The Luxe (The Luxe #1)
by Anna Godbersen
Summary: 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.
Source: I purchased a paperback
The Luxe was a fun and shallow historical fiction. It involved a few prominent families and the gossip and scandals surrounding them. It was like reading Gossip Girl set in New York in 1899 where everyone has their own agenda, but no one is clear about it because they don’t want to cause a scandal and ruin their family name.
I enjoyed the mindless drama, but the overall plot was kind of predictable once the book laid out everyone’s interests. No one was really each other’s friend. They had their own goals in mind. I figured out what must have happened to Elizabeth and I was glad to see I was correct in my early assumption.
While there was plenty of drama and backstabbing and complications in relationships, it lacked the actual romance that I thought it would have. Even the few couples who seemed to be in love despite the odds never really seemed like it. It’s one of those things where I think if the people actually got what they wanted, it wouldn’t last very long because the appeal is in the taboo nature of the relationship in the first place.
Still, I devoured the book quickly, so I can’t say I didn’t enjoy it. If you’re in the mood for a dramatic historical version of Gossip Girl, then it’s perfect. The story kind of ended abruptly, but I’m not really that engrossed enough to buy the sequels.