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THE AU PAIRS by Melissa de la Cruz

THE AU PAIRS

By Melissa de la Cruz

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: June 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-689-87066-3
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

For three very different teen strangers, a live-in job in the Hamptons is a ticket to fun in the sun, all-night parties, and high society trolling for boys. Brazen Brazilian Jacqui rekindles a superficial fling with Luka, smitten by “his lazy smile and enormous backpack.” Prima donna Eliza uses her temp address to conceal that she’s—gasp—working for a living now that her tony Upper East Side family is bankrupt. Only innocent Mara takes the job seriously, doting over three obnoxious kids who crave parental attention but instead get grilled ahi, peeled grapes, and krav magra lessons. The host family is a dysfunctional mess of infidelity, indifference, and indulgence, particularly Poppy and Sugar, obvious Hilton sister clones. How the eldest brother manages to be so patent-pending perfect is a mystery, except, of course, for his literary role as the romantic lure for good-girl Mara. Teen girls will voyeuristically enjoy the slightly decadent escapism, but the sheer unlikability of two central characters is insurmountably irritating, and the constant name-dropping from P. Diddy to Manolo Blahnik, reads like a 300-page product placement. Trashy romance lit for the not-ready-for-Jackie-Collins set. (Fiction. YA)