Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Review: The Luxe by Anna Godbersen

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.

Kim's Review: I did not expect to like this book as much as I did. Honestly, I would not have bought it if not for Charlotte's continuous nagging and insistence that I read it. (Thanks for that, by the way!) However, I was pleasantly surprised. The writing is not very complex, but I liked that because I was able to skim through some paragraphs and not lose track of what was happening. The notes and articles at the beginning of each chapter offered interesting insight into the characters' situations and saved the reader from what could have been paragraphs full of useless descriptions of notes.

The short chapters also made it easier to read, and because the point of view changed with each chapter, I felt like I knew the characters better and was able to understand their intentions. The plot is pretty crazy and definitely different than what you probably think of when you hear about the nineteenth century, but the time period made it seem so much more intense and scandalous.

Finally, THAT ENDING. I was so confused (in a good way) until the last couple of pages. It's a huge, shocking cliffhanger. What the hell?!?! Now I am dying to read the sequel!

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