Beautiful Americans (Beautiful Americans #1)
There's rich New York girl Alex; Cali-born dancer Olivia; closeted Memphis boy Zack; and fi nally PJ, an elusive beauty from Vermont who's hiding a dark past.
Studying abroad for their junior year of high school, they run wild in the Tuileries, hold clandestine parties in their host families' luxe apartments, take over tiny crowded cafes and generally live the glamorous life.
But in the end they all must face the lies they've told and secrets they've kept when the unthinkable happens.
Beautiful Americans was about a group of students who goes to Paris as part of a traveling abroad program.
PJ with her gorgeous looks hopes to runaway from her past by going to Paris.
Alex is the spoiled one that always gets what she wants.
Olivia is the dancer and always the good girl but that all changes with the wrong guy.
Zack is the hilarious and witty one who's looking for the perfect boyfriend.
I thought this book was ok, I thought the character of Alex got a little annoying at times. The story alternates from each person's perspective and it was thoroughly entertaining. I'm excited about reading the sequel, but I wouldn't say this was my favorite book.
What I loved about this book was the plot, the very idea of following four teens to the most romantic city in the world and following them as they as they spend their first semester in the prestigious Lycee de Monceau. I loved the secrets and the scandals involved and how the four teens, despite their differences and the past they have left behind, somehow bond to form a somewhat awesome friendship.
The writing was wonderful as well. It had a nice flow and rhythm to it without hurrying or slowing down. Lucy did an awesome job with making the words interesting and entertaining.
Olivia, the notorious good girl, with her boyfriend, Vince, in the States. When I first read about her in the description, I assumed that she would be this girl who gets her heart broken by Vince who would cheat off of her. And when she first called Vince and I heard read his voice, I assumed the worst that he had cheated and thats why he sounded so groggy. However, he turned out to be the opposite. Olivia, on the other hand, did not end up the way I had thought. Instead of being the good girl and staying in love with her boyfriend, she did all these things such as dancing on a table even when she was sober and falling in love with a different boy. Though her actions werent that great, I still liked her because it showed that she had different sides and different personalities and that she wasnt the perfect girl that everyone had dubbed her for.
Alex, on the hand, kind of annoyed me. All she wanted was to get things her way and when she didnt, she stole to get them. She got PJ in trouble with her homestay owners and she even stole from this religious place. She was slightly redeemed when I found out that all she really wanted for a guy to truly love her. She wanted to feel loved instead of the useless girl that her ex-boyfriend had made her feel.
Zach was so cute. If he didnt have a different sexual preference, I would totally make him mine. Hes honest, definitely, and, like Alex, was looking for some love. Though he didnt find it in this book, I hope that he will in the sequel&or eventually! Hes a bit shy about his orientation, however, with the help of Alex, became more outspoken about it and even confessed to the guy he liked. Hes probably my favorite out of the four.
Sigh. PJ. What should I say? Well, she had this secret that was never really revealed throughout the book. There were snippets about it but no real information. What I didnt like about her was the fact that she kept going back to think about her past. It was obvious that she came to Paris to escape her past, yet, she kept dwelling in it. She was by far my least favorite character.
Overall, this book was great and I cant wait until the next book. :)
Short Summary: Penelope Jane or PJ as she likes to be called is an enigma to everyone from the start. But what is she really hiding behind that gorgeous face?
Olivia, a born dancer, is aiming for a scholarship in this stunning city. Dancing is her passion and dream but what is she willing to give up as the result?
Alex has what all the girls wantbeauty, wealth, passion and strive. But can this cool calm and collected fashionista survive in this bustling city?
Zack, a regular boy from Memphis, has captured the eyes and hearts of many girls but who really is his type?
Review: Told in four different points of view, this novel showcases Lucy Silags versatility in manipulating her characters. Each one has their own unique personalities that will never get you confused on whos who.
Olivia: She was definitely not one of the stronger characters. Gave no real lasting impression whatsoever but I did quite enjoy reading her relationships. It gave a little scandal and excitement to the book. I also like her determination, I think she may be the only one who gave an actually reason to be in France!
Alex: Okay so I DID NOT like reading about her. I had to force myself to just read her, a real pain in the butt. From her thievery to her whiny attitude to almost everything in general, I wanted to just rip the pages from the book. Thats how much I didnt like reading about her.
At the very beginning she wanted to find love that was understandable. But as it progressed, I got all the feeling that all she wanted was sex. It was plainly obvious that he held no interest in her emotional but her conceitedness blind sighted her and she resorted to thievery of clothing. So I felt no pity towards her when she got dumped.
PJ: Annoying. Thats all I can sum her up as. As self-dependent as she tried to be I find her needing more help than anyone else. Her constant want for her sister, her sisters boyfriend, and to be liked gave me another character that I had to force myself to read. I also thought that the mystery aspect of her, in her sisters disappearance and her parents arrest, were both unneeded. I guess it gave PJ depth and reason to be in France but after reading the entire book, were still stuck with the same information from the very beginning of the novel!
