Beautiful World Series, Book 1: Beautiful World
By Sherri Myers
May 25, 2009 - 2:35:09 AM

Seventeen-year-old Ann Warner, aka Amelia, as she likes to call herself, fancies herself deserving of living the high life, even though her father is actually trying to provide a living for his two children on an untenured professor’s salary.  An apartment in Vesparian, New Hampshire, is Amelia’s real home, but she, her brother, and her father are in St. Bart’s for two weeks while her dad tutors a vacationing baron’s kid.  Amelia’s mom has run off in search of wealth and excitement in her life, abandoning her husband and children for good in the process.  So now we find Amelia trying to be somebody important to somebody, and it’s at other people’s expense that she plans to succeed in her quest.

When Amelia meets beautiful socialite Courtney Moore, it’s as if all the planets have aligned.  Courtney is and has everything Amelia has ever dreamed of, and then some.  Sixteen-year-old Courtney’s parents invite Amelia and her also sixteen-year-old brother, Zach, to share brunch with them at their table, starting off the two girls on an adventure that has them practically inseparable for the entire vacation.  Courtney is totally fascinated by Amelia’s exciting experiences and can’t believe she wants to be friends with her.  What Courtney doesn’t realize is that Amelia is a master manipulator and knows exactly how to get people to do everything she wants. Soon Courtney is footing all the bills while Amelia enjoys all the riches Courtney actually owns.  Later, Amelia joins Courtney in New York to stay at her ritzy apartment while pretending that their home is undergoing renovations.  It isn’t long before she’s trying to steal Courtney’s best friends, Piper Hansen and Geoff Ellison.  But then, Zach and Courtney begin to be attracted to each other so perhaps love is in the air for the teen friends.  But will Amelia ruin the whole thing when she finds it harder and harder to keep all her stories straight?


Anastasia Hollings’s first book for teens is entitled BEAUTIFUL WORLD, and is the beginning of a new series by the same name for teen girls 14 and up.  Amelia is a manipulative, very materialistic teen girl who has no conscience when it comes to lying (or just changing the truth to suit the situation, as she would say) or using people to get what she wants.  She is obsessed with fame, fortune, celebrities, and being popular and will do almost anything to get them.  Amelia and Zach con their way into the hapless Courtney’s social circle by pretending to be twins soon to inherit their own fortunes.  Piper Hansen, Courtney’s best friend in New York, isn’t quite so trusting and naïve as Courtney is, and Amelia finds she needs to stay on her toes to keep Piper from realizing what a fake and schemer she truly is.  Teen readers will be anxious for book two in the BEAUTIFUL WORLD series to see where Ms. Hollings will take the story of Courtney, Amelia, Piper, Zach, and Geoff.


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