'Don't You Wish' would be the perfect base for one of those cute 'n fluffy American Teen Movies, which demonstrate that being popular, rich and beauti...more'Don't You Wish' would be the perfect base for one of those cute 'n fluffy American Teen Movies, which demonstrate that being popular, rich and beautiful doesn't equal being happy, unconditionally loved and free to do what you want.
The trick to open the unsatisfied heroine's eyes in this particular case is a magical mirror-smartphone-application-thingy invented by a Honey-I-Shrunk-the-Kids-style mad-scientist dad, which paired with the desperate wish for a different life transports the braces-wearing orchestra geek into a parallel universe - one in which her mom married her ambitious first boyfriend instead. One which turned Annie into ultra-bitch 'A-List' Ayla with a sex-hungry jerk-boyfriend, but which contains the adorable scholarship genius Charlie Zielinsky, whose twin-sister's paralyzing car accident used up his family's financial resources and then some.
Certainly the recipe works - and Charlie's charm works, too. I was sufficiently enamoured with him. But the seemingly quantum physics-based mechanics of travel between the parallel worlds can be called murky at best. Especially around the end I felt pretty cheated in my hunger for sound world-building.
The other thing that disturbed my ability to enjoy Annie's/Ayla's transformation were the - admittedly typical - black-and-white strokes, with which the wealthy crowd was depicted: All the boys in Ayla's private high school in Miami are dumb, superficial and sex-hungry, and all the rich-enough non-geeky girls go shop-lifting to compensate for their parents' indifference, smoke weed, sniff coke and carelessly drive around in expensive cars with a couple of mojitos in their bellies. As a Europan and as a handyman's daughter, who was blissfully oblivious to at least half of her classmates' social stati, and whose primary and middle school days were mainly ruled by an iron-fisted but poor queen bee, who lived with her grandparents, because her dad was in prison and her mom constantly in and out of rehab, I am in no position to destroy either the poor-rich-kid cliché nor to question the fixed idea that having certain financial means results in having friends and an opinion worth listening to. Still, I do wonder. Each time.
That doesn't make American Teen Movies or wake-up-heroine-and-be-yourself-books like 'Don't You Wish' indigestible to me, but it places them into the same parallel media universe as space operas and alien inversions.
So, this is my advice: Get out the popcorn, switch off your brains, turn on your swoon-radar and prepare to be entertained.(less)
Not as good as the Mediator Series or Teen Idol, but definitely more enjoyable than some of Cabot's other recent output. It has a kind of open ending,...moreNot as good as the Mediator Series or Teen Idol, but definitely more enjoyable than some of Cabot's other recent output. It has a kind of open ending, but since I had read the sequel last year already, I didn't mind so much.(less)
I stopped reading on page 52 for no particular reason and failed to collect enough interest to pick it up again. I have wanted the book for years. And...moreI stopped reading on page 52 for no particular reason and failed to collect enough interest to pick it up again. I have wanted the book for years. And now it has let me down somehow.(less)