by Anna Godbersen
Series: Luxe #1
Published: November 20, 2007
Genres: Historical Fiction, Romance, Young Adult
Format: eBook (433 pages)
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.
The Luxe is like Gossip Girl set in 1899. It was so rich in social history and scandal. You get to know characters from different social classes and even a few historical figures. The prologue more or less tells you what’s going to happen at the end of the novel. Normally, I don’t like being spoiled like that but in this case, it gave a sense of doom to the whole thing. I was intensely curious as to how the story would unfold. I kind of saw the twist at the end coming, but the story itself held enough surprises that I enjoyed reading it. The point of view changes frequently, but since the story is told in third person, it’s easy to tell which character your are seeing the events through. It was easy to follow and enjoyable to see the same events from different angles.
What I found most unique about this book was that by the time you got to the end, you knew so many characters so well that you could start to see the same event from all their points of view, even when it’s just being told by one person at the time. In one scene a character would be the villan, and in the next you would empathize with them and see them as the hero. In fact, by the end of the book you could say that all the characters were a villan and a hero in their own way. I didn’t find myself incredibly moved or amazed, but it was entertaining to read.
Content Rating: Medium, for a few suggestive scenes (and lots of scandal!) and a handful of swearwords.