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The Luxe (Luxe Series #1)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

16 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

excellent

This book was incredible i could not put it down. will read more.

posted by evanescenceSE on September 11, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

20 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

Angieville: THE LUXE

Another Christmas gift, and one I wanted to read very much when it first came out, but shied away from somewhat after reading several reviews comparing it to the GOSSIP GIRL series and stating that the writing left rather a lot to be desired. Oh, I thought sadly. That's...
Another Christmas gift, and one I wanted to read very much when it first came out, but shied away from somewhat after reading several reviews comparing it to the GOSSIP GIRL series and stating that the writing left rather a lot to be desired. Oh, I thought sadly. That's too bad. It looked better than that. So I just admired the cover from afar, and that of the sequel RUMORS. I probably would have just gone on ignoring the series if my mom hadn't given me a copy of THE LUXE. I'm glad she did.

The prologue begins with Elizabeth Holland's funeral. The darling of upper crust Manhattan society, her sudden and inexplicable drowning in the Hudson shocks everyone from her frozen fiance Henry Schoonmaker to her scornful maid Lina Broud. The story then immediately jumps back several weeks to show us how events came to such a strange state. You think Elizabeth is going to be the main character, but she's not. She's not even very likable. Quiet, passive, perfect. Perfectly boring. That's Elizabeth. And that's why her best friend Penelope Hayes hates her. Everyone assumes Henry and Elizabeth would be perfect together, while Penelope is determined to have him for herself. And if you're wondering right now if the whole thing is as Peyton Place as it sounds thus far, the answer is yes. Yes it is. It's a roiling sea of love, despair, social climbing, and backstabbing. In perfectly lovely period costumes. It's hypnotic.

The story spends time going back and forth between five Victorian teens: Elizabeth, Henry, Penelope, Lina, and Diana (Elizabeth's younger, much more likable sister). And for awhile I kept thinking, Why am I reading this? These characters are perfectly awful. But then Diana became cool. Or rather I could tell she was going to become someone who was going to be cool. So I was reading it for Diana. The others I could take or leave. But then Henry started showing some good sense and just the slightest hint of a backbone, despite his apalling sense of entitlement. So I was reading it for Diana and Henry. And the dresses. Oh, the dresses. And because I enjoyed seeing Penelope swallow her own tongue when she finds out a certain couple are engaged. And, in the end, it was like watching a train wreck. A beautiful, awful train wreck. And I couldn't tear my eyes away from it. I had to run to the library to get a copy of RUMORS to see What Happens.

posted by Angieville on January 16, 2009

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  • Posted December 17, 2009

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    Fun!

    So, I admit, I'm a sucker for awesome book covers. And who wouldn't pick up a book that involved one of those awesome dresses from back in the day. The description intrigued me as well. So it went on my to read list. I loved it! But then again, I have found myself completely enthralled with historical fiction as of late. It reads more like young adult chick-lit with some intrigue as well. It was completely worth my time!

    11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 30, 2009

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    I Also Recommend:

    Thrilling and surprisingly edgy side of Manhattan's young socialites in the late 1800's

    This book is an excellent read, it has a slow start but by the middle of the book you will be so wrapped up in it, you wont be able to step away. It's very mysterious and keeps you on edge, you'll be thinking of theories and possibilities during the whole book. It's a true cliff hanger and I'm thrilled to read the sequel.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 1, 2011

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    A good reading

    I picked this book up because of the cover. It's a good reading. A good universe of the high class society. This book is for the readers who are into reading high class society and the rumors and secrets that goes behind it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 6, 2011

    Predictable, but wonderful!

