Review : The Luxe

The Luxe by Anna Godbersen
Pages : 433
Genre : YA, Historical Fiction
Series : The Luxe, Book 1
My Rating :

In a few words :

Welcome to New York! The year is 1899 and gossip is in fashion. Beautiful Elizabeth Holland, daughter of a well established family, is to be married to Henry Schoonmaker, one of the most wanted young man of society. The sudden union is causing numerous reactions in New York’s society : Penelope Hayes, Elizabeth’s ambitious best friend, will stop at nothing to take Elizabeth’s place. Henry, on his part, has fallen for none other than Diana Holland, his promised’s sister.

But before the marriage happens, Elizabeth drowns and dies, leading to the inevitable question : what really happened on that terrible morning of her death?

I read many reviews of The Luxe before reading the book, and most agreed that this was light, fun, bubbly reading, perfect after a difficult day when your brain needs to take a break. With that in mind, I started reading it with absolutely no expectations and was in the end pleasantly surprised.

Sure, this isn’t the most true-to-the-facts historical fiction I have ever read; the girls act more like 1999 girls than 1899 young women, and the descriptions of the time period were, at times, a bit blurry. On the other hand, Godbersen perfectly writes the balls and the social occasions, all in lights and dresses and gossips, giving you the impression to really be there.

I didn’t like most of the characters in this book (though I came to appreciate them later in the next ones), but it didn’t keep me from enjoying the story. I curious to see where this was going, and Penelope was specially fun to watch.

I thought the ending was a bit predictable, and honestly I’m not sure it’s supposed to be such a big surprised anyway. Still, I enjoyed how the author brought us to the end, following the different characters in turns and adding small notes and extracts of newspapers in between the chapters. In the end, The Luxe was like a big lollipop : it doesn’t have much nutriments, but you can’t help getting all of it!

Series Reading Order :

  1. The Luxe
  2. Rumors
  3. Envy
  4. Splendor

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10 responses to “Review : The Luxe”

  1. Juju at Tales of says :

    Thanks for your honest review. I’m still on the fence about this series. I just wish the beautiful covers would stop calling me 🙂 I’m a sucker for a gorgeous dress.

  2. bermudaonion says :

    This book has been wildly popular and sounds like it might be a good read at the right time.

  3. Fyrefly says :

    I think I called it “eating frosting out of the tub” rather than a lollipop, but the idea’s the same. There’s always a place for mindless guilty pleasure reads, though, and this series does that very well.

  4. toothy says :

    The cover is so eyecatching! I think I would of picked this book up for the cover alone. I always like giving myself a break and picking up a book that will provide me with mindless entertainment. Sounds like it’ll be a fun read at the right time.

  5. VioletCrush says :

    I want to read this series for fun too. I’m so looking forward to a marathon of this series, whenever I get to it.

  6. kay says :

    Juju : The beautiful covers called to me too! If you’re looking for some historical mindless reading, that could be it.

    Kathy : Exactly!

    Fyrefly : Oh I love your comparison! I think frosting is even more delicious.

    Toothy : Very eyecatching! I picked it for the cover, too. And it was a good read when alternating with my school reading.

    Violet : I read it in a marathon-way, too, and it was really fun! I’m gonna miss those characters now.

  7. Meg says :

    The cover is positively luscious — and the main thing that attracted me to the book years ago! I remember feeling vaguely disappointed when it was over and not entirely impressed, but that’s just me. And it was definitely several years ago; I might feel differently now!

  8. Ceri says :

    Aww, how cool. I like the idea of a fun and light story set during the turn of the century. 😀

  9. Jennifer says :

    I have heard similar reviews. I’m glad that you enjoyed the book. When I’m in need of a lollipop-esque series, I’ll go straight to The Luxe!

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