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The Luxe by Anna Godbersen
My rating: 2 of 5 stars ("It was OK")
Human nature hasn't changed much over 2000 years. This includes teen girls. These cunning, ruthless, and competitive late Victorian "ladies" could hold their own against the Paris Hiltons and Kristin Cavalleris of the 21st century. The Luxe, set in turn-of-the-century New York, recaps the deceit, betrayal, and pressures of several young socialities.
This book had long caught my eye mostly because of the lavish cover. That sumptuous dress commands the attention of your inner princess. Unfortunately, the novel didn't live up promises of its lush cover. It was a bit of a let-down. I had heard it was a take on Gossip Girl for the late 19th century, but the parallels are just too much. I could easily substitute certain characters for GG personas and the audience wouldn't bat an eye. Characters are just cliches, from the gay-best-guy-friend to the uptight, socially conflicted goody-good. Most of our understandings of the characters came from direct characterization, rather than allowing readers to deduce it from the unfolding action. The overall plot was also quite predictable. It was mindless fluff, but I'm not sure I'll be picking up the others. In general, I was pretty bored, merely trying to get through it as quickly as possible.
Recommendation: I would probably recommend it to teens who are fans of Gossip Girl or students who are interested in fashion or historical fiction.
Topics Presented: Social/familial pressures, historical attitudes, betrayal
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