Merry Wanderer of the Night + young adult


The Luxe series has come to a close for me. I read The Luxe as part of my YA Challenge before my twentieth birthday, and became surprisingly obsessed with the stories of the high class Manhattanites of 1900. I read Rumors at the beginning of the summer and didn't spend too much time waiting to start Envy. And now I've read Splendor. And finished it. And I am very sad. This review will contain spoilers (so if you haven't read the series check out my reviews of the first three books!), but I'm really writing a love letter to The Luxe series. Because I loved it, I really did.

I was initially attracted to the series because the covers had pretty dresses on them and the characters promised to be catty and intense. I didn't expect to like any of the characters in the novel a whole lot, but quickly fell in love with Diana because she was a dreamer, a nonconformist, and she loved to read. Diana has made a lot of really stupid decisions over the course of the series, her obsession with Henry Schoonmaker is pretty stupid by itself. But she never did anything I wouldn't do, so I forgave her. In Splendor we find her chasing Henry to war, dressed as a boy in an attempt to join the army-- but at the beginning of this novel we find out this plan failed. I was a little disappointed Diana didn't get to be a boy for awhile, but wasn't bothered by it for too long. She has a flair for finding herself in the middle of a good story. And for those of you who have read the book, I love the decision Diana made by the end of Splendor. I wouldn't have changed it a bit.

As for the other characters, I think Anna Godbersen really filled everyone out. I actually found myself feeling sorry for Penelope at one point whereas in the past I've really just seen her as a villain. Elizabeth was, as always, the least interesting character in the novel, although there was some excitement with Teddy Cutting. Lina is self-centered and gets what is coming to her, but we see a good side of her and can understand why she has turned on her old self for wealth.

Overall, while many people see The Luxe series as junky, YA books, I feel the need to disagree. The Luxe series continues to have more depth with every book. It represents problems young adults have to this day such as following your dreams, representing your family, getting what you want but being a good person. And even though the characters are catty and conniving, and the book is incredibly fun to read, Godbersen is still a skilled storyteller. No, she is a skilled writer. She can hold suspense, she can make your heart ache, she can make you squeal with excitement, she can make you fall in love with characters over the course of one year and four books. When I finished Splendor I cried. Perhaps I am still grieving, because when I finished the series I didn't simply feel like I had finished a series, I felt as if I had finished a relationship with one of my best friends.

The power of reading I suppose.

I give Splendor an A, and I give the entire Luxe series and outstanding A.

I am an Amazon Affiliate. If you make a purchase using one of my links I will earn a small percentage which will then go back into this blog.

best, book review, love story, novel, the luxe, TIME, and more:

Splendor + young adult