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How to Ruin My Teenage Life

How to Ruin My Teenage Life
By Simone Elkeles
Flux, 2007
Audience: All Teens

From Goodreads:
In this sequel to How to Ruin a Summer Vacation, EVERYTHING in sixteen-year-old Amy Nelson Barak's life is going wrong! Her mom got married and moved to the suburbs, and now they are going to have a baby. Amy moves in with her dad in Chicago and signs him up for an online dating service. His first four dates are that night . . .
What else? Her dog Mutt impregnated her grumpy neighbor's prized poodle, so Amy will actually have to get a part-time job to pay for half the veterinary bill. And there's this totally annoying boy, Nathan Rubin, who just moved into her apartment building. Luckily, Amy has a cute boyfriend named Avi. Only he's more like a non-boyfriend considering Avi is in the Israeli army for the next three years.
What's a girl to do when everyone is conspiring to ruin her life?
I think this description makes Amy sound a little more dramatic that what the book actually was. Maybe I am remembering incorrectly, or maybe I am just comparing it to her attitude in the first book. THAT was over-dramatic. In this book, she seems to look at her life with a little bit more of a sense of humor than despair. Or maybe, I just thought it was funny.
This time, we get to see Amy living in Chicago with her dad. Oh, the situations she gets herself into. Sometimes I wonder about her decisions-making process and how her mind works. However, she doesn't seem to care. I think she knows better, but does it anyway. Example: the dating service.
Also, I was totally happy with the way things turned out with Nathan. I was worried, because I really wanted her to end up with Avi, but her interactions with Nathan reminded me of how she and Avi got along at first. I think Nathan's situation helped Amy learn more about the real world. Not everyone's life is easy. She needed to see that.
All in all, I liked this book a lot better than the first one. I can't wait to read the next!


  1. I love books with "How to" in their title! I find that I must read them! Also if the word "List", "Confessions", or "Diary" apparently I get suckered in :)


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