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De La Cruz, Melissa. The au pairs.

DE LA CRUZ, Melissa. The au pairs. Simon & Schuster, Pulse. 320p. c2004. 0-68987319-0. $8.99. S

It looks like nanny-lit may be one of the next big trends in YA books, and with The Au Pairs it's easy to understand why. In this juicy beach read, three girls get hired as au pairs in the Hamptons, where they'll be making $10,000 each for the summer. Eliza, formerly the thinnest, richest and blondest of the It girls, is used to running with the elite crowd, not working for them. But when her family is disgraced after her father's questionable accounting practices are exposed, Eliza needs to escape her home. Small-town nice girl Mara takes the job to make some money for college and initially has a hard time fitting in with the rich and fabulous Hamptonites. Jacqui, a gorgeous Brazilian, comes to the Hamptons to chase after Luke, a boy she met and thinks she loves.

The usual fare prevails here--celebrity name-dropping, expensive clothing labels, underage drinking, and casual sex abound. A quick glance at the cover tells you all you need to know: a shot of three thin, tan girls in bikinis is instantly recognizable as chick lit. Strong writing and interesting characters help set this book apart from the many other books that seem similar. Selfish Jacqui, snobby Eliza, and naive Mara sometimes seem like they'll never get over their differences, but naturally this book ends well, with the girls now best friends and ready for a sequel. Amanda MacGregor, Boaton, MA

S--Recommended for senior high school students.
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Author:MacGregor, Amanda
Publication:Kliatt
Article Type:Young Adult Review
Date:Sep 1, 2005
Words:260
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