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The Au Pairs [Hardcover]

Melissa de la Cruz
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Hardcover, 25 May 2004 --  
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (25 May 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689870663
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689870668
  • Product Dimensions: 2.7 x 12.2 x 26.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,142,853 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Melissa de la Cruz is the author of many best-selling novels, including the Blue Bloods series; the Au Pairs series; the Ashleys series; and Angels on Sunset Boulevard. She is also a frequent contributor to Glamour, Marie Claire, Teen Vogue, and Cosmopolitan. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter, and is hard at work on the next book in the Blue Bloods saga. While Melissa is not a Blue Blood, she knows people who are...

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ELIZA THOMPSON HAD NEVER BEEN SO UNCOMFORTABLE in her entire life. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars juicy summer read 9 Aug 2005
By A Customer
when three girls head of to the hamptoms for the summer as au pairs they all go for a different reason. Eliza an ex park avenue princess wants to get back with the in crowd and claim her old title back as new york citys 'it girl'. Then theres jaqui a hot south american who is used to older guys liking her for her looks but when she meets luca its different and when he disapears she goes to look for him. and then theres mara an average small town girl who just wants some extra cash but bargins for a lot more.parting every night, shopping hamptoms style, gossip, champange on tap, celebrity name dropping ...... what more can you ask for?
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  49 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Perfect Beach Book 14 Jun 2004
By Miranda - Published on
Light and fun and a little less mean and snobby than the Gossip Girl novels, The Au Pairs offers a fun and fluffy read perfect for pool-side enjoyment.
All three main characters are likeable and, unlike those too-enviable GG characters, you'll be rooting for them from page 1. Especially the small-town girl, Mara, who is certainly a fish out of water in the glitzy, party-all-night world of the Hamptons. The girls' conflicts add some depth to what might otherwise be a no-brainer sort of novel. Mara strives for independance and self-acceptance, Liza copes with her new lifestyle and Jaqui just wants to be loved for her brain and not her cup size. The setting offers a glimpse into the uber-rich, uber-exclusive world of the Hampton-ites and is quite appealing.
You'll be sorry to see their summer end, but - fear not - the author appears to have set them up for a sequel. Christmas in Palm Beach, anyone?
24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lightweight "Au Pairs" 10 Oct 2004
By E. A Solinas - Published on
Melissa de la Cruz has made a literary name for herself writing fluffy stuff about celebrities and the haunts of the idle rich. She doesn't change much in "The Au Pairs," except that it's aimed at teenage girls craving a story about designer labels, boys, sex, and beach parties. It's a vaguely interesting brief story, but not much more.

Three girls arrive in the Hamptons, destined to be au pairs for a wealthy family over the summer. There's Eliza, whose father's shady dealings destroyed her Park Avenue life -- and she's determined to get it back. There's Jacqui, a beautiful South American pursuing a gorgeous American boy who lives in the area. And small-town girl Mara is simply dazzled by her surroundings -- and her employers' hunky son, Ryan.

They soon find that being an au pair is a pain -- men think of them as being slutty, kids are difficult, and sculpted stepmoms ignore the kids and hired help alike. But as Eliza mingles with her old pals -- hiding that she is now poor -- Jacqui discovers the ugly truth about her "Luca," and Mara is torn between her domineering white trash boyfriend and the handsome, sensitive Ryan. (No, I can't believe she actually dithers about this either) Cue the parties, Gucci and underage cocktails!

"The Au Pairs" is basically a mix of "Gossip Girl" and the "Nanny Diaries," but without "Diaries's" wit and sweetness. It's a predictable beach read for girls not yet in a job, and probably unable to imagine more typical chick-lit's career gripes. It's fluff, essentially, and not a great deal more.

It's also quite predictable -- we know that Jacqui will learn the truth about Luke, that Mara's goody-two-shoesness will win the day, and Eliza will learn that (gasp!) money doesn't matter. De La Cruz's writing is okay -- not bad, not good, not witty and not stupid. It's middling, without a lot of descriptions beyond the occasional makeout scene.

None of the three girls are too bright -- I mean, what sane woman would wear designer clothing around little kids who projectile-vomit? Neither are they very appealing. De La Cruz portrays Jacqui as an unrepentant manipulator, and Eliza as shallow and rather twerpy. Mara is even worse -- she's nice. Boringly nice. Nice in a reality-challenged way. And she will certainly bug strong-minded girls by agonizing about her knuckle-dragger boyfriend.

