Title: The Luxe
Author: Anna Godbersen
Release Date: November 20, 2007
Genre: Teen, Historical Fiction, Chick Lit
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
From the dust jacket:
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.
The Luxe was one of those books I’d heard good things about, but wasn’t planning on reading anytime soon. Still, when my request for it at the library was filled I went ahead and picked it up during a day of running errands, figuring I’d probably end up returning it unread. Before we were ready to head home, my husband wanted to run into Best Buy. We were parked illegally, so I decided to wait in the car. I ended up picking up The Luxe, thinking I would read a chapter or two and then put it down. It seems the book had other plans – once I started, I didn’t want to stop reading it for anything.
I absolutely adored The Luxe. It was a ridiculously entertaining book. The entire time I was reading it, I kept thinking that it was basically Gossip Girl set 110 years ago. (In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve only watched the TV series. I’ve never read the books.) It was simply a delicious read, and what a gorgeous cover!
My favorite character was definitely Elizabeth. I felt so bad for her, and hated how no one seemed to understand her. Even worse, no one really seemed to care enough to try and see through her proper facade. Her beloved younger sister, Diana, judged her and her “best friend”, Penelope, was insanely jealous of Elizabeth’s beauty and status. I liked seeing Elizabeth’s deeper side.
I had mixed feelings about Diana. I felt like she was really selfish at the beginning, but her character grew somewhat over the course of the book. Penelope, on the other hand, was horrible. I couldn’t sympathize with her at all – she was that character everyone loves to hate. She was wonderfully wicked and really added a great dimension to The Luxe.
I wasn’t really satisfied with the ending of The Luxe. I felt like there were a lot of loose ends and justice was most definitely not served. The only thing that appeased me was the knowledge that The Luxe is the first in a series; I can’t wait to read the next book, Rumors. The Luxe was a deliciously fun read that I highly recommend – it will only leave you wanting more!