Zack: I LOVE Zack. If any of you have ever watched Project Runway season 4, he is so much like Christian Siriano! And I adore him! From his snarky/spunky attitude and his critiques to all that is fashion to his emotional baggage of his sexuality, I wanted more! I even enjoyed reading Alex more through his point of view, that is how much I love him! He alone made reading this book so worthwhile.
Overall: I was expecting fireworks in the skies of the night but instead I got sparklers in the glow of the afternoon. Very disappointed with the book since I had such high expectations. Ill be looking forward to the sequel but I probably wont rush out to get it once its been released.
For four American teens, studying in Paris for their junior year is a dream come true.
Each of the four teens have their own reasons for being there. Super rich and super spoiled Alex is from New York. Alex's adventure in Paris is all about the partying and the boys. Only, what will she do if she can't get the guy she wants the most?
Californian Olivia is a dancer aiming to get a scholarship at UCLA so she can join her boyfriend, Vince. She's talented and everyone knows she's destined for success. However, she's desperately torn between her life in America and her life in Paris.
Zack, outwardly, is everything a girl could want. Only, he's come to Paris to escape from his conservative hometown. All he wants is a boyfriend.
The most mysterious of the four is PJ. Running away from her troubles in America, Paris might be the only way for PJ to start afresh.
Beautiful Americans takes place over the first few months that the Americans stay at their French homestay months and relays the characters' mistakes, feelings and problems as they become used to Paris.
Honestly, when I first started the novel, I was pretty skeptical and I didn't think that the story could be pulled off. It all seemed so far-fetched and the characters were basically stereotypes at the beginning.
However, as the novel went on, the characters were better fleshed out since the book is told in each of the characters POV, hence we were able to see each character from the others' eyes.
The one story line that really was repetitive was Alex's. She wanted a boyfriend too much and her overspending and stealing was just over the top and annoying. It got to the point where I wanted to jump ahead a few pages to the next person's POV.
Besides her story, the rest of the novel was decent. I do wish we'd had more about PJ's story and less of a cliffhanger at the end. Luckily, the next book will be coming out sometime in 2009, if I'm correct, and hopefully the unresolved stories will get some completion then.
Also, the writing style was well done. It flowed smoothly and was interspersed with French.
The last thing that bugged me in the novel were the introductions of some characters in the novel. Only once did they say (if I'm not being delusional) Je m'appelle "insert name". Instead, Je suis "insert name" was the main greeting in the novel. Maybe I'm wrong about this, but I've always been told NEVER to say "Je suis"when I'm introducing myself in French. It's always
" Je m'appelle." Since my copy is an ARC, hopefully they fix that up for the finished product. Or hopefully, I'm wrong about the grammar mistakes.
Overall, Beautiful Americans is a decent read. If you have some spare time on your hands, Beautiful Americans might not be a bad timekiller for you. It comes out in January 2009 so if you're interested, be sure to pick it up :)
Good Book But Tainted By Inappropriate Content
Beautiful Americans by Lucy Silag*
Publication Date: January 2009
3 out of 5 stars
R - Drug and Alcohol Abuse, Sexual Content and References (also Homosexuality)
In the most romantic city in the world, four American teens use their new freedom to the fullest. Thousands of miles from their homes and families, they are attending the Programme Americaine at the Lycee de Monceau, the most respected study abroad programs. The few high school students selected for this program get to attend a school in Paris for a whole year. For four of the students this is a new beginning, a new life of opportunities. But to grab hold of these chances they will have to first let go of the past&
Beautiful Americans was a good book tainted by a huge mass of unneeded inappropriate content.
The characters were very flawed humans. Most of the time I felt horrible for the characters and their pitiful circumstances brought on by their own bad decisions and wrong doings. But then I became annoyed by their constant unremorseful mistakes. Olivia, Alex, and Zack were driving me nuts! I felt completely sorry for PJ and all that befell her. She didnt once do anything inappropriate, but a huge amount of stress and harassment hit her at every turn.
The idea of a book about teens going to school in a foreign country, where they have to adapt to their new environment and customs, and fall in love at the same time intrigued me. I enjoyed reading about the groups budding friendship and their growing trust in one another. Without each other, I highly doubt they wouldnt have had a melt down.
Beautiful Americans was told through four different people. Because of this the timeline was a little choppy. You would know the generally month, but different events were smeared together. The timeline kept going back and forth from present to past with each character. The whole time you are reading you are slightly confused as to when each event happened.
I wish that the author would remove the inappropriate content or at least tone it done. No one under the age of 15 should even attempt reading this book.
Beautiful Americans was a pretty good book and I believe I will read its sequel when it comes out (Fall of 2009).
Date Reviewed: November 11th, 2008