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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Review: The Luxe

Author: Anna Godbersen
Release Date: November 20, 2007
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 433
Series: Luxe #1
Source: Bought
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Summary:  Pretty girls in pretty dresses, partying until dawn.  Irresistible boys with mischievous smiles and dangerous intentions.  White lies, dark secrets, and scandalous hookups.  This is Manhattan, 1899.   Beautiful sisters Elizabeth and Diana Holland rule Manhattan's social scene.  Or so it appears.  When the girls discover their status among New York City's elite is far from secure, suddenly everyone--from the backstabbing socialite Penelope Hayes, to the debonair bachelor Henry Schoonmaker, to the spiteful maid Lina Broud--threatens Elizabeth's and Diana's golden future.

With the fate of the Hollands resting on her shoulders, Elizabeth must choose between family duty and true love.  But when her carriage overturns near the East River, the girl whose glittering life lit up the city's gossip pages is swallowed by the rough current.  As all of New York grieves, some begin to wonder whether life at the top proved too much for this ethereal beauty, or if, perhaps, someone wanted to see Manhattan's most celebrated daughter disappear...

In a world of luxury and deception, where appearance matters above everything and breaking the social code means running the risk of being ostracized forever, five teenagers lead dangerously scandalous lives.  This thrilling trip to the age of innocence is anything but innocent.
My Favorite Lines:
“The first stab of love is like a sunset, a blaze of color -- oranges, pearly pinks, vibrant purples...” 

“Already she could feel the stunning weight of a lifetime of regret for letting him go, and she knew that it was enought to bury her alive.” 
Why I Loved It:  Honestly, I didn't.  There were things that I liked about it.  I mean I loved 20th century New York.  It was such a cool time in history with all the big dresses and proper behaviors all the while sneaking off to the cloak room.  Ok the cloak room may be a bit of a cliche.  But still.  It was a gorgeous time.  And a huge plus of the book was that I though the author did a gorgeous job of setting up this fantastic world of the past.  I truly felt like I was living in this 1899 New York City, fighting scandal along with Elizabeth Holland.  The world was all there.

The characters?  Not so much.  It was just a bit weak for me.  Maybe it was just too much..  I don't know.  In a way, it was like bad Gossip Girl goes back in time.  There is a market for this type of soap opera.  I know that.  I just didn't get into it.  Sadly though, The Luxe leaves off in such a way that I did end up reading Rumors because I owned both of the books.  These were some of the books that I bought for the pretty covers.  Not always a clear sign of what's inside.

All in all, I didn't love it.  But I loved the setting.  I loved the idea of living during that time and wearing those kinds of dresses and getting my wardrobe from Paris and being courted.  I loved Diana Holland with her crazy personality and slight eccentricies.  I am making that a word!    

Who Should Read It: Historical fiction lovers who also got into Gossip Girl.  If you love big dresses and trashy romance historical fiction novels, yes.  If you are just looking for a read without worrying about good development, this is it.

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