The best way I can describe The Luxe is trashy chick lit for historical fiction readers. If you enjoy complicated soap operas about the lives of the rich and entitled, The Luxe is certainly a book for you. Romantic intrigue is the order of the day in this book. And, because of that, The Luxe is definitely a recipe for mindless entertainment. It’s only too easy to become immersed in Anna Godbersen’s world, but it’s only too easy to walk away once the book is over.
As a reader who values characters, I think it’s regrettable that characterization isn’t Godbersen’s strong point. Everyone in this book—Will, Elizabeth, Diana, Penelope, Lina—fell easily into a classic archetypes. In my opinion, it’s very easy to write a cliched plot without relying on shallow character cliches.
Godbersen’s writing isn’t all that bad. It’s fast-paced and easy to follow along with. The novel’s historical setting was detailed—especially in regards to whatever pretty dress the narrating character happened to be wearing. I have no complaints to make toward the author’s style or her way of expressing herself.
And though, technically speaking, The Luxe isn’t a bad novel by any means, it failed to impress me. I’ve read it twice, and nothing has stood out for me. I enjoyed this, but it’s something I’ll forget about in a week. Like I said, it’s completely unmemorable.
After the death of her father Elizabeth Holland (darling of society) is made to marry since her father left them in a lot of debt. She is deeply unhappy about this since she has long since been inlove with the Coach boy Will (this is her secret) Since society would never let them be wed.
Henry who spent the summer having relations with Penelope is also being force to wed by his father who has threatened to cut henry from the will. Hes sick of his son's play boy ways and thinks the perfect wife for him would be Elizabeth!
Penelope who is friends with Elizabeth is extremely angry as she wanted to bag Henry for herself and will do anything to have him!!
What she doesnt know is Henry has no interest in Elizabeth, has lost interest in Penny and now is looking to Diana... who's Elizabeth's much younger sister whos loud spoken and free Spirited.
SO MUCH DRAMA I loved it! Strong start to this historical series
The Luxe by Anna Godbersen is a fantastically written story. I love historical fiction and this is the best one I've read so far. It really shows how the teenagers and young adults over a century ago are just like teens and young adults today.
The Luxe tells the somewhat-soapy (as in soap opera) story of four young women in turn-of-the-century New York. There's lots of intrigue and drama, as well as a lot of romance and more drama, which makes for an entertaining read. Given that, you might think this book (and its sequels) would lack much merit. Not true! In addition to the riveting storylines, author Anna Godberson also includes copious amounts of SAT-worthy vocabulary and a good amount of historical information. There have been some accusations of inaccuracy in this regard, but the context is engaging enough that it may inspire readers to do some research on their own. I've given this book to several students at various levels of reading ability (I'm a teacher), as well as passing it along to my (adult) best friend-- everyone has loved it and gone right on to read the subsequent titles.
If you are a girl, aged 13 to 18, and love intrigue, period books, scandal, luxury, romance, illicit affairs, and a mean beyotch or two to hate, READ THIS BOOK.
The Luxe is for people who like this sort of thing, but if you don't I wouldn't tell you to rush to your bookstore/library and get this book. I couldn't put this book down, and had it finished in 3 days. The cover is beautiful, there are lavish descriptions of all the nice things rich people had back in 1899, and the story (though predictable) leaves you wanting more. In criticism: the characters are not really all that likable. Elizabeth is a bit of a bore, and if she wasn't having an affair she'd be a total sap. Lina Broud was alright at first, but she is a beyotch in training to the master: beautiful, cunning Penelope Hayes, who will stop at nothing to get what she wants, which is Henry Schoonmaker (who I think is OK on teh character front, even if he is a man-slut), though he is engaged to Penelopes "BFF" Elizabeth, but Henry is really in love with Elizabeth's little sister Diana (who is the most dimensional and likable character in the whole thing) The whole situation is pretty screwed up.
Also, I didn't like how EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER had such a lax attitude to premarital sex. It didn't overtly offend me (I actually thought it was interesting) and the sex wasn't graphic (if you are truly naive you may miss the references) but it just didn't seem realistic to me.
All in all, I enjoyed this book, and will definetly be reading the sequels (which I haven't read yet)
I would maybe go as high as a 2.5 for this, but really no higher (sorry Ashley and Jenn).
The Luxe is about turn of the century New York socialites
falling in love and misbehaving. New York's darling debutant, Elizabeth
Holland is poised to marry one of the most eligible (and debaucherous)
bachelors in the city, but her perfect life is not what it seems.
The Luxe reads like Gossip Girl meets Edith Wharton.
Sadly, it has all of the shallowness and poor writing of the former,
with little of the intelligence and power of the latter. Godbersen does
her best to make the time period interesting and appealing to today's
teen girl audience, but the result is predictable, flat and strange. It
really is as if the GGs had put on costumes and were playing at The Age Of Innocence:
their actions and dialogue is not well-suited to the time or the story.
