Review of The Luxe by Anna Godberson

Pretty girls in pretty dresses, partying until dawn. Irresistible boys with mischievous smiles and dangerous intentions. White lies, dark secrets, and scandalous hookups. This is Manhattan, 1899. Beautiful sisters Elizabeth and Diana Holland rule Manhattan's social scene. Or so it appears. When the girls discover their status among New York City's elite is far from secure, suddenly everyone—from the backstabbing socialite Penelope Hayes, to the debonair bachelor Henry Schoonmaker, to the spiteful maid Lina Broud—threatens Elizabeth's and Diana's golden future. With the fate of the Hollands resting on her shoulders, Elizabeth must choose between family duty and true love. But when her carriage overturns near the East River, the girl whose glittering life lit up the city's gossip pages is swallowed by the rough current. As all of New York grieves, some begin to wonder whether life at the top proved too much for this ethereal beauty, or if, perhaps, someone wanted to see Manhattan's most celebrated daughter disappear... In a world of luxury and deception, where appearance matters above everything and breaking the social code means running the risk of being ostracized forever, five teenagers lead dangerously scandalous lives. This thrilling trip to the age of innocence is anything but innocent.


You know those books that you have to have and then they sit on your bookshelf until the pages are no longer white? This is one of those books for me but I've finally read it! It's quite an enjoyable read although not short at over 400 pages long. The Luxe has 6 narrators - Elizabeth, Diana, Penelope, Henry, Lina and some random commentator at the beginning.

Diana was easily my favourite character as she was the least stereotypical. She doesn't fit in well with society and finds the parties bland and uninteresting. When we first meet her she's snogging some guy at a party and that's also when she meets Henry With The Stupid Surname for the first time. His name is Schoonmaker. Anyway...
My second favourite character was Lina, at first, but then she steadily got more on my nerves as the story progressed. She thinks of herself as higher than she is and is quite snobby. She's also quite stupid. Another character that got on my nerves was Elizabeth. She just had no substance at all.

Plot wise, it's fairy basic and the ending felt a bit rushed, which, considering it's size was surprising. I enjoyed it though, having 5 (or 6!) narrators gave me a chance to see the world of Luxe from many varied perspectives, which was really fun.  I'm a sucker for period type TV programs and the descriptions of the scenes and characters in Luxe are really detailed so it felt as if I was watching it on TV. Although I mentioned the plot is basic, it still managed to draw me into the story and made me want to read more. So because of that I'm definitely buying Rumours and Splendour (I already have Envy). I'd recommend this to anyone who's a fan of stuff like The O.C, Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars, you get the idea.
4/5

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