Beautiful Americans by Lucy Silag

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Beautiful Americans by Lucy Silag

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Category: Teens
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: Four teens head off to Paris to spend a year at a French school. For a teen that's into fashion and loves a good story this will be an enjoyable first in a series of books.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 304 Date: January 2009
Publisher: Sleuth RazorBill
ISBN: 978-1595142221

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When you're in your mid teens and you're going to live in Paris for a year, it has got to be the most exciting thing that you've ever done, and so it was PJ, Olivia, Alex and Zack. PJ's not so much running to Paris as running away from all that she's left behind, with her parents in prison and her sister who knows where after she ran away on her wedding day.

Olivia's family are more supportive and she's left a lot behind in her quest to become a ballerina. Her young brother is unwell and Olivia knows that he'll miss her and she knows that Vince, her boy friend, will be lonely too. She's determined to work hard and get a scholarship to join him at UCLA. Meanwhile, she gets to dance as she's never danced before.

Alex is the snarky fashionista with a high-flying New York Mum and a father she hasn't seen since she was a young child. For her the trip to Paris means the opportunity to spend money, to seduce and to steal. Working isn't exactly her top priority and the word 'amoral' doesn't quite sum her up, but it's getting close. What Alex wants, Alex is determined to have, no matter what.

Zack loves Paris because it gives him the opportunity to escape his conservative southern background. He's handsome and he's loveable. He could have any girl he wants – but what Zack wants is another boy.

The first in this new series sees how the four teens cope with their first few months in a French school and living with French families. You'll love and hate the kids as they learn independence, realise that all is not as it seems and how to help each other. Each of them has real challenges to face and there's excitement and suspense as to how it will all work out.

It's an ideal book for the young to mid teen with an interest in fashion because we hear a lot about what they're wearing, what others are wearing and what they've just discarded in the lust of the moment. There is some sexual content but nothing graphic – and nothing that I suspect will come as a surprise to most young teens. Add to this a good sense of place with a real sense of being in Paris or in the French countryside and you have a good story.

Various storylines are left unresolved and if you want to know how it all works out then you're going to have to pick up the next book, due out later in 2009. Bookbag doesn't normally like cliff-hangers, but the book does work reasonably well as a stand-alone novel, so we won't be too harsh.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.

For another story about a teenage trip to Paris, we can recommend Ooh, La, La, Connie Pickles by Sabine Durrant. We also liked Shopping With The Enemy by Carmen Reid.

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Buy Beautiful Americans by Lucy Silag at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Beautiful Americans by Lucy Silag at


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