Beautiful World by Anastasia Hollings (June 2nd 2009—Harper Teen)
Grade: 1.5 stars out of 5
Summary: “Amelia Warner will stop at nothing to get what she wants: everything.
Seventeen-year-old Amelia Warner is always on the outside. Moving from boarding school to boarding school with her brother and their father, the untenured professor, doesn't help. Amelia lives inches from the sons and daughters of the elite, forever looking in on the beautiful people. A natural-born charmer who doesn't lie so much as rework the truth to her advantage, Amelia is well-versed in the art of faking a high-society identity to get limited access to the luxe life, but she's never figured out how to truly belong. Then she meets Courtney Moore, the Upper East Side heiress who needs a friend as badly as Amelia wants to be that friend, and suddenly a world of opportunity opens up for her. Parties, shopping, her own wing in the Moore mansion—it's all hers for the taking, as long as she can keep her real life a secret, especially from the new acquaintance who's been asking way too many questions. Can Amelia stay one step ahead of the doubters to secure her place in the beautiful world?”
Review: I just could not swallow this book. At mid-way I had to stop and wonder why I was even continuing. Skimmed through the rest, reading some dialogues here and there, some building blocks to the plot, but saw nothing really new from the first half.
It was a wash, rinse, and repeat type of book. Basic scenario of poor girl wanting to be rich and rich girl wanting some friends. Poor girl of course befriends rich girl and oh no, swindles rich girl into believing that poor girl is also rich. But here’s the thing, poor girl pretends to lose her wallet, sprouts tears and bada bing bada boom, here’s the gorgeous watch that you’ve been eyeing. Wash, rinse, and repeat.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, Courtney is the lonely rich girl that wants some decent friends in her life for once. And Ameila—Ann (her real name) is the poor girl who thinks she deserves more, much more just like Courtney. Courtney equals naïve girl who believes almost everything. Amelia equals will you shut up already!? Still interested?
Well here’s the thing, Amelia’s brother, Zach(ary) looks just like Johnny Deep. No lie! They only mentioned like oh…5 times in 3 chapters. Dark, broody, with penetrating eyes and an extremely high tolerance to alcohol! He drinks a lot, which, like his uncanny appearance to Mr. Deep, you will read about often.
Right from the start I hesitated about this book. The format threw me off as it was a third person point of view but rotating every main character. Amelia then Zach and then Courtney. You get used to it though.
But this book was a train wreck waiting to happen. There were sparks of intelligence between Courtney and Amelia and scenes where you can relate to. And as the back of the book states: “…a series that marries Gossip Girl with The Talented Mr. Ripley.” Maybe readers will find something to like in this series…whoever the heck is Mr. Ripley is.
Overall: Congratulations Beautiful World managed to not get burned…barely. What was really sad was that this book was so small—209 pages—and I could barely finish it.
The cover is really pretty though. Definitely showcases the “beautiful” people and the landscape divine.
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