25 August 2009

Review: THE LUXE by Anna Godbersen *****

"Imagine, if you will, New York City, 1899 . . . Society's elite: the glamour, the grandeur, the glittering parties, the most handsome beaus, the most beautiful debutantes . . . the rich girl, the humble boy, the forbidden love, the hushed whispers, the stolen glances, the whispers, the scandal, the mystery, the revenge . . . You are cordially invited to step into The Luxe, where the secrets are dark and the sins are delicious . . . R.S.V.P."


This is the first book in The Luxe series, which will consist of four novels (the last one, Splendour comes out in January 2010 in the UK), all of which take place in New York at the turn of the 20th century. This first book takes place in late 1899 and it's sort of a YA read as the protagonists are between 16 and 20 (or so). It's a story of high society teens and it has scandal, secret love affairs, glamurous dresses and balls, betrayal, revenge etc., basically all the necessary ingredients for an enjoyable read!

I admit I was mostly drawn to this book because of the beauuutiful cover, but I'm pleased to report that the story is such is equally wonderful! I was drawn in right from the start and really enjoyed reading it. I can't say if the portrayal of New York and its citizes back then was accurate because I'm not an expert, but it was certainly interesting. I also thought the story was well written both language and plot wise - the written flew nicely and the plot was quite riveting, there was always something going on, a lot of scheming and revenge etc. Yes, it sounds trashy and I suppose it really it, but it's great fun!

The cover says that this is like the OC or something but with bigger frocks and more dashing boys, haha. Personally, the book really reminded me of Gossip Girl and I could just see the connection between the characters ... I thought Liz and Penelope were such a Serena and Blair (respectively), while I totally got the Chuck vibe from Henry. Furthermore, Lina reminded me of Little J. and Will seemed like such a Dan (expect LJ & D are siblings in GG whereas they're romantically involved here so that kinda doesn't work, lol). So yeah, I didn't think the boys were particulary dashing or anything, but the dresses were definitely fantastic and I loved reading about them - I really enjoyed how the author went into detail describing them. And the whole scenery and events and everything - it was just so easy being sucked into 1899, hehe!

Another great thing about these books is that they're beauuuuutifully designed, major props to the designer as they did an amazing job! The covers themselves are stunning, but even the book as such is well designed with cute fonts and newspaper articles etc. I know that's silly, but it's a small thing that simply added to the enjoyment of the book.

Technically this shouldn't be a 5/5 as it's really not a masterpiece or anything, but wahey it's just soooo much fun to read. I mean, all the necessary ingredients are there and they're well mixed and wonderfully served - what's not to love?!

I strongly recommed this series to *everyone* and I'll definitely be reading the rest of the books. I've bought the second and the third one a while ago, but I'm just gutted that the last book has been pushed back and will now be published in January 2010 instead of November 2009 as it was originally planned. Nonetheless, I cannot wait to read the rest of the books too!

overall rating: 5/5
plot: 5/5 | writing: 5/5 | characters: 4/5 | cover: 5/5

Below are the other three books in The Luxe series.
Aren't the covers simply divine? :)


Kate said...

Great review. I really need to give that one a try again. Oh well. Got two presents for you!


Alicia said...

I also bought this book for the cover! It's gorgeous, and the hardback is really nice. I love these books too and can't wait for the final book :)

Book Chick City said...

Ooh, the covers a just lush! I would buy all these books on the covers alone!! I have never heard of them before so thanks for sharing and the great review. Will definitely be putting these on my tbr list :)

Dot said...

I really want to get these, they sound so good and the covers are gorgeous!!

Jillian said...

These look like great reads! I haven't heard of this author before now so I'll have to add them to my ever-growing reading list!

I have a suggestion as well! It sounds like you would also like a book called 'Knickles and Dimes'. It has hilarious characters and a really great story. I'd recommend it!

Thanks for the review : )

Danni said...

When ever I go into the book store, these books always pop out at me. They are just so pretty! Great review. Happy reading :)

JennJ said...

What a wonderful Review! And these books are simply beautiful! I will have to give them a try! :)

Yan said...

I love the UK covers! The US ones have less pizazz ~

Anonymous said...

I am in love with these covers. I thought the US ones were pretty... these are great! I am also glad to see you gave it such a good review. I have this on my TBR list when I run out of the batch I have! Now I'll definitely get them! Thanks :)

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen/read any Gossip Girl (I'm 14 and my conservative parents won't let me) but I do LOVE the Luxe!!! It's not the most challenging or thought provoking read....but it's freakin' fun! And pretty! It's also clean enough to where my mom won't freak out (no smut here) but it has enough of sexual implications to make sure it is not a kids book.
PS the UK covers ARE prettier

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