Sunday, November 16, 2008

Book Review and Giveaway: Beautiful Americans by Lucy Silag

A group of American teens embark on an exchange year at an exclusive Parisian high school. Each has high hopes for the year: Olivia wants to join a ballet company that will increase her chances of getting a college scholarship, rich and spoiled Alex wants to live the high life, effortlessly beautiful PJ wants to escape her past and trendy Zack wants to explore his homosexuality far away from the confines of his strict Baptist upbringing.

This installment of the beautiful Americans story covers the ups and downs of their first semester at the school and is told from four very contrasting points of view. Having been an exchange student myself, I found their lives abroad pretty engaging and even tame compared to the exchange years I experienced. Yes, there is a lot of seduction, getting drunk, and acting out – that is what happens when a bunch of 16 year olds are on their own in a foreign country for the first time.

That said, there were a couple of things that bothered me, and they mainly had to do with the character of Alex. She was quite simply a royal pain in the rear end. Competitive, catty, and completely unrepentant of her increasingly bad behavior, Alex is the type that would have been sent home in the second week in any real exchange program. I mean, are we really expected to believe that she would get away with walking out on a two thousand Euro restaurant check? No way.

The teens portrayed in Beautiful Americans are certainly more glamorous than most of the ones in any of my programs, but they face the same kind of challenges – trying to get along with host families, making new friends in an unfamiliar environment, falling for exotic foreigners and consequently falling out of love with long term honeys back home, and hoping to avoid the dreaded letter bomb (an e-mail from home with bad news).

Look for this in January and the sequel in Fall 2009. Cannot wait that long? Well, I have two copies to give away. One I will give to the first person who claims it in the comments and the other I will randomly give to one other person who comments on this post by November 25th. This one is open internationally.

NOTE: Only those who have never previously claimed a prize this month are eligible for the instant win.

44 comments:

Kelsey said...

Yay!

Kelsey said...

Does that mean I win???!! Also, awesome review, where were you abroad?

Simply_Megan said...

I would love to win this book!

Lenore said...

Kelsey - Yes, you win :) Send me an e-mail (address in my sidebar) with your address. I was an exchange studen 4 times: year programs in Ecuador and Japan and summer programs in Spain and Germany.

Lana said...

Ooooh, exclusive Parisian high school? Count me in! Great review, Lenore!

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Please enter me!! This sounds amazing.

-Lauren

Stephanie said...

This sounds like a great read. Thanks for the opportunity!

daq_17 at hotmail dot com

Ladytink_534 said...

I think Alex would ruin this for me so no need to enter me, it does sound a little interesting though.

Book Spot said...

I think I would love to win this book. I never did any exchange programs but I worked with the one at my school & have some friends going to college in different countries so the book sounds like it could be fun :)

-Lucile

Icedream said...

I think the books sounds fascinating. I keep encouraging my son to join the exchange program when he starts college this spring. (I was lucky enough to have been stationed in Germany twice) I would be thrilled to be entered, thanks.

FatalisFortuna said...

This sounds interesting, I'd like to be entered!

Shalonda said...

Oooh, I would really like to read this one. Please enter me!

Yan said...

It sounds amazing! And I love the cover too =)

ylin.0621[at]yahoo.com

Lucy said...

So excited to see BEAUTIFUL AMERICANS on your blog! Thanks for the review and the contest!

Alea said...

This is the one I've been waiting for! Count me in!!!

I did a summer abroad in London between sophomore and junior year in college, seriously fun time!!

aleareads@gmail dot com

Lenore said...

Thanks for stopping by Lucy - what an honor!!

Alea - how cool! We have to exchange exchange stories sometime :)

Alyce said...

I would love to win a copy of this book!
akreese (at) hotmail (dot) com

Steph said...

YAY, a good review of this one :) No need to enter me - I already have it. But L - yo quiero ser lecherous, y'know?

Steph

Linda J said...

Sign me up! Can't wait to see you in December!

Serena said...

What another great review Lenore. I'm interested in this one.

savvyverseandwit AT gmail DOT com

Sarahbear9789 said...

This sounds great. Please enter me.

gautami tripathy said...

Great review! I am intereste!

Count me in please!


gautami.tripathy[at]gmail.com

Book Zombie (Joanne) said...

Great review, I really like books that are told from multiple point of views. It seems to add a sense of reality for me. I don't know too much about exchange schooling but it sounds fascinating.

AmandaSue said...

This sounds like a great book and I'd like to be entered for it! One of my close friends in highschool was an exchange student here in the U.S shes from russia, and it was a neat experience to learn from her. Thanks for entering me!

Paradox said...

I would like to win this!

Jennifer said...

I love reading books about teens! I know, sounds weird, but it's interesting to read where life takes them!

jls_wss2003 at yahoo dot com

violetcrush said...

this book sounds great. Please enter me!!!

Amber said...

Okay, I would love to be entered please! This book looks amazing :)

Rebekah E. said...

This sound like a really good book. Please enter me.
bc428[at]juno[dot]com

xtraliciousssx said...

omg, this book looks interesting! would love to win, thankss

stephanie

Sheri S. said...

This one looks like fun! Please enter me.

Thanks!

darbyscloset said...

Nice review, sounds like a great book! Please enter me into this drawing.
Thanks so much
Darby
darbyscloset at yahoo dot com

avalonne83 said...

Sounds really a great book.
Please count me in. Thanks.

avalonne83 [at] yahoo [dot] it

Sara said...

Sounds like a really good book! Would love to win it ;)

rb said...

count me in!

Dayna said...

This sounds interesting!

Maggie said...

This book looks so good! I hope I win, lol!

Wrighty - said...

Another great review! When do you find the time to read so much? :) I would love to read it. Thanks!

5wrights1@verizon.net

Melissa said...

This looks great. Thanks for the giveaway!

Belladonna1975 said...

Thanks for the giveaway!

Janel said...

I wanted to be an exchange student, but never did. Please enter me!

jgbeads AT gmail DOT com

ambear said...

This is so interesting. I love to read and visualize the life of exchange students.

lil_boo293(at)hotmail(dot)com

rimasbookjournal said...

This book is on my TBR list!
I really want to read it, but
many people really haven't been
liking it..

pyaari_rima_13@yahoo.com

donnas said...

Please enter me. It sounds really interesting.

Donna
bacchus76(at)myself(dot)com