SUMMARY (From Amazon- I didn't put the whole thing because I felt it told a little too much):
Will they save their lost friend before it’s too late?
Angst and betrayal abound as teens search the French countryside for their missing classmate in this exciting sequel to Beautiful Americans.
OPINION: 4 STARS
This installment in the Beautiful Americans series was just as enchanting as the first, almost making me believe at times I was sitting in a French cafe. The imagery is well done but never overzealous and the characters slip into French at just the right time to remind the reader where the settting is. Even with the different stops made in this book, each city's unique aspects are shown at perfect moments. This series most definitely makes me want to travel through France.
The only real issue I took with this book was the character lines and development. In Beautiful Americans, I loved the 4 different perspectives and their stories were generally so aligned it all weaved together perfectly. Because the characters are not as together in this one, it did detract to some extent for me. I would get to the end of one character's chapter, eager to know more, but then have to read through the other three character's chapters before getting back to the plot line- and by the time that happened, my ferver for that character's life would be decreased in light of the events happening to another character. Melding together, four perspectives works great- as separate story lines, I found myself having to stop and think and retrace with almost each new chapter.
Along with this, I think each of the individual stories ended up being skimmed over to some extent to make it fit- there were times I found myself trying to figure out why a fight just suddenly erupted between characters or why someone took off. The processes leading up to those events wasn't quite as strong, particularly when the one leaving wasn't the person who's mind we were in at the time. That, too, detracted somewhat for me.
Despite those things, I still loved this book. It is most definitely a very nice spin on the high school drama scene- American students, in Paris. Only this book takes place over the course of the winter break without any of the class related things to really congest the story. Apart from a few moments, I did like watching the character's continue to grow. They all learned things about themselves and the others and rarely did I find it illogical or forced.
I still adore Alex- she is such a train wreck that I couldn't help but feel for her. Out of the four, I think she is the one I most enjoy reading about. Despite how she comes off, she is as messed up as any other teenager, fighting for attention and for things to work. Watching her destruct was heartbreaking and I really enjoyed being inside her mind. As with the first book, I kept screaming in my head what an idiot she was doing- telling her to stop being so into herself- but knew it wouldn't happen. That's who Alex is and I love that Silag didn't deviate from that. She set up her character and certainly stuck with it, not allowing her to just chuck her life long habits out the window all at once, even after realizing what a mess she is. PJ, Zack and Olivia are also notable characters with their own personalities, motives and quirks but it is definitely Alex that gets the biggest rise out of me.
Although we never get to see into Jay's head, his constant appearances and interactions most definitely was a highlight of this book. His devotion to PJ as well as his friends is the most notable facet of who he is, and again Silag made sure that shined through and didn't just make it disappear instantly. That loyalty holds all the inherent good along with the less obvious bad- both sides of which are shown throughout this book.
The events of this book were pretty fast paced and again, the separate story lines did start to converge again towards the end, pulling things together. The ending was a huge cliff hanger just like with the first book, guaranteeing me to be buying the next installment in this series. I love the characters, the Parisian environment, and the plot. Parts of this book are fluffy and lighthearted while others are rough and edgy, the two sides blended masterfully.
I give this one 4 stars because I most definitely was enthralled, eager to find out more with every page but the divergence of the 4 plots did make it hard to follow, taking away some of my focus on the overall story to make sure I could keep up. This is a book you definitely need to read Beautiful Americans to understand but they are quick reads that can be done in just one sitting.
Other Reviews (Note, I have tried to keep my review spoiler free for both books but that is not the case with all of the following links so read with caution):
Katie's Book Blog