    The first thing that drew me to the Luxe series was, of course, the absolutely stunning covers. What girl can resist those kinds of beautiful dresses? As much as I really loved the book, I'm actually finding it kind of hard to write a review for it. My thoughts are kind of all over the place in regards to The Luxe. One thing I really liked was the flow. I'm a big fan of alternating chapters, and I found I just could not put this book down. I devoured it in two nights before bed, staying up way later than I should on a work night. I also loved all the little notes and "newspaper" clips at the beginning of each chapter. Little details like that win big points in my book. I also found I was a little duped by the jacket blurb. I assumed that the tragic death of Elizabeth occurred maybe somewhere in the middle, but not at almost the very end. I guess the funeral prologue and the jacket had me fooled. Though, maybe even because of this, I totally predicted the end. To me, there was no mystery surrounding Elizabeth's death. I think I almost would have preferred, since this is a series after all, to have the end in the next book, rather than the first. I think it would have left a little mystery, intrigue, and emotionality to the end. Of course, the most important part was the characters - five teenagers at the height of society, whether they wanted to be there or not. While I actually did like most of the "cast", I found myself thinking how God-awful selfish all of these people were at one point or another! And what an amazingly complex love-triangle/square/whatever! Elizabeth was, of course, sweet and strong, and (to me) a picture of exactly what a lady from 1899 should behave like. However, her thoughts that she could marry Henry, but still ask Will to love her were totally self-centered and rooted in fantasy. Her love to Will, though, was entirely romantic, and I wanted nothing more than for them to be together. Henry was complex for me. He's a total manwhore, but he's charming and sad all at the same time. I feel like he almost hates himself, and I found myself just wanting him to be truly happy. Penelope was eviiiil in all the right ways. I hated her and loved her. She's exactly what a perfect antagonist should be. I can honestly say I hated Lina the entire time. She just rubbed me in all the wrong ways, and I found myself wanting to reach through the pages and ring her neck. My favorite was Diana. She was wonderfully complex, and I thought her mentality was right on the mark for a sixteen-year-old. Her head is full of romance and dreams, fabulous books and poems. She's a true bohemian romantic (if a little bit of a try hard), but she's genuine and I appreciate that. I also liked that she really did the right thing in regards to Henry. She felt guilt for what she was doing, and she made the choice to push her feelings aside for her sister. I'm really looking forward to what happens with Diana in the next book, and I'm actually really crossing my fingers her wishes come true. (originally posted @ The Tealeaf Review)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 9, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Good First Book

    This book was an excellent start to a wonderful series. The Luxe has a wonderful and enticing story line, and the characters are well developed. One thing I do have to say is that Lina is annoying. I find her chapters boring because she is very selfish. Diana on the other hand is fun to read about. She is the most exciting character to me out of the whole cast (along with Henry) and she is by far my favorite. I view this book as an upbeat story with an ending that will leave you hungry for more.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    The Luxe

    Overall, not a bad book, but didn't QUITE live up to my expectations. Would I say it's worth reading? That's a yes.

    Elizabeth Holland is the very goody-two-shoes sister of the spunky Diana Holland. Penelope Hayes, Elizabeth's best friend, is in love with Henry Schoonmaker, Elizabeth's forced fiance, and so is Diana. Meanwhile, Elizabeth is in love with one of her family's servants, Will, as well as her personal maid, Lina Broud. Read this book for the emotions and drama the story holds.

    Regarding the romance, I'm eleven and I read it.

    I think that, while it was a tad dull at times, The Luxe has many redeeming qualities: likable characters, a setting that felt real, and interesting intracacies in the plot. I must admit I loved the dresses and the relationship between Elizabeth and Will, the traditional star-crossed lovers theme. It was a good book! I've heard a lot of people comapare it to Gossip Girl, circa 19th century, and I must agree.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 26, 2010

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    I Also Recommend:

    1st book

    It starts off slow as other books seting the scene for us but don't put it down. I was yelling at the book for some of decisions the characters were making but it just made in intersting. You must continue on and read the second book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 9, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    The Luxe- Just try putting it down!

