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Young Adult Review – The Luxe

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

The Luxe by Anna Godbersen


Review by Mirah W. (mwelday)


I couldn’t resist the cover image of The Luxe.  I was drawn to the gorgeous, luxurious fabric of the dress and had to pick it up to see what it was about.  What I got was young adult historical fiction with enough drama that would make most of us feel like we live rather sedated, run-of-the-mill lives.

The Holland sisters, Diana and Elizabeth, seem to have everything young ladies could want: money, beautiful clothing, a home in the right area, friends with connections, and a dazzling future.

In an interesting twist, the novel begins with a death announcement of one of the main characters (I’m not posting a spoiler here, if you turn to page one you get this info).  But the twists and turns to get to where the death becomes part of the plot is an intricate trip through the lives of the privileged elite of the Manhattan social scene in 1899.

Godbersen explores what happens under the surface of this social scene; the backstabbing, lies, secrets and affairs showcase that privilege can sometimes bring more complications than solutions.  The undercurrent of self-doubt in some characters reflects that having everything doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have self-respect.  Some characters are simultaneously annoying and likable and their scandals and relationships make the plot more interesting.

While the plot becomes rather transparent along the way, it is still an enjoyable escapist read.  I look forward to reading the rest of the series to see how the characters adapt to their new situations.  I think readers who like the Gossip Girl or Pretty Little Liars series will enjoy The Luxe.