Author: Anna Godbersen
Genre: Romance YA
First Published: 2007
Page Count: 433
Film/ TV Adaptation: No
Rating: 3/5 Stars
Note: Book 1 of The Luxe series
If you like the pageantry of the nineteenth century but want some 21st century drama, pick up this book.
*Period piece drama with a touch of Gossip Girl
*Predictable plot *Mostly unlikable characters
“She should have known that villains often come with pretty faces.” Nineteenth century New York is home to a glittering gang of privileged youths whose luxe lives are turned upside down due to the power of their own secret agendas. Playboy Henry Schoonmaker and prim and proper Elizabeth Holland must learn to balance their growing adult responsibilities with their hidden desires, younger sister Diana Holland has forbidden feelings for someone who belongs to another, and Penelope Hayes has the worst cross to bear of all; she has the insatiable need to be the center of attention. Drama and gossip swirl around the fictional lives we readers get to peak into in this cheeky book.
Obviously, this book will not go down in history as a must read, but for what it’s worth I enjoyed it. This pace is probably a little slow but for me it moved along just fine as it slowly introduced us to the characters and their connections to one another. I love period piece books and I also enjoy a silly Gossip Girl type young adult read every now and then. This book is great because it puts two and two together and you get a pretty decent story to fill your time. The drama and saucy passages are a little more reserved because of the time period but it still provides more modern scandal then you would find in something which some people find a little dry, like Jane Austen. I like this way of approaching the lives of nineteenth century teens.
However, like I said this book is not the best thing out there. The plot, while interesting and readable, is pretty predictable. I mean, I had it figured out by page three. All of the characters are also very unlikable. They all have their motives for their actions and some have better motives than others. You also feel a smidge of understanding about why they are the way they are based on the cards they are dealt with. Nevertheless, even the characters with seemingly good intentions still have scenes of petty anger, jealousy, and pretentiousness. By the end, I really didn’t relate to any of them or feel they deserved a happy ending because they were all responsible in some way for the mess they made.
Nevertheless, the book is entertaining in a carefree, easy read type of way. You need that every once and awhile. It’s your typical young adult drama novel so if you can’t stand that genre then stay away. Otherwise, it’s not a bad book to break up your normal literature choices.