August 8, 2011

The Luxe by Anna Godbersen: Review

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If Edith Wharton and Dominick Dunne mated, The Luxe would be their gum-smacking teenaged progeny. 

The beautiful Elizabeth Holland is dead...(psst, her body was never found)...and her loved ones gather for her funeral. The tragic irony is that her funeral is on the same date as her wedding. Why they planned the funeral for this day since there's no body is a bit of a head scratcher, but never mind that. Anyway her fiance, the most wanted bachelor in New York society, Henry Schoonmaker, is a pallbearer. Her best friend, Penelope, joins the long list of mourners even though an odour of suspicion surrounds her. In fact, all of Liz's family, friends and admirers are there with the exception of one person, her sister Diana. 

What happened to this young lady, this pinnacle of female perfection? How did she end up falling into Hudson River days before her wedding? Was it just an accident or did someone have a reason to get rid of her? Flashback to the month before her death to follow the events that lead to this tragedy.

I was in the mood for something gossipy and girly. The Luxe satisfied my craving for both. It's like an elaborate cupcake: pretty to look at, sweet to taste, hits the spot for a moment. I mean, look at that cover! That dress! And the inside is much the same, beautiful girls wearing beautiful dresses doing morally questionable things. It's fluffy and a bit scandalous. I enjoyed it. I didn't get any smarter reading it, however. Do I want to read the rest of the series? Why yes, I do!

The characters are what you'd expect, girls who would push their grannies down the stairs to get what they want (except for Elizabeth who is torn by duty). Penelope is new money; she's climbing that social ladder. All she seems to wear is black and red. I kept imagining Scarlett O'Hara in that shameful red dress. Diana is Elizabeth's spoiled younger sister with a penchant for shocking novels and shocking behaviour. Elizabeth is the elder daughter of an old society family and Lina her disgruntled maid. I thought it was hilarious how each of them thought they had the others all figured out. The only person I felt sorry for was Henry, who is a bit of an ass sometimes. Henry is the not unlike the females of the 19th century novels, forced to do what they don't want to for the sake of society. I can't wait to see what tortures Godbersen puts him through in the next novel.

If you're looking for a young adult novel with a sprinkle scandal, The Luxe is what you need.

Anna Godebersen has a website for both her series of books.

Ratings:

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13 comments :

  1. I bought this book years ago based purely on the gorgeous cover! Never actually managed to read the book though!

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  2. Interesting. The covers on this series are beautiful.

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  3. I love these covers. I want them just for the dresses (I secretly want these dresses to come back in style!).

    This sounds like such a fun read...I am thinking about taking a month off from my project list in the fall (like I did last year), and these might be a blast to read!

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  4. That cover is such a confection -- and it seems to match what's inside completely. Glad this one satisfied your sweet tooth!

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  5. I wouldn't want a steady diet of books like that but do enjoy one from time to time. this one sounds like fun!

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  6. Marg- So did I! I'm such a sucker.

    Brooke- I only have 2 so far but need to get the rest. They look so pretty on the shelf.

    Allie- The Luxe is a great 'taking a break' book.

    Col- Yes, it was delicious.

    Kathy- They are a nice little treat!

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  7. I don't know about this series. I like Edith Wharton and the time period, but... I just don't know. Sometimes dramz gets to me.

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  8. I have always loved the covers to this series, but still haven't read any of them.

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  9. These covers make me so sad I bought them in e-book - I want to be able to look at them in color.

    I really enjoyed this series.

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  10. I used to have most of these on my shelves. Received ARCS and really had no interest in reading them at the time. Now, I could really go for one! Hoping my 'brary has them all.

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  11. I really disliked Penelope but I liked the book overall.

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  12. This sounds like the kind of read I need right now. Also, I know I haven't been here for a long time, but I really like your rating system with the cupcakes and apples! Very original and easy to understand.

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  13. I bought these books a few years ago and they were so good i couldn't set them down and stop reading them.

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