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 the beginning. Her motivation in Paris is to study ballet and get a good enough scholarship to UCLA. I liked that she wasn’t the stereotypical Californian girl - blonde, ditsy and boy-obsessed.Zack’s the only boy of the four. He’s from the South - Memphis to be exact. And in Paris, he comes out of the closet for the first time. He’s trendy and hangs out with Alex - but has a semi-cool head on his shoulders that he doesn’t always agree with Alex’s antics.Penelope Jane or PJ as she’s know in the story is the one with the mysterious past. She comes from Vermont and is quiet, kinda keeps to herself and doesn’t always approve of Alex.The story is multi-voiced with each character getting to voice their perspective story. It’s very much like Gossip Girl, at times. But there are differences as well - the characters are more likable, the story more well-plotted, less focus on the brand name dropping, etc. Even the still improvement of this being better than Gossip Girl, I honestly have to say I didn’t exactly love it. I felt the whole story was a predictable soap opera. There were times the characters felt like stock characters and not as three-dimensional as I liked.But, I did love some of the antics going on with the characters especially Alex’s crazy moments. I did also like the character of PJ, despite her brooding moments. It was pure entertainment for me and I’m still going to read the next two books because I want to know if my hunches about PJ’s family is correct. Also, I want to read more about Jay, who I adored because he seem to be the more mature one of the bunch, even though he is a minor character.Wanderlust is the title of the next novel and it’s coming out Dec 2009.