"The Au Pairs" might be a good light read while girls wait for their nails to finish drying. But otherwise it's lightweight and predictable -- typical chick-lit, except with less likable characters.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'Gossip Girl,' 'The Nanny Diaries,' and A Pinch of 'Sex and the City' 16 Aug 2005
By Erika Sorocco - Published on
Sixteen-year-olds Mara Waters, Eliza Thompson, and Jacarei (Jacqui) Velasco are three girls from very different walks off life, getting thrown together for a loaded summer in the Hamptons. Each girl found the ad. The one that said Au-Pairs Wanted for a Fun-Filled Summer In the Hamptons, Complete With A Check for $10,000 Should They Be Able to Put Up With the Little Monsters. The three girls, all looking for a fun getaway, and a fat paycheck, apply, and soon arrive amongst the rich and famous.

Eliza, a rich girl turned poor girl is trying to trick her old Park Avenue pals into thinking that she's staying with a friend of the family's for the summer, as a treat away from her very boring boarding school, when in reality, she's now living in Buffalo, attending a public school, and working as an au pair for the Perry's, in an attempt to liven up her wardrobe with the $10,000. She plans on hooking her old boyfriend, the one who has had complete facial reconstruction to look hot, and is richer than rich, but when she falls for a poor gardener, who happens to be gorgeous, all bets are off.

Mara simply wants to earn a little extra dough for college, and a used Camry. But when she gets a peek at Ryan Perry, the oldest son of her new boss, all thoughts of the supposed love-of-her-life go out the window, along with those cowboy boots of hers that she loves so much. Now she's got to figure out how to snag the guy she's crushing on, and come to terms with the new title she's carrying around the Hamptons "It Girl."

Jacqui fell in love with a guy over Spring Break who was back-packing through Brazil. Unfortunately, after two weeks of fun in the sun with her gorgeous Luca, he disappeared, never to be heard from again. The only clue to his whereabouts? The Hamptons. But when this Brazilian Bombshell finds the man of her dreams, she realizes that he's not all he's cracked up to be. Together these four girls will have the summer of their lives, complete with love, heartbreak, partying, and enough shopping to make even Paris Hilton's head spin.

I've been a fan of the Hamptons since I saw an episode of "Sex and the City," where Carrie and her pals headed to the glamorous area and partied like rock stars. I suppose that's why my attention was peaked by Melissa de la Cruz's novel THE AU PAIRS. A mix of "Gossip Girl" and "The Nanny Diaries," with a pinch of "Sex and the City," and THE AU PAIRS has become a force to be reckoned with, that will most certainly rival Victoria Ashton's recent CONFESSIONS OF A TEEN NANNY. Loaded with names of some of the most well-known celebrities in Hollywood, as well as descriptions of glamorous shops, and the even more glamorous people who shop at them, THE AU PAIRS is sure to be a hit with all. Especially those who'd like a little Cartier in their lives. The perfect beach read to brighten anyone's day.

Erika Sorocco
Book Review Columnist for The Community Bugle Newspaper
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Really Good Read 14 Mar 2005
By Angel - Published on
If you like stories of romance, friendship and adventures that come with a summer job, you'll love the Au Pairs, by Mellisa de la Cruz. It's set in the Hamptons of New York at the home of Kevin and Anna Perry and their four children, where three girls work as au pairs. The three must accomplish goals Anna has set for the children by the end of the summer, and this proves near impossible because of Jaqui and Eliza's natural instinct to party, leaving Mara, my favorite character, to do all the work. And then there's the mystery of the three au pairs before them who were fired for reasons unbeknownst to the three. It gives suspense to the story... what did they do that was so horrible? But be careful, there is a lot of underage drinking and over-romanced scenes woven into this plot. The description in the novel is a bit lax and the characters are sometimes underdeveloped or overdeveloped, for example, Anna, who you really don't get to know, or Eliza, whose life story is sort of shoved in your face every second of it, like saying to feel sorry for the little rich girl who lost it all. All and all, it was a good book.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars UNPUTDOWNABLE!!! 10 Oct 2004
By bookreadergirl - Published on
once you start reading this book, you can't stop!! this is one funny, fast, fashion-filled story. three teens, mara, a suburban good girl, eliza, a former upper east side princess, and jacqui a brazilian model, work for a rich family in the hamptons. de la cruz writes with wicked wit and and a sweet center, you'll root for the girls as they battle bitchy bosses and vapid hilton-sister clones, the writing is so clear and sharp you can almsot smell the beach and taste the passion fruit margaritas! anyone who loved GossipGirl and the A-list will want to be an au pair!! can't wait for the sequel --- am dying to know what happens!!!
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