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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Review: The Luxe by Anna Godbersen

Publisher: Harper Collins
Genre: YA
Hardback 433 pages
Source: borrowed from the library
My Rating: 97/100

In the self-contained world of young Gilded Age Manhattan socialites, Elizabeth and Diana Holland reign supreme. Or so it seems. Scratch the surface, though, and you can detect festering jealousies that threaten to topple them. Elizabeth suffers a more literal fall when her carriage overturns and she is carried away by the swift East River current. That's only the beginning of the action and suspense in The Luxe, the launch volume in a teen series by Anna Godbersen. (From Goodreads)

My Thoughts: sinful.  These are the wrods that immediately come to mind after reading The Luxe.  The plot is not difficult.  It is actually very simple and to me completely predictable.  It was however the journey in finishing the book, the delight I had while reading this book, that made it's simpleness palatable.  The basic plot is this: rich, young, gorgeous people in 1899 New York, that must marry certain people for family's sake.  They gossip, party, and waste their days away thinking how awesome they all.  Now although all of the characters sound totally vapid, there are one or two that make the story redeemable.  There is Diana Holland who tries to buck convention.  She likes to read, dress differently, and speak her mind.  There is also Henry Schoonmaker who starts out as quite a despicable character, but when he meets the woman he really loves, he changes his ways.  At least the best that he can.  His character becomes much more likable.  I would be remiss if I didn't mention Penelope the trouble maker.  She is quite a piece of work, and every story needs a villain, don't they? 

Overall, the book has the feel of soap opera, something I don't normally read.  But for whatever reason, I completely lost myself in this book.  One could say Godbersen is trying to demonstrate how women had little freedom, and family was everything, but to analyze this book in that way seems false to me. The Luxe is a guilty pleasure, plain and simple.  It allowed me to escape life and imagine being a fly on the wall in 1899 New York, and for me that is the sign of a good read.  I can't wait to get my hands on the second in the series, Rumors.  

{Previously cross-posted on Royal Reviews}

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