The Luxe by Anna Godbersen

Publisher: HarperCollins

Length: 464 pages

Released Date: October 13, 2009

Format: Paperback

Source: Bookstore

Age Group: Teens

Genres: Historical, Drama, Chick Lit

Buy it on Amazon:

The Luxe

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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.

The Luxe is Gossip Girls travels back in time, full of drama, scandals, and dangerous conspiracies. This book’s cover can easily be one of the most beautiful cover that I’ve read in 2015, but if only the book were as good as the cover.

I don’t like negative review at all, but many things that prevent me from giving this book the love that I’ve given to its cover. Beside of the shallowness and over dramatic scenes, you can read The Luxe and wonder, “Well, and I thought this was set in 1899.” Yes, this book was set in the nineteenth century, but it seems like every characters from this book are modern-day teenagers that was dragged back to New York in its late Victorian world with sparkling dresses and luxury parties. Their manners and behaviors are too discourteous for the nineteenth century, which make the book very surreal.

Meet Elizabeth and Diana Holland, our two female protagonists. While both possess a beauty that all praise and envy, their personalities are different like two side of the same coin. Living in the world of lies and luxury, and social status is what matters most, the Holland sisters have to be careful and try their best to save their stand in their elite circle. Everyone knows the infamous Hollands, but what they don’t know is that the Hollands are on the edge of being broke. In order to save her family, Elizabeth has to sacrifice her true love to marry Henry Schoonmaker (I hereby pronounce you the funniest last name in my entire reading career), a charming young man. And the dangerous scheme full of drama begin…

You might read the previous paragraph and wonder how can I say no to such a interesting story. Let me tell you, this book is full of stereotype characters, which makes the plot very predictable. Perfect all-in-all elder sister? Little sister has to live in her sister’s shadow so she rebel? A charming, lady-killer guy that suddenly fall in love at the first sight? Back-stabbing jealousy best friend? A love between a high-class and a servant? Check. Check. Check. The characters are boring, spoiled, and don’t know what they are doing whatsoever most of the time except for partying.

And the writing. Godbersen’s writing is very stand out with many elaborate and complex words. However, over-using them makes her writing feels stiff and unnatural, and it’s hard for me to get into the book. Also, the lack of historical accuracy from The Luxe makes the book feels awkwardly unreal. I don’t hate this book, and it would be a lie if I said I have no enjoyment reading this book at all. I guess the biggest problem is that the book disappointed me while I expected it to be much better. This book might be not the right book for me, but who knows you’ll like it.

Rating: 2/5

4

Books in the series: 

The Luxe #1

Rumors #2

Envy #3

Splendor #4

Similar books: Gossip Girls, Bewitching Season

P/s: Happy US Independence Day! I intentionally choose a historical book set in US for today, but I guess I need to do the job better next time. Anyway, happy day for you all!

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