Google+ Reading Teen: The Luxe by Anna Godbersen

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Luxe by Anna Godbersen

Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 464 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins (September 23, 2008)
Author's Website:
Buy the Book:  Amazon
Series: This is the first book in The Luxe Series
Pretty girls in pretty dresses, partying until dawn.
Irresistible boys with mischievous smiles and dangerous intentions.
White lies, dark secrets, and scandalous hookups.
This is Manhattan, 1899.

Beautiful sisters Elizabeth and Diana Holland rule Manhattan's social scene. Or so it appears. When the girls discover their status among New York City's elite is far from secure, suddenly everyone—from the backstabbing socialite Penelope Hayes, to the debonair bachelor Henry Schoonmaker, to the spiteful maid Lina Broud—threatens Elizabeth's and Diana's golden future.

With the fate of the Hollands resting on her shoulders, Elizabeth must choose between family duty and true love. But when her carriage overturns near the East River, the girl whose glittering life lit up the city's gossip pages is swallowed by the rough current. As all of New York grieves, some begin to wonder whether life at the top proved too much for this ethereal beauty, or if, perhaps, someone wanted to see Manhattan's most celebrated daughter disappear...

In a world of luxury and deception, where appearance matters above everything and breaking the social code means running the risk of being ostracized forever, five teenagers lead dangerously scandalous lives. This thrilling trip to the age of innocence is anything but innocent.
The Luxe is a novel in what I consider the classic historical romance style. It doesn't have a moral or lesson to be learned. It isn't socially relevant. It is simply a big luxurious story with forbidden romance, scandalous secrets, true love, betrayal and family loyalty.

The Luxe is the story of the Holland sisters who are daughters of a wealthy, aristocratic family in New York City. Older sister Elizabeth is at the brink of adulthood and ready to enjoy life as the most beautiful and privileged society girl of the day. Unfortunately there were a couple of bumps in the road. One was the fact that Elizabeth was in love with the family coachman (totally unacceptable) and then she is told that her family is on the brink of poverty following the death of her father. Now Elizabeth is expected to marry the enormously handsome and rich Henry Schoonmaker and turn her back on any kind of future with the poor stable boy Will Keller. At Elizabeth's side is her best friend/worst enemy, Penelope Hayes who just happens to be in lust with the aforementioned Henry Schoonmaker and will do anything to get him back. And then there is Diana Holland, Elizabeth's younger sister, who feels that she doesn't belong in her family and is looking for love in all the wrong places.

The story gives a great glimpse of life at the turn of the 20th century in New York City with the glamour of high society and the struggles of the lower classes. There are clandestine meetings, betrayals, and schemes. Can Elizabeth marry Henry and keep Will on the side? What will Penelope do if she can't stop the wedding? Who will Diana find to fill the void in her life? If it sounds a little like a soap opera that's because it would make a great one. The Luxe is for entertainment and escapist purposes and serves those well.  I enjoyed this book and am looking forward to reading the next in the series.

  • Sexual Content:  Sex but not described
  • Profantiy: Mild
  • Violence: None
  • Other Notables:  Smoking and Drinking in line with this historical context.
For more details about content, go to The Luxe on Parental Book Reviews.


  1. I read a little bit time ago and I gave 3/5. it's ok but the action in the book is slow and some things are foreseeable. Anyway, I want to read the next in case I like it more than this.

  2. I enjoyed this series overall - very decadent and great escapism. It did get a little silly towards the end of the series, but it was always good fun.

  3. This series is on my TBR pile and your review's just make me more anxious for it! :)


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