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DON'T YOU WISH by Roxanne St. Claire


by Roxanne St. Claire

Age Range: 14 - 17

Pub Date: July 10th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-385-74156-9
Publisher: Delacorte

An unsatisfying blend of science fiction and Gossip Girl marks St. Claire's young adult debut.

Annie Nutter is so invisible no one notices or cares when their backpacks hit her in the face as they climb on the school bus. After her mother reveals that Annie's father could have been Jim Monroe, the billionaire owner of a chain of plastic-surgery clinics, Annie wonders if she'd trade her own father, an inventor with wacky ideas, for a different life. Predictably, one of her father's inventions sends Annie into another universe. Now Annie Nutter is Ayla Monroe: rich, beautiful and A-list. Ayla's friends are shallow shoplifters, and her hot boyfriend just wants sex; Jim Monroe is a mustache-twirling villain. Then Annie falls for Charlie Zelinsky, a genius who was homeless for a short time. The author tries to ground the creaky body-swap concept in real science: When Charlie learns and accepts Annie's story, he implausibly uses physics and long explanations to replicate her father's invention. Of course, this makes Annie question whether she should stay or go.

Heavy-handed exposition, flat characters and trite dialogue don't elevate this outing past forgettable. (Science fiction/chick-lit. 14-17)