December 30, 2010

Vixen by Jillian Larkin: Review

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Speakeasies, jazz, and booze. Cool cats, Vixen is like 90210 (the original) if it were set in the 1920s: kids with too much money, loose morals, and a penchant for getting into trouble.

Gloria has aspirations to be a jazz singer in an illegal nightclub but she's engaged to a pro-Prohibition member of the Chicago elite. Lorraine is Gloria's best friend with a jealous streak a mile wide and a lust for Marcus, a guy that won't give her the time of day. Entering the mix is Clara, Gloria's cousin. She's been sent to keep Gloria in line as penance for some sordid business in New York. She has shhhh! secrets! that she wants to keep quiet.

Vixen is an entertaining read as long as you enjoy it for what it is and don't ask too many questions. It has the literary nutritional value of a cupcake. You can't go wrong when you have three somewhat nasty heroines sneaking around in illegal nightclubs. The plot is exciting and keeps a good pace. The story alternates between the three girls, all knee deep in high jinx. I did have to suspend my disbelief at times and wondered at the behaviour of the characters; they all act selfishly and idiotically. There were a few things about the writing (passive voice, telling not showing) that bothered me too but back in the day I thought Melrose Place was the best thing since sliced bread so I can see teen girls with a flare for drama eating this up. The book skims issues like feminism and racism. For those who want to know, there is boozin', smokin', some sexin' and a some swears (the B word). 

Recommended for older teens.

**This was an ARC and there were some glaring mistakes (girl takes bus but tells someone she took the subway, girl takes off shoes then has them on? What?!). I hope these were corrected.

Thanks to the publisher for the review copy.

4 comments :

  1. I am in the love with the cover and will probably request it at the library sometime in the future. The premise of this book reminds me of 'Bright Young Things' by Anna Godberson. I guess there's a new teen '20's trend going on.

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  2. yep, i'm also a sucker for this cover and era! love the nutritional value metaphor--clever, clever! i think if you realize going in to a book that it's not some literary heavyweight, it makes books like this easier to...digest. :) sounds like a fun read, but a library lender to be sure.

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  3. T.Y.- I think there is. The new vampires?

    Nat- Yeah, go in with the expectation of being entertained.

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  4. haha, I also appreciated the cupcake metaphor and so does my roommate who I just read it aloud to.

    It is a pretty cover though.

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