Review: The Luxe by Anna Godbersen

The Luxe
Anna Godbersen
Series: The Luxe #1
Genre: YA Historical
Released: November 20 2007
by HarperCollins
Source: Borrowed from library
Rating: ★★★

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Imagine, if you will, New York City, 1899…

Society’s elite: the glamour, the grandeur, the glittering parties, the most handsome beaux, the most beautiful debutantes… the rich girl, the humble boy, the forbidden love, the stolen glances, the whispers, the scandal, the mystery, the revenge.

You are cordially invited to step into The Luxe, where the secrets are dark and the sins are delicious…

I love Anna Godbersen’s Bright Young Things series and I thought that I would check out The Luxe. I’d tried reading it at school but I didn’t really have a clue of what was going on and it didn’t really interest me at the time since it sounded a lot like what was going on around me (I was at school after all). I think what attracted me to the book in the first place was the amazingly gorgeous cover. It has embossed butterflies on and an insanely pretty dress on it!

For me, this is one of those books where not much happens until the end. There was peaks and troughs of climactic moments, but those peaks were quite infrequent. The story moves quite slow throughout and even the more exciting moments are introduced quite slowly. I kept waiting for something sensational to completely wow me, but that something never really arrived.

I wasn’t to fond of most of the characters. For the most part, they seemed generic and hard to empathise with. I absolutely loathed Penelope; as cruel as it sounds, I wished that it was her floating in the Hudson rather than Elizabeth. She was a lot of the things that I hate in a person: sly, manipulative, stubborn and incredibly jealous to the point of no reason. However, I did quite like Diana, she was the most well-rounded character.

The New York setting is fantastic, but I felt that the city wasn’t really explored enough. I like getting to see a city like New York from all angles, but here I only got to see it from the high-class angle, which bored me a little bit. Hopefully the city is explored more throughout the series.

One thing that I think is incredibly clichéd and I cannot stand is love triangles. Which there are two of in this book. I honestly find love triangles to be incredibly boring and something that makes me roll my eyes in think ‘really?‘. However, they do add a bit of something to the plot.

I love Godbersen’s writing style; I often find that her beautiful way of describing objects, people and places is the best part of her work as I’m able to form a good clear image from her descriptions. I can honestly say that the descriptions and imagery was definitely the best part of this book, that’s probably how the book earned the rating that I’ve given it.

Overall, I wasn’t too impressed with The Luxe and I’m hoping that the next books in the series will be better, since this wasn’t a particularly strong start to the series. Not much happened, the characters were quite generic and the pace was just a bit too slow for me. Oh well.

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