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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Beautiful Americans by Lucy Silag

What happens in Paris...

Secrets--PJ's deep blue eyes and angelic long blond hair conceal a truth that's anything but. Will her dark past stay where it belongs in the backwoods of Vermont, or haunt her in the city of light?

Passion--Always the good girl, Olivia plans to twirl her way to the top of the Parisian ballet scene. But that's not supposed to include dancing on a table all night...or stumbling into the arms of the wrong boy.

Lies--With his emo-trendy bedhead, hilarious comebacks and Southern drawl, Zack could win over anyone. Too bad he's after the only one who's forbidden...

Scandal--All Alex wants from Paris is to nab that berry-red Dior coat and seduce the perfect penny-loafer-wearing boy - and Alex always gets what she wants. But will her scheming pay off? Or is she risking more than she knows...?

Alex, Olivia, Zack and PJ are spending a year at the prestigious Lycée de Monceau in the sparkling city of Paris. This is their chance to sip cafe au lait in Le Marais, throw secret parties in their host families' Versailles-size apartments, and have the time of their lives. But when the secrets they thought they left behind come out, everything could be ruined...

When I first received this book I was skeptical at best. I had no idea what to expect from it and after the first few chapters, I wasn't sure if I wanted to find out. From the notorious party girl Alex to UCLA bound ballerina Olivia, the characters were wildly unique, but dry at the same time. My first impression was "Great, a book about four teens' drunken escapades around France." But, as any skilled author can do, Silag added to dimension and color to her characters, capturing my waning interest.

With any book you have your favorite character and your not so favorite character. From the start I was captured by PJ and her shady past. Of all of the characters she had the most depth and complexity, with the greatest show of human emotion. And then there was Alex, my least favorite character. She seemed like the textbook definition of an unprivileged teen, with her mommy's Black Amex and the delusion that she'll get anything and everything she wants.
To my surprise though, by the end of the book I'd grown to understand her and, in the end, like her. Thanks to the depth that Silag so brilliantly added I was able to see who she truly was, a confused, sheltered girl who was learning that freedom isn't all it's cracked up to be.

The unique thing about this book is how Silag has interwoven the lives of four very different teens. Each one vastly different than the other and yet in only a few months they've forged unshakable bonds. The different voices of the the four makes Beautiful Americans all the more interesting.

Any author that can take a book I could barely stand to read in the beginning and, by the end, transform it into something that has me wanting more is definitely doing something right. I look forward to reading more about PJ, Olivia, Zack and Alex's adventures.

4 Stars!


  1. Hmm, seems like an interesting book. Except I can't stand the cover :p

  2. Thank you so much for this great review! Do glad you picked BEAUTIFUL AMERICANS for a shout-out!



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