WANDERLUST by Lucy Silag


Age Range: 14 & up
Email this review


This loosely plotted sequel to Beautiful Americans (2008), again narrated by four U.S. teens abroad, sends them dashing around France over Christmas break from their Parisian prep school. Three narrators—Alex, Zack and Olivia—plus Jay, and Olivia’s French boyfriend, Thomas, search aimlessly for their missing classmate, PJ. Because PJ is the fourth narrator, readers know where she is and what she’s doing, which renders the other characters’ worries and speculations irrelevant and tedious. Only PJ’s account—she has fled her prominent French host family, complete with sexual-predator dad—offers genuine suspense. While this sequel gives readers more of France, with a side trip to Amsterdam, than its predecessor did, the vivid setting is filtered through the teens’ self-absorption and shifting crushes on each other. As the story unfolds in breathless first-person, present-tense narration—Jay longs for PJ, Zack and Alex long for Jay—Europe fades into the background. Again it falls to Olivia, the ambitious dancer, to engage meaningfully with the people and places around her. Transcending the claustrophobic melodrama, she’s a breath of fresh air. (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-59514-223-8
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Razorbill/Penguin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2009