De la Cruz, Melissa. The Au Pairs. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2004.
This is yet another novel that revolves around the lives of the rich and spoiled. The action takes place in the Hamptons. Three older teens take jobs as an au pair for the summer. Eliza once owned a house in the Hamptons until her father was arrested. They escaped NYC and moved to Buffalo. She takes the job as au pair with her father's defense attorney because it pays $10,000 and she can be around her friends again. She has to keep up the facade that she is away at boarding school and that she is really living with an uncle. She has a hard time adjusting from being the It girl to being the hired help.
Mara is a regular girl from Massachusettes that had never been anywhere. She has never been around rich people, but she needs the money for college. She leaves behind her boyfriend Jim who is a bit of a control freak and doesn't like her abandoning him. She is basically a fish out of water and has no idea how to behave around these people. In the meantime, her boss' older son is cute and seems to like her, but she is always thinking about Jim.
Jacqui is from Brazil. She met Luka, an American, and fell in love with him over the 2 weeks time he was in Brazil. After he left, he never called like he said he would. Since he said he summers in a place called "The Hamptons", she looked for a job like this so she can hunt him down and be with him. She is a real party girl and she is extremely attractive. She is always skipping out on work and can't even remember the kids' names.
All three girls have different experiences which really all amount to one big soap opera-like novel. It was quite enjoyable. Girls who have enjoyed Gossip Girl or any other similar novels will enjoy this one, too. There is a lot of fashion talk and name-dropping amidst all the drama and intrigue. There is also an opening at the end that leads me to believe there is a sequel in the making. This may turn into another popular series. Even without a follow-up, this one stands alone and comes to a satisfying conclusion.
*Update: A sequel is to be published in the next few months! Stay tuned!*
Update 8/3/05: The Au Pairs, Volume 2: Skinny-Dipping. I just finished the sequel. Any fans of the first book in the series will definitely enjoy this follow-up. The same characters are back! Jacqui and Mara are back as AuPairs and Eliza has taken a job at a hot new club as a hostess. A new male au pair is on the scene, Pierre, but he flakes and is never around, evne tough he is getting paid. There is a l0t of drinking and partying here, and a lot of romantic tribulations, but everything turns out well in the end.