Book Review: The Luxe (Luxe #1) by Anna Godbersen

A big, sumptuous tale of catty girls, dark secrets and windswept romance unfurls in this compulsively readable novel of late-19th-century New York City socialites. Godbersen weaves a tenuous web of deceit, backstabbing and pretense that follows four teens: Elizabeth Holland, a prim and proper lady of old-money society, is betrothed to one man, though furtively loves another; Henry Schoonmaker, a debauched playboy who must marry Elizabeth or be disinherited; Diana Holland, Elizabeth’s younger sister who is in love with her fiancĂ©; and Penelope Hayes, a member of the nouveau riche who will stop at nothing to win Henry’s affections. As Elizabeth and Henry’s wedding approaches, the spectacle unfolds in a wondrously grandiose scene, making for a fun, though not entirely unexpected dĂ©nouement. A delicious new twist along the Gossip Girl vein, readers will clamor for this sharp, smart drama of friends, lovers, lies and betrayal.

I love historical fiction.  I especially love historical fiction mixed with a good love story (or two).  Just looking at the cover of The Luxe made me want to read it and I was not disappointed! 

The story follows four teens, and boy, were some of them catty!  Like the summary says, the intrigue, betrayal, lies and deception did remind me a little of Gossip Girl (I have not read the Gossip Girl books but I do watch the series). 

The chapters are preceeded by quotes from the newspaper's society columns, letters from one character to another, or blurbs from popular publications (such as Collected Columns on Raising Young Ladies of Character, 1899).  I really enjoyed that about this book.  I think it added a lot to the story, especially the quotes about raising young ladies.  The things people used to believe seem pretty funny in hindsight.

Just One Gripe:
I wanted more build-up and details on the characters' love lives.  When we first meet Elizabeth's love, they have already progressed really far into the relationship.  I would have liked to read about their journey from just friends to being in love with each other.  That build-up is one of the things I liked best about Twilight.

The Best Thing About This Book:
The love stories!

Appropriate for a younger audience:

Characters: 4/5
Plot: 4/5
Setting/Imagery: 5/5
Originality: 4/5
Ending: 5/5
Total Score:  22/25


  1. I just want to wear that dress!! This book sounds fun--I love historical fiction. Thanks for the review.

  2. I know, I want to wear it too! I wonder how they fit in carriages and through doorways in dresses like that?

  3. I have GOT to get this book. AND that dress. That is all.

    Great review! I'm new to the blog but loving it so far!


    Connie @ Constance Reader

  4. Kelli, Your review was so good, well written and very professional.



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