Series: Luxe, #1
Author: Anna Godbersen
Pages: 433 (Paperback)
Release Date: October 1, 2008
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.
I know this is said a lot, but it's true: If Gossip Girl was set in 1899, it would be The Luxe. This book was full of glitz, glamor, frenemies, forbidden love, love triangles, love squares, all kinds of love geometry, falling to the bottom of the social ladder, jealousy, gossip and betrayal. These girls will do anything for social standing and love, or at least what they think is love.
I have mixed feelings about the prologue. On one hand, I liked how it introduced a major conflict, since from then on I kept reading to find out how things go to that point. But then, I also felt like it took away from the shock that could have been there if not for the prologue. While I was eager to get to the events leading up to the prologue, I was bogged down by the extremely slow pacing. It felt like it took forever for the story to actually get going. This is something I noticed about the first book in another of this author's series, too. But she does an amazing job in describing the setting which is one of my favorite time periods.
As for the characters, Elizabeth is so boring! She follows all of the rules of society, acts like a proper lady, and does exactly what she's told. She's the complete opposite of her little sister, Diana, who seeks a grand romance and adventure, and refuses to settle into the role expected of her. Thankfully the other characters were more dynamic and interesting, and there are plenty of additional characters since this book has several POVs. Although it was annoying that the characters were referred to by their full names at the beginning of each chapter, like the reader needed reminding of their heritage every 10 pages.
I liked The Luxe well enough despite its slow pacing and Elizabeth the cardboard cut out. It's definitely a solid set up for the rest of the series which I'm eager to read.