category as those books that share a similar plot. I should have known better. Serves me right, actually, for doubting Roxanne.
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.
The first thing I want to point out is the SCIENCE in this book. It was actually explained! It wasn’t your typical “magical artifact mysteriously found and then used with unexpected results”. No. There was SCIENCE involved. Thank you, Roxanne St Claire, for fulfilling a wish of mine I didn’t even know I had until now for the young adult genre. Basically, we need more alternative universes where people are AWARE of the other universes. Can someone start writing a SLIDERS type series for YA? Because I want it. You’d have at least one loyal reader and I’m sure I could recruit some other people to read it as well. (Also, ten points to you if you know what Sliders is without having to Google it.)
While the first part of the story went pretty much the way I’d thought it would go, the second half was a pleasant surprise. A boy in Annie’s new life where she’s Ayla now becomes a more prominent character and kind of steals the show. He’s such a sweetheart and helps Ayla figure out why she’s here and how to get her back to her old life, should she choose that one over her current dream-like one. I adored him and wanted to visit this alternative universe where he existed because where was he while I was in high school? No, seriously. Where was he?
Overall, I thought this was a good book and a new twist on a previously overdone plot. I honestly wasn’t sure it would all work out until the very end, but somehow Roxanne pulled it off and it works as a standalone. (I do love standalones.)
Don’t You Wish comes out July 10th by Random House Children’s Books.