    Reading Anna Godbersen's Luxe is almost like reading a gossip magazine in book form. One of those guilty little indulgences that you're not supposed to like, but secretly everybody does. Filled with drama, gossip, and secret passion, it is not your average teen novel. Set in Manhatten, New York in the year 1899, it vivdly depicts an era in our early American history full of big ball gowns, powdered wigs, and impeccable manners. The characters of this book are portrayed so clearly that you can very easily identify with them. From rule-following Elizabeth Holland and the pressure she feels to be perfect for her family, and Elizabeth's little sister, Diana, the rebel, who only wants to escape the ridiculous restirctions put on her by being a member of a prestigious family in a time period where everything is expected of her; to pride-filled Penelope who worked so hard to give her famly social status and knows what she wants and will do anything to get it; to poor Lina Broad, who, after being fired as a maid from the Holland's house, has lied and cheated her way into becoming a lady, and keeps praying that her lies won't catch up with her. It was not only the vivid personalities of these characters that I found so fascinating, but also their relationships with other people. After Mr. Holland, Elizabeth and Diana's father, dies, the Holland family realizes that Mr. Holland owed quite a bit of debt, and the Hollands are thrust into the throes of poverty. To save their family, Elizabeth is forced to marry wealthy Henry Schoonmaker. Henry doesn't want to get married to Elizabeth any more than she does him, but he has his own reasons, or rather his father has his reasons, for proposing marriage to Elizabeth. Not only does Elizabeth not love Henry, but she is desperately in love with Will Keller, the family's coachman- a love that is, of course, forbidden in every sense of the word. As Henry spends more time with the Holland family, trying in vain to get to know Elizabeth better so that he doesn't marry a total stranger, he finds himself falling head over heels in love with spirited Diana Holland. And Diana finds herself falling for her sister's fiance as well. And then there is Miss Penelope Hayes, Henry Schoonmaker's former, brief, love interest. She had thought that Henry was going to propose marriage to her, and then he turned around and asked for her best friend's hand in marriage. She is furious at the sudden turn of events, and will stop at nothing to get everything back where she likes it. Tempers are short, emotions are high, and with all this they are all expected to keep there manners civil and demur, until nobody can take it anymore and they are thrust into a climax with a surprising ending nobody saw coming. Although the plot of this book wasn't very original, it has a lot of twists that kept it from becoming predictable. Make sure you don't pick up this book before you have anything important to do, because putting it down takes a trememdous amount of will power. Overall, this was a very good book and I would recommend it to any teenage girl, wanting to escape the realities of her present day crisis.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Great for preteens, decent for others

    I first read this book when I was 13, and thought it was absolutely phenomenal then. The Luxe is like a weak taste of a truly good book; Anna Godbersen created almost-there characters and almost-skillful passages, but I have to admit that the story's components do fall short of being a solid historical novel. However, I do think that it's worth reading if you've got some spare time and just want a "for fun" easy book. The plotline is fairly interesting, and you do feel some of that love-hate relationship with most of the characters in the book. (I personally adore reading books that have characters that you both love and hate at the same time, so that was a redeeming quality of this book for me.) These characters are not so strong that you would feel heavily connected to their lives, though. Anyway, next on the agenda would be the scene itself. I like Godbersen's portrayal of New York in 1899; most of it is narrowed down to the life of the elite, but it's nice to read about. Finally, as a whole, the series touches you occasionally, but is mostly a just-for-fun kind of thing. It is definitely not predictable, though; I was surprised that Anna Godbersen did not always give her characters the ladida-happy-ending that is so common in modern books. Pick it up if you want; it's all personal choice. (:

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Gossip Girl for the 1800's

    I happen to have liked this novel because it deals with the social climbing young people right before the turn of the century. I like the fact that Elizabeth takes a huge leap and goes after her love, even though he is not in the same social class as her. Even her younger sister Diana gets caught up in a scandal of her own in this book!!!
    I havent bought the other books in the series, but its a good read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 7, 2009

    Amazing!

