Scandal. Lust. Secrets. Betrayal. Gossip.
If these sound like the ingredients to the newest Gossip Girl or A-List novel, think again. Anna Godbersen brings us all of these elements in her book The Luxe, a gripping novel about New York City’s elite at the turn of the century – the twentieth century.
It’s the end of summer, 1899, and Elizabeth Holland has just returned home to New York City from a season in Paris. She returns to find that her life is about to change in a big way. Her family, despite their old money and position of prestige among the upper crust NYC society, is on the verge of bankruptcy. Her best frenemy, Penelope, is plotting to take over Elizabeth’s spot as the darling of the gossip columns. Her younger sister, Diana, seems bent on disgracing the family name through reckless behavior where boys are concerned. Her secret lover, Will, has big dreams that threaten to take him away from New York forever.
How can Elizabeth be true to her family obligations, her public persona and her secret desires? With time running out before personal disaster turns into public humiliation, Elizabeth must decide whom to trust.
Godbersen’s debut novel is a page-turner, filled with all the glamour and deceit of today’s most popular teen series, but set in the luxurious past. Historical details are deliciously and deftly described, pulling readers into the drama of the fast-paced plot. While it appears, on the surface, to be just another modern-day Gossip Girl-alike plopped into a different time period, this novel truly shines. Characters are well-developed, the setting is made sumptuously real, and the plot carries readers along to an ending that begs for a sequel.
Oh, and the book has a totally hot website! Meet the characters, take a quiz, scope out the different hotspots mentioned in The Luxe and get a sneak peek at its sequel, Rumors.
The Luxe by Anna Godbersen is a nominee for the 2008 Teens’ Top Ten. To read more about the Teens’ Top Ten program, click here. To request this book from the library, click here. And don’t forget to place your vote during Teen Read Week, October 12-18, 2008.
Review by Katy @ Cameron Village Regional Library