A-list novel # 7
By: Zoey Dean
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company.
ISBN: 0 – 316 – 01094 – 4
Rating: Must read!
American Beauty is a delicious treat for anyone who loves drama, romance, and betrayal of the young and rich if you love the Gossip Girl and The It Girl series you will love the A-list novels. There is just as much drama as there are top name designers. However the A-list is set in good old Los Angeles, California, which works well for the series.
In American Beautywe are once again following Anna in her quest to be more outgoing since her initial move from New York to LA in the first novel The A-list in this seventh fascicle we follow Anna and her new friends Sam, Dee, and Cammie (who is actually her enemy but they are in the same circle) as they prepare to graduate from high school and move on to the next stage of their lives.
We have Anna who seems to be the main character of the book that is privileged and has come from old money originally from Manhattan she is modest and well-mannered. She was raised much differently from the girls in California which is what gives this series such a nice contrast because it really is about her coming to California to change herself.
Then we have Sam who is the first to befriend Anna. She is the total opposite of Anna she comes from new money her father is a very famous movie star and she is spoiled, popular, and dramatic but she is also very loyal and has a big heart. Although she only lets her friends see it because in Hollywood, it is very important to show people you have the power.
Then there’s Cammie who has been Sam's best friend since they were little. She is the ultimate bad girl her father is a talent agent and he is known for being one of the toughest men in the business. She is the one with the most power in high school. She is most definitely selfish and spoiled and she's compared to a Python a lot.
Last but not least we have Dee. She is friends with everybody. She can be a little out there in her ways of thinking and strange at times but she's loyal and a very sweet, sweet girl.
Those are the main characters that the book focuses on as well as their significant others just like the rest of the series. Some new relationships are formed and others are left hanging by a thread. This book was a great volume in the set and was one of the best in the series yet. It tied up a lot of loose ends that had been forming in some of the previous books. However the one thing I do not like about all of the books in this series is that every time you finish a book and start a new one, you lose a few weeks. There are always a few weeks skipped in between there which disappoints me because with the way that the last one ended I wanted to read about a certain confrontation. That's all I'll say. So I don't give anything away in case you haven't read the one before this.
I have always loved the portrayal of the characters in the series and this book is no different. The characters were three-dimensional their character delineation was direct and with new characters there were developments that occurred slowly. I really do love how the characters are portrayed with so much detail and so much background there is always a little mystery left of the characters so there's always more to come but you know enough to get attached to them and that is really brilliant. It really pulls you in and you begin to relate to the character. At least that's what I did.
I found American Beauty to be one of the more realistic books and relatable in the series. I could easily see myself doing the same thing in most of the scenes as the girls did or reacting the same way, such as Sam going after Eduardo and Anna not willing to just forgive and forget with Ben towards the end.
The setting of Los Angeles works fantastically with American Beauty as well as with the rest of the series. It shows the glamour and difference in Anna's life back then and Anna's life now. The setting helps to show the contrast between Manhattan and LA they really are total opposites and the A-list novels show in detail how that is. That is what Anna is trying to do with herself show a whole new Anna to the world and to herself. It also shows a little inside peek into the lives of the rich and famous teenagers that we wonder so much about.
I did notice a few typos throughout the book such as calling Cammie, Anna, which to me was very humorous considering their enemies and Cammie would be very angry by being mistaken for Anna.
These girls are an unlikely group that became friends, sans Anna and Cammie, they had gone through so many things together throughout this series and they have grown a lot and it shows in this book. I love that Anna is constantly at war with herself. It's like breaking old habits I can really relate to that. It's really refreshing when she can break out of her old, “This is How We Do Things Big Book (East Coast WASP Edition)” shell and let loose. I find myself rooting for her throughout all of it.
I did find myself getting tired of the Ben and Anna drama in this one. I feel like it's becoming a toxic love story like it hasn’t worked already because it's not going to work. I think Anna needs to be paired with somebody else and we need to move on from that and I hope that's where the direction of the next book is going because I'm really feel like there is no way the Ben and Anna story can be continued and it can still be enjoyable.
Overall American Beauty is a must read for teenagers and young adults that love to see how the other half lives. They will gravitate toward the series because it has all the drama, romance, betrayal, and family problems that they all go through themselves only these people are privileged rich kids and they will get to see how they handle it differently and/or similarly to them and makes for a delectable series that teens will not be able to resist.