Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Luxe by Anna Godbersen

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 takes place in Manhattan, New York during the year 1899. If Gossip Girl were to take place in the late 1800’s/early 1900’s then this is what it would look like.

Elizabeth and Diana Holland are sisters who spend their time in Manhattan’s elite social circles, attending glamorous parties dressed to the nines, and crushing on handsome guys.
Elizabeth is considered the mature and responsible one. She usually does what she is told.
Diana is more adventures. She longs to be a free spirit and not trapped by society’s rules and restrictions for women.

 This rich and exciting life they lead is all they have ever known and when they find out that their life isn't as secure as they once thought, a sacrifice has to be made.  A sacrifice by way of an engagement between Elizabeth and Henry Schoonmaker; son of one of the richest families in New York. This further complicates things because Elizabeth is already in love with someone else.

Enter Penelope Hayes, who is supposed to be Elizabeth’s friend, but is more like a friend you would never want to trust with anything. Penelope is in love with Henry. So while Elizabeth opens up to her friend, Penelope is trying to plot against Elizabeth in order to get what she wants and what she thinks she deserves.

“Don't go looking for boys in the dark.
They will say pretty things then
leave you with scars.
Do go looking for boys in the park.
For that is where the true gentlemen are.”

-Anna Godbersen, The Luxe (Luxe, #1)

Secrets, deception, jealousy, and romance all mix together in this teen/young adult historical fiction novel. The Luxe is a must read for anyone who enjoys a good historical fiction read and is a fan of the Gossip Girl series. There were some parts in the book that were obvious and I felt anyone could guess, but other than that I enjoyed reading it.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

You can buy The Luxe here: 


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