Review : Rumors, Envy, Splendor

Rumors, Envy and Splendor
Series : The Luxe, Books 2, 3, 4
Author : Anna Godbersen
Genre : YA, Historical Fiction
My Rating :

Once more, I decided to do a recap of my thoughts on all the series at once (except for the first book, The Luxe, which I reviewed previously here.) There are two reasons for that : the first is that I read all four books almost back to back, therefore blending all together in one big memory the events of the books. The second is that I found Godbersen to be quite consistent : I found all four books similarly captivating and I couldn’t pinpoint which one I liked the best. That doesn’t happen often in series, so it’s worth mentioning.

In a few words, the setting : New York, the year is 1899, and the gossips have never been so lively! The scandalous lives of the rich are filled with surprises and mischievous plans : Penelope is still trying to get her hand on Henry, who can’t stop thinking about the beautiful Diana Holland. Meanwhile, in the Holland house, the family is trying to keep secret their money troubles…

It’s hard to talk about the books without spoiling the ending of the first one, but I’ll say this : these characters don’t get a rest until the very end! I have enjoyed both the nice and the mean characters of the story for all they had to offer, but I especially enjoyed Diana. Henry needed to learn to stand up for himself, and Penelope needed a heart, but the dynamics created by their faults made the story intriguing.

There is one character I didn’t care for in the the whole series though, and that’s Carolina. Oh gosh, I just couldn’t stand her! Normally I love a from-poor-to-rich story, but the character has to work for it. Carolina was immature, and oh so selfish and self-absorbed, I didn’t care for any of her story! Just because you had a miserable, poor life before, doesn’t mean you deserve to be handed anything freely. Also, I was so sad for how she treated her sister, I wanted to slap her out of the book.

Apart from her though, I was as fascinated as can be by the story. The Luxe series is exactly the type of candy-reading that gives your brain a break. There’s enough mystery to entertain, but you don’t get a headache trying to decipher what is going on.

Also, I love the historical setting. It’s not as detailed as I usually like it, but it’s just enough so that you can picture it easily. It’s a bit like the covers, in fact : not true to the historical period, but gorgeous! Also, as much I appreciated the books, I found the characters to have attitudes a bit too contemporary to our times, instead of theirs.

I would recommend The Luxe series to those of you looking for a light, entertaining read. If you feel a bit touchy about authors taking liberties with history, you might want to avoid it, but other than that, it was a fun read.

Series Reading Order :

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

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5 responses to “Review : Rumors, Envy, Splendor”

  1. Staci says :

    I have been wanting to read these!! Is it wrong to say that I’m totally in love with those covers??? 😀

  2. toothy says :

    i recently acquired all four books so i’m looking forward to reading them. hopefully i’ll be able to read them over my winter break.

  3. kay says :

    Staci : It’s not wrong at all! I looove these covers too; plus, the books look really, really nice all lined on a shelf 🙂

    Toothy : They’re really easy to go through at once, I hope you’ll find the time 🙂

  4. Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com says :

    Oooo no rest for the wicked? 😉 Sounds good!

  5. Meg says :

    You’re definitely inspiring me to give this series another chance! I remember reading The Luxe a few years back and not being too impressed… but I can’t recall why!

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