    I finished this book a week or two ago, and i loved it!!!
    I'm in the middle of the second one. I thought it was very well written, and i loved the characters, especailly Diana.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 9, 2009

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    I Also Recommend:

    Definite thumps up!!!!!!!!

    The luxe is great!if u love gossip girl,you'll definitely love this.It is set in 1899 Manhattan,it has hot guys,beautiful girls,scandal,romance......get it now and read Rumors ans Envy too!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 1, 2008

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    I Also Recommend:

    A surprise read...

    I picked this book first b/c I liked the cover (loved the dress) and when I read that it was about high society & scandel, well I must admit it peaked my interest. I am not a huge fan of the late 1800's & early 1900's period, but I must give kudos to the author for making this an extremely easy and fun read. This book did not bore me and I love how the author starts the book with a taste of the ending to lead you to assume one thing and to end it with a twist. This is a great book to read for a book club or teenagers.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 4, 2008

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    Reviewed by Julie M. Prince for TeensReadToo.com

    One of the elite, one of the daughters of New York society, is dead. <BR/><BR/>In life, the lovely and fair Elizabeth Holland is everything a young, turn-of-the-century girl of her position ought to be. But, it's not easy to be proper and mannerly all the time, and a handsome servant who lives in the stable gets to see more of her than anyone else -- much, much more. <BR/><BR/>No one knows of their secret affair, except Miss Holland's personal maid, Lina. Why did Elizabeth Holland have to go and pick Lina's love interest to treat as her personal plaything? Isn't it enough that the wealthy and admired young lady is betrothed to New York's most eligible bachelor? <BR/><BR/>Henry Schoonmaker doesn't even want to marry the prim and boring Miss Holland. He's having too much fun living a carefree life and having a secret affair with his fiancé's best friend, Penelope Hayes. But, that sister of Elizabeth's, she is truly spirited. Yes, maybe Diana is the Holland sister for him. Maybe he should defy his father's wishes and forget about Elizabeth...and Penelope. <BR/><BR/>But, Penelope simply will not be forgotten. Henry Schoonmaker belongs to her. It should be her name linked with his in all the society papers. She'll do whatever it takes to get him back. <BR/><BR/>The twists and turns readers navigate throughout this book are staggering. With so many different perspectives to balance, the story could become difficult to follow, but author Anna Godbersen deftly guides her readers through the tale. <BR/><BR/>It can be unclear at times where loyalties should lie, with so many scandalous doings underway. However, this only further adds to the big picture of New York's upper crust society and the games its elitist members must play in order to stay on top. <BR/><BR/>The mystery of Elizabeth Holland's impending death will keep readers riveted, and by the story's end, they will be crying out for a sequel. I join their ranks in hoping this debut novelist will comply.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2014

    Stunning!

    This book is both mysterious and romantic. The prologue begins with Elizabeths murder (or suicide) and is at the scene of her funeral yet no body was found then chapter 1 goes to sometime before and it leaved you wondering and msked you want to keep reading the series as to find out exactly what happened. I'm personslly more into fantasy books but back in 12th grade my english teacher recd this book to me and within the first few chapters I was hooked!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2013

    B

    B

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  • Posted May 21, 2013

    **SPOILERS** I LOVED this book! It was thrilling! Although, I r

    **SPOILERS**

    I LOVED this book! It was thrilling! Although, I really don't like Penelope, she is so childish and selfish, but she is a
    good character. The twist towards the end with Liz, was WOW!! GREAT BOOK!

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  • Posted July 2, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2012

    Nice surprise

    Although it took me several dozen pages to finally get the characters figured out, once I did this book was so wonderful. It is different than any other books I read but was super good. I highly advise you to read it, and hopefully you'll be pleasantly surprised like I was!

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  • Posted May 31, 2012

    Addictive!!

    This book got me hooked within the first chapter. I love this series and will be sad when I finish the last book. Definitely recommend it.

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