Title: Envy & Splendor: A Luxe Novel
Author: Anna Godbersen
ISBN: 9780061345746 & 9780061626333
Pages: 432 & 416
Release Date: January 27, 2009 & January 1, 2010
Genre: Teen/YA, Historical Fiction
Rating: Envy: 4 out of 5, Splendor: 3.5 out of 5
In these last two books of the Luxe series, Anna Godbersen brings her teen society tale to a close. Gossip and secrets about as these characters each try to find happiness, sometimes at the expense of others.
I enjoyed both The Luxe and Rumors, so when I received Envy and Splendor for review, I was eager to get to them. I really wanted to see how Godbersen would wrap up this intriguingly delicious series and see if the characters would end up finding happiness.
In Rumors, I felt like not much happened because the entire novel seemed to be setting the stage for the next book. That wasn’t the case with Envy. Many characters drastically changed their situations, setting the stage for an explosive and gripping finale. I must admit the Henry-Diana storyline frustrated me, as the artificial constraints Godbersen used to keep them apart seemed to be in place merely to keep that particular plot going. However, the rest of it was very satisfying. Elizabeth’s story in particular really got to me, as it’s unclear how she will find happiness after the events at the end of Rumors. I also appreciated that the more despicable characters seem to have been set up to fall.
Despite the fact Godbersen was trying to tie up the storylines of the series in the last installment, Splendor, she still managed to introduce enough twists and turns to satisfy the reader. This book has its share of unexpected events and startling revelations. The author also resolved all dangling threads with varying degrees of satisfaction. I was happy with some of the resolutions and not so much with others, but I have to commend Godbersen for not taking the easy way out. She defied my expectations multiple times, proving her creativity again and again.
Envy and Splendor were fun reads, but I’m glad I’ve finished with the series. While Godbersen did manage to keep things interesting for the most part, I’m not sure The Luxe series couldn’t have been a book shorter. Still, I’ll likely be keeping an eye out for her new novel Bright Young Things.