Title: The Luxe (Luxe #1)
Author: Anna Godbersen
Release Date: November 20, 2007
Pretty girls in pretty dresses, partying until dawn. Irresistible boys with sly smiles and dangerous intentions. White lies, dark secrets, and scandalous hookups. This is Manhattan, 1899...Elizabeth and Diana Holland rule Manhattan’s social scene. But when the girls discover their family’s status is far from secure, suddenly everyone is a threat to their golden future. Set in a world of luxury and deception, this thrilling trip to the age of innocence is anything but innocent.
For the past couple of years I had kept hearing about The Luxe by Anna Godbersen. Most of what I heard was positive so I decided to give the book a shot and read it. I’ll be honest, I have mixed feelings about the book. It wasn’t a bad book by any standards but it wasn’t anything extraordinary either. I enjoyed reading the book but at times I found myself having trouble getting into the story which sometimes made the book a little difficult to read. That is not to say that there weren’t parts of the book I didn’t like.
Elizabeth Holland has always had everything she wished for. Her family has always been part of the Manhattan elite and thought that her life would always be the same way it has been. But when she returns from France, she discovers that things may not all be as they appear. Her family’s status may be in danger and others may also discover that Elizabeth is not everything she appears to be. In 1899 Manhattan, who knows what is real and what isn’t--nothing is really what it appears to be.
I have to say it felt at times like I was reading a nineteenth century version of Gossip Girls, there were just so many parallels that I was able to make between the two series. Some of the characters seriously felt like they were the same just a century apart. The most obvious connection I could make was with Penelope--at times I couldn’t help but think of her as Blair Waldorf from Gossip Girl. All the manipulating and tricking and going behind people’s backs were just some of what led me to make the connection between the two characters.
I had trouble with Elizabeth at first but as the story moved forward I found that she sort of grew on me. When the book began Elizabeth just seemed superficial and only wanting to please everyone. I get that it was a different time but sometimes I just wanted to yell at her to stop worrying about pleasing everyone and doing something for herself once in a while. But like I said, as the story moved along she grew on me. By the end she was starting to do things she wanted without thinking about pleasing everyone else. Maybe that’s something I’ll see more of in the other books of the series, at least I hope.
I liked Diana a lot better than I did Elizabeth. Right from the start she was going against what was thought as proper in her society. I have to admit that those are the kinds of characters I like. She wasn’t afraid to do what she wanted despite constant warnings to be proper by different members of her family and friends. The other characters were interesting as well but Diana was my favourite, there was just something about her that made me like her and I don’t really know how to explain it.
The story itself was interesting. I don’t really read that many books that are set in a different time period so it was a refreshing change. I really like the concept of the story but at times I felt like it could have been taken further, I sometimes felt like there were holes in the story. Maybe I have to read the others books in the series to get that. Despite that fact, I was entertained by the story and for me that is enough to pick up the sequels.
The Luxe was an enjoyable read but not anything extraordinary. I would recommend it to anyone looking for something different without looking for anything with a great amount of depth.