Review: The Luxe by Anna Godberson

Pretty girls in pretty dresses, partying until dawn.
Irresistible boys with sly 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.

I had high hopes for this book. It kept popping up everywhere, so I finally decided to pick it up from the library, and give it a go. But unfortunately, I have to didn't really live up to my expectations. 

First off, it was confusing. Now this may have been due to the fact that Ms. Godberson decided to write it using many different POV's, (as Rachel and I have mentioned before, it doesn't always work too is a hard literary device to pull off) or it could have been just the overall storyline. Or both. Whatever it was, it was a tad hard to follow. But despite my ocasional confusion, I kept on trucking through. 

Another thing I didn't really like was the plot. Or lack thereof... I felt that this book was more of a documentary of a bunch of people's lives than it was a story. It wasn't obvious what the main conflict was until very late in the book. For this reason, I found it pretty boring to read. There wasn't anything pulling me in. No big questions that I needed to know the answer to. I almost had to force myself to read it. And that's not good. 

On a lighter note, I did think the characterization was pretty good. Especially that of Lina Broud. She was a very interesting character to read. I looked forward to reading the chapters that were written in her perspective. I also enjoyed reading Diana Holland's chapters. Both Lina and Diana were a bit reckless, and spontaneous, which lightened the mood of the book a little bit. I also found that Penelope Hayes was a good "villain" in the story. Her personality and thoughts made her very easy to hate. 

I wasn't very fond of Elizabeth Holland, but that's not saying she was a badly developed character, I just wasn't all that fond of her personality and choices. Henry Schoonmaker was interesting, but a bit weird in my opinion. His chapters were a bit confusing to read. 

Another aspect that I thought was executed well was description. The setting was very vivid in my mind, as well as the clothing and scenery that was described. Which was a major plus for this book, since it is set in a very intriguing time period. 

The last few chapters of this book were very good, but the rest of the book was kind of blah. Beige, boring, dry. Whatever you want to call it. It's unfortunate that the story didn't "hook" me earlier on. 

The Good: Description and characterization. 
The Bad: Plot and "hook"
The Verdict: 2/5 smiley marshmallows.

keep readin' it write!


  1. Oh how disappointing. I've yet to read Anna Godbersen, but I have one of her books on my kindle, which was a free download a few months ago. Will still give it a go. Thanks for sharing, and I love the layout of your blog!
    Katja @ YA's the Word

    1. Hi Katja! Thanks for commenting. :)

      I would have to agree, I was a bit disapointed when I read this book. It just wasn't really what I was hoping for, or expecting from it. But like I said above, it is still worth a read, since despite its flaws, it had great description and characters.

      I haven't read any of her other work, but I would be open to it, because she has some interesting looking books! Which one did you get as an ebook? I'll be sure to check it out.


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