young adult book reviews & more

Beautiful Americans by Lucy Silag

Beautiful AmericansFour teens, Penelope Jane, better known as PJ, Olivia, Alex, and Zach, find themselves in Paris, the city of love, for a prestigious study abroad program. Alex is a spoiled snob used to living the high life and getting exactly what she wants. For Olivia, dance is everything. PJ’s trip to France is the result of fleeing from her embarrassing past. Zach, the adorable emo kid, is catching all the wrong eyes. But not all is well in this beautiful city: Alex’s out-of-control desires are setting her up for a huge fall, Olivia’s torn between her love for this city and guilt for leaving home, there’s something dysfunctional about the family PJ’s staying with, and Zach can’t help but be shy about his sexual orientation. Together, these four quasi-friends will have to figure out how to survive the semester before one of them finally cracks.

Strangely titled but surprisingly well written, Beautiful Americans is a meaningful guilty pleasure with international flair. I was a little wary to read this book because I thought the whole group-of-kids-stuck-together situation had already been overdone, but the Parisian setting and engaging characters set this novel apart from others told in the same style. With alternating narratives from each of the four friends’ points of view, the reader is allowed insight into their dirty little secrets as well as how they’re perceived by others. This, I fell, really allows the reader to get a better understanding of who each character is. PJ, Olivia, Alex, and Zach are so likable and easy to sympathize with even when they annoy the reader. They face real problems anyone could have to deal with, but these issues seem magnified as the teens are so far from home. As with most novels told from multiple perspectives, all the little details of each character’s life are difficult to keep track of, but the reader eventually gets used to it. Beautiful Americans provides an interesting take on freedom and what it means especially to youth.

Fans of The Au Pairs by Melissa de la Cruz, The Upper Class series by Hobson Brown, Taylor Materne, and Caroline Says, The Alphabetical Hookup List by Phoebe McPhee, and Zeta or Omega? by Kate Harmon will also enjoy this romantically set novel.

Rating: 4.25

Review copy from personal collection

4 munch(es) :

So Many Books, So Little Time said...

I really want to read this one and I love the cover!

Diana Dang said...

Great review! Though it's definitely not my kind of read.

Lucy said...

Hi Book Muncher! Thanks for the review! Glad you ended up enjoying BEAUTIFUL AMERICANS!



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