This isn't to say that they can't be scandalous; I don't by into a
white-washed history. I know people always have skeletons in their
closets, regardless of the mores of the time. More so, even, in a
repressive society. Wharton demonstrated that expertly. But the actions
of the characters in this book seem too careless and intentionally
shocking, and as such seems silly. It's hard as well to feel for the
characters. They have very few redeeming qualities, and I was torn
between wanting them to have the happy ending that was
(obviously-parading-as-stealthily) coming and seeing them get what they
The structuring was a bit weird for me as well, especially when it
came to conversations between the characters. One character would say
something, and then Godbersen would spend a whole nice-sized paragraph
describing something (the rich scene, someone's dress, some incident
from the past, whatever), and then the character who was spoken to
would respond. By that point, I was completely out of the flow of
conversation and had no idea what had been said in the
first place and had to look back to follow the thread of dialogue. It
was a strange choice on her part and her editor's. And though some
description of finery and scene were necessary, they were a bit
overdone and tended to overwhelm the story (or maybe mask a lack of
it); if I had had to read about 'pocket doors' one more effing time, I may have had a fit of hysterics like some of the characters were prone to.
This is not to say that teen girls won't find this book just heart-flutteringly terrific.
If Godbersen set out to write a soap opera dressed up as historical
literature, she succeeded at that, and there is a market for it. For me
tough, it's a shame it didn't live up to its pretty cover.
Gossip Girl meets the 19 century.
The story starts with the funeral of Elizabeth Holland, New Yorks sweetheart. Not knowing its a made-up lie, so she could escape and runway with her true love, William Keller. Penelope Hayes, best friends and enemy of Elizabeth, want anything more then to marry Henry Schoonmaker. Diana Holland, Elizabeths young and rebellious sister, who longs for adventure and romance. And later an affair with Henry, her sisters fiancÃ©. And Lina Bround, Elizabeths maid, who envies her for the love of William.
Luxe is the perfect title for this book. While it does has some similarities to Gossip Girl. A way one of the books that I feel in love it. I couldnt put it down. Diana and Henry is my favorite couples and characters. Their have familiar characterized to Blair and Chuck form Gossip Girl, the TV show and the book.
I cant wait to read the next book.
What a great book! Set in the year 1899 in New York City. The author creates a dramatic story that has all the elements of a romantic novel. I really liked reading about the high society lives of five very different teenagers. All of them struggling with internal conflict in a world where rules and obligations to family prevail. It is a definite page turner and I can not wait to begin its sequel Rumors.
Think Manhattan 1899 what do you see? Elegant carriages, pulled by matching horses with docked tails, snapping their legs high; off to some exquisite ball held for and by the rich. Smartly dressed coachmen help well-born young ladies in volumous dresses down from the plush box. Its all an act, and everyone knows so, but under silent agreement, pretend they dont.
Penelope Hayes life is going just as planned and believe me, it is planned. From her early youth she conspired and manipulated to get precisely what she wants money, a life of luxury, and a certain Henry Schoonmaker. And it all seems to be going precisely as she wanted. So when her not-so-best-friend, Elizabeth Holland, returns from oversees and is suddenly engaged to the very man Penelope was sure she would some day wed, she decides that she will not lose her Henry without a fight. Meanwhile, Henry has fallen for spunky and beautiful Diana Holland, Elizabeths younger sister. Diana feels the same way, but is somewhat torn between love and a sisters loyalty. Yet Elizabeth does not want to marry Henry she is, in fact, in love with Will Keller, her familys coachman. So how will these young teens ever untangle their dramatic lives? A sudden, mysterious, and planned death throws all their lives off course.
The Luxe was truly and really fascinating. It's set in the nineteen century in New York. Where there are a lot of scandals, gossip and notorious boys after pretty girls. The books takes place in many point of views. I really enjoyed Diana's. She would have to be my favorite character. I loved how she acted. She didn't want to be all prim and proper like her older sister Elizabeth. She was more tom boyish and fun. Although, I really liked Elizabeth. And how Elizabeth had her own struggles that she hid from everybody. She had nowhere to turn too when she was caught between helping her family or being with the person she loved.
I can honestly say that I hate Penelope. She is a fake and a liar just like Diana said at the end. I also really don't like Lina. Or Miss Carolina as she goes by at the end. But the only reason why I don't like her because I don't like how kingly she is to Will. Sorry, but I really want Elizabeth and Will to be together. And really hope that she finds him in the next book. I also hope that Diana will end up with Henry and put Penelope in her place which is a low class scum. Haha.
But at any rate, The Luxe was everything that I hoped it would be. And can't wait to read the next one Rumors. I totally recommend it to people who really enjoyed A Great and Terrible Beauty.