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Beautiful Americans (Beautiful Americans #1)

3.47  ·  Rating Details ·  525 Ratings  ·  78 Reviews
Pretty Little Liars meets My So-Called Life in this story of four American teens in Paris and the scandals that haunt each of them.

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
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published January 8th 2009 by Razorbill
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Community Reviews

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Sep 02, 2008 Lucy rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Recommends it for: everyone!
This is my book, coming out in January 2009! Please read and enjoy!
From the blurb: Pretty Little Liars meets My So-Called Life in this story of four American teens in Paris and the scandals that haunt each of them. Given that I have zero experience with My So-Called Life and just a minimum of Pretty Little Liars - gave up after watching the first season, haven't read the books - I'd like to say this: Beautiful Americans is basically Gossip Girl minus the money, and set in France. It's the same bratty, woe-is-me characters living it up in France, never consideri ...more
Jan 02, 2009 Kristi rated it liked it
Honestly, when I started Beautiful Americans I was a little skeptical. I’d saw mixed reviews... the synopsis really didn’t completely catch my interest, but by the end of the novel I was ready for more!

I loved the set up of the novel. The chapters alternate between the four characters, so you get to see inside their head as well as how everyone else perceives them. That in itself really made the novel for me. The writing was also extraordinary, I loved Silag’s flow. It was easy to read and enter
Jan 29, 2009 stephanie rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone, esp. those that want the gossip girl cast with more substance.
Recommended to stephanie by: Lucy
this surpassed my expectations, and that's saying a lot, given how much i love Lucy Silag.

there were a lot of things i think that were done brilliantly, and a lot things that i've read review about that i don't agree with - the characterization of alex, for one. maybe you just have never met an alex, but i definitely have, and she's very, very believable. (also, from a psychological stand-point, it *completely* makes sense why she behaves the way she does.) i don't know if we are actually suppo
Jan 03, 2010 Katie rated it really liked it
Beautiful Americans is the first of what promises to be an exciting trilogy. It's the story of four Americans and their wild adventures in Paris for 9 months. This book is just the beginning of some crazy nights and even crazier teens.

Beautiful Americans is told from the points-of-view of Penelope Jane(PJ), Olivia, Zack, and Alex. I don't think there could be any four people as different as these. PJ is a Vermont hippie who is running from quite a past. Olivia is a dancer who is in Paris to try
Nov 12, 2009 Kari rated it really liked it

The most defining feature of this book is the fact that it is American teenagers but set in Paris at the Lycee- a very nice twist on the high school setting. The four main characters all have vastly different but still strong personalities and althought some of them bothered me, I grew to love them all.

Alex is selfish, stuck up, and completely self centered but she still wants love and friendship. Even though many parts of her story were very obvious, it was in that way the reader is almost scre
Dec 22, 2008 Lauren rated it it was amazing
Beautiful Americans had a mix of romance, friendship, and secrets. Lucy's writing in this book was extremely well done in the way the book just pulled you right in at the first chapter. Also, Lucy slowly told the secrets of Zack, PJ, Alex, and Olivia instead of just telling everything in the very first chapter. So, I was constantly wondering what was going to happen and guessing everyone's dirty little secrets.

Beautiful Americans characters where three-dimensional in the way that you could feel
Apr 03, 2009 Stephanie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
To be honest, I was a bit hesitant to read this book because I don’t really like books that come in multiple perspectives. However, Beautiful Americans made me rethink that thought and now, I’m definitely ready to read the sequel.

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 h
Dec 27, 2008 Yan rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 04, 2010 may rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'Beautiful Americans' is the story of four American teenagers, PJ, Olivia, Zack and Alex who are spending a year abroad in Paris, studying at the Lycée de Monceau. A prominent theme in the book is secrecy, with each character having a secret. These are revealed in turn as the story progresses.

To be honest, it took me a while to really get into this book. Despite the lovely opening which introduced two of the protagonists in the novel, PJ and Alex, there seemed to me to be just too many character
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Amber Gibson for

BEAUTIFUL AMERICANS by Lucy Silag is the story of four very different American teenagers studying abroad for a year in Paris. For PJ, Olivia, Alex and Zack, Paris is a place to run away, reinvent oneself, find love, and discover what it really means to live. Like the Lost Generation of the 1920s, these Americans escape to the City of Lights with the hope that the joie de vivre of the city will rub off on them.

PJ is fleeing from an embarrassing family
T.V and Book Addict
Apr 05, 2009 T.V and Book Addict rated it liked it
Beautiful Americans was pretty good. I liked the story and the well-developed characters but I found myself having to take a break from this book every now and then. It is not really a page turner, more like a reality T.V show in writing, sometimes it can get slow.
Even though at times it bored me a bit, I still enjoyed it. I loved how Zack, Alex, Olivia, and P.J have their own secrets. It definitely made the book more interesting to read.
Zack-He's in Paris and he's there to make some friends and
Mar 17, 2009 Connie rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009-reads
Too put it shortly, Beautiful Americans is the first of a trilogy about four teenagers studying abroad in Paris.

There is Alex — the Brooklyn fashionista who is the girl that everyone loves to hate, or like me, just plain hates. She’s spoiled, proud and out of control. Out of the four teenagers, she’s definitely the most dramatic but Lucy Silag’s construction of Alex’s background gives the reader an understanding to why she acts the way she does.

