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The Luxe

This is a post I have been looking forward to for a long time. Anna Godbersen's The Luxe

is the second book I have read for my 19 Going On 20 Self Challenge. The novel starts with the supposed death of 19th Century Manhattan socialite Elizabeth Holland. Then it goes back in time to a party at Elizabeth's friend Penelope's home. Penelope's family is new money, but they have moved their way up the social ladder and are now being accepted by the elite. At least kind of. Penelope is having a very saucy romance with everyone's favorite rich boy, Henry Schoonmaker. What Penelope doesn't know is that Henry's father has other plans for him. He wants Henry to marry the nice, from a good family Elizabeth, which is perfect for Elizabeth's family since they have lost money after her father's death. It does not make Elizabeth happy though, because she is in love with her carriage driver, Will Keller.

This novel is full of dark secrets, backstabbers, and saucy love sessions. I could not put it down. This isn't the kind of thing I normally read. I don't read a lot of YA in general, but the novel's jacket caught my attention. I loved the idea of Gossip Girl in the 19th Century. I mean, how much better can it get? After the first chapter I was totally hooked. I'm dying to read the rest in the series and will probably do so very soon.

My favorite character in the novel is Diana, Elizabeth's younger sister. She is obsessed with romance and fantasy, and loves reading. By the end of the novel she has a bit of a reality check, but overall lets romance and fantasy win. She can be a total bitch but usually has others best intentions at heart. This novel has marvelous characters. It is one of the few books I've ever read where I didn't feel like anyone was the "good guy" or the "bad guy." Honestly when you finish the novel you see everyone has good and bad in them. The only exception to this is Elizabeth, who is mostly good. Although she does steal her best friend's lover even if she is doing it to save her family.

In short, if you haven't read this book stop wasting your time and READ IT!

Pub. Date: September 2008
Publisher: HarperCollins
Format: Paperback, 464 pp

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