Olivia is the good girl of the bunch - at least in
Nov 17, 2009 Wendy rated it liked it
Beautiful Americans is the story of four teenagers in Paris and how their paths crossed. I wasn't so sure I was going to like it but I was definitely surprised. Each one - PJ, Olivia, Zack, and Alex - has their own individual characteristics, flaws and of course, secrets they're trying to keep hidden. While I enjoyed reading about PJ's insecurities, Zack's difficulty coming to terms with himself or Alex's attention-grabbing antics, I think Olivia, the ballet dancer from California stole my heart ...more
Feb 26, 2009 Rachael rated it really liked it
Four 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 u ...more
Feb 26, 2009 Hayley rated it it was amazing
Beautiful Americans feels very real and modern (in an up-to-the-minute "now" kind of way). There are many references to current popular culture, and it is obvious that the author has first had knowledge of what life is REALLY like for teens today.
The fact that it's told as a first person narrative, and in the present tense, makes it all the more believable and engaging. I'm looking forward to the rest of this trilogy. This isn't your standard "goody-goody" Young Adult fiction novel.

Jun 16, 2009 Abby rated it really liked it
I liked this book. It was a pretty good YA, and was fairly well written. I think that one problem a lot of YA authors have is the whole teenage dialogue thing. I think they overthink it a little. We really don't say dude THAT much. But I liked the four characters and was interested in their problems. I always like when books are written in different voices, it's fun to see things from different people's perspectives. I look forward to the next one since this book ended with a cliffhanger!
Jan 11, 2010 Kayla rated it it was amazing
At first, I thought the book was kind of boring, something I wouldn't be interested in because they're were so many characters to follow. But eventually, I got really into the story and now I know absolutely everything going on! I couldn't believe half the stuff Alex did, and thought she could get away with it. And its killing me not knowing what PJ's parents did that was so bad. Can't wait for Wanderlust!!!
Catalina Sennett
Sep 04, 2010 Catalina Sennett rated it really liked it
American teens spending nine months in Paris for school. Add in all the usual teenage drama and it pretty much sums up this book...

I really liked the characters a lot. Especially Olivia. And Zach. The ending made me mad, such a cliff hanger, I am so stoked to read the second book now. I have to find out what happens to PJ!!
Jan 11, 2009 Phoebe rated it it was amazing
Shelves: france
Beautiful Americans is an absorbing, compulsively readable, and very funny book, even if you are no longer a young adult and have instead recently entered your 30s. The characters are well-drawn and relatable, and the excitement of living in Paris comes through in each chapter. I look forward to the second and third books!
Mar 31, 2009 Lora rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult-lit
I kind of loved this book. It is one of those entertaining books that you wouldn't really call amazing literature. I love books like that, they are a true escape. I see this book being very popular with the Gossip Girl crowd. I'm excited that this is the first of a trilogy, which made the cliffhanger acceptable.
Sammi Wolf
Jun 22, 2009 Sammi Wolf rated it really liked it
Shelves: summer-2009
I loved this book. Especially how it kept the rotation of every chapter being the perspective of four different characters. Olivia = my favorite! I can't help but to believe that Lucy better be coming out with a sequel. Otherwise my stars might have to go down! There are so many things I need to know about!
Mar 19, 2009 Karla rated it liked it
Shelves: ya
Follows four teens as they go to Paris for a study abroad program. They all have problems they want to hide, but of course the problems surface as they interact with others. The characters themselves are a bit cliche; this was a quick light read. First of a trilogy.
Sep 09, 2016 Laura rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Puh, was für eine Enttäuschung! Habe es jetzt nach 130 abgebrochen.. Die Charaktere sind einfach langweilig und oberflächlich. Wäre es ein Einzelband gewesen, hätte ich das Buch zu Ende gelesen, aber es ist der 1. Teil einer Reihe..
Aug 23, 2009 lucem rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: those wanting to study abroad
This book follows the lives of several high school students studying abroad in Paris, France. It gives a look into life with host families, regular students, exchange students, school, field trips, parties, fashion, culture, etc.
Mar 11, 2009 Carol rated it it was amazing
A young adult coming of age story with twists and turns and interesting viewpoints from the various characters. Lucy Silag is an author to keep your eye on! I've watched Lucy mature into an incredible woman with tons of talent.
Marlee Cowan
May 09, 2009 Marlee Cowan rated it it was amazing
this was was sooo good - i literally could not put it down. i was very unproductive at work the last few days as i kept wanting to pick it up and read the next chapter! i can't wait until the next one comes out!
May 17, 2009 Mitzy rated it it was amazing
ahhhhh I really enjoyed this but got SO frustrated that it didn't end! I did find out that I only have to wait a few months to see what happens next for the foursome, but I want to know NOW! =)
Feb 25, 2009 Samantha rated it it was amazing
Super quick read - very entertaining. I enjoyed this and look forward to the nexty two books in the series. Makes me want to go to Paris - and be young again!

An author to WATCH for sure!!!!!!!
Mar 18, 2009 Maura-jane is currently reading it
Recommends it for: teenagers who need to get out of there life and into someone elses
I really do like this book. It goes back inforth between 4 young adults who are living in Pairs. At first I couldnt get into it but now I have & I just cant seem to put it down.
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Lucy Silag is the author of the Beautiful Americans novels for young adults (Razorbill/Penguin) and has written for many publications including Salon, Allure, New York magazine, Real Simple Travel, The Iowa Review, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Globe and Mail in Canada, and the Independent on Sunday magazine in the UK. She is a graduate of the Women’s Studies program at UC Santa Cruz and holds ...more
More about Lucy Silag...

Other Books in the Series

Beautiful Americans (3 books)
  • Wanderlust (Beautiful Americans, #2)
  • Experienced (Beautiful Americans, #3)

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