Customer Reviews for

Vixen (The Flappers Series #1)

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

LOVED this book!

Set in 1920's Chicago, Jillian Larkin tells a story of love, jealousy, secrets and revenge, all woven together masterfully. Her novel, Vixen, starts with a short & sweet prologue at only 169 words long. Jillian left me thinking to myself, "Ooh, this is going to be good"...
Set in 1920's Chicago, Jillian Larkin tells a story of love, jealousy, secrets and revenge, all woven together masterfully. Her novel, Vixen, starts with a short & sweet prologue at only 169 words long. Jillian left me thinking to myself, "Ooh, this is going to be good" Here is the two sentences hook that got me: "And then, before snapping her bag closed, she added the small black handgun. Now she was ready." Who's she gonna kill? I don't care! She's gonna look HOT doing it.

Vixen is the first in The Flapper series following Gloria Carmody during the 1920's in Chicago. She's a rich white socialite engaged to the very eligible bachelor, Sebastian Grey. Gloria thinks she loves him, but when she takes one last foray as a bachelorette, she isn't so sure.

The story is told from alternating points of view of Gloria, her cousin Clara Knowles, and her best friend Lorraine Dyer. Each girl has a secret to hide and will do anything to keep them that way.

Gloria is in love with another man-a black jazz piano player from the local speakeasy, Green Hill, named Jerome Johnson.

Lorraine is hiding her midnight tryst with Gloria's fiancé.

Country Clara is hiding her Flapper past in New York after she had been sent home after a serious scandal broke out around her.

Each girl is tied to the other in their secrets, new friendships are formed, and old ones lost, as each has to deal with the decisions they make and their repercussions they create.

Everything Larkin gave me was real and tangible. I could taste descriptions of the clothes, and hair, and atmosphere. From the dark and smoke-filled Speakeasies to the cheap liquor during Prohibition. I felt the jealousy that Lorraine had every moment she was with Gloria, but also the love she held for her best friend and her unreturned feelings towards Marcus who will never look at her that same way. I think that's the character I could relate to the most, because everything about her was so real. Clara is relatable, as well. Everyone has secrets they want to hide away from the world and try to make a new start somewhere else.

One thing I really liked about this storyline is the fact that Marcus and Gloria are best friends. That's it. End of story. There isn't some secret crush or love triangle involving-and it's not because Marcus is gay. It's because the author has seen that that's been overdone and that maybe a girl and guy are just friends, darn it!

Despite the lack of romance between those two characters, there is still A LOT of PG-rated sexual tension throughout the story and for each of the characters-from unreturned, reluctant, forbidden, and false love-it's all there and in spades, and I fell for it all.

This is a great novel from a debut author. So many times I see superficial writing and simple stories, especially in YA-it's almost like new authors are scared of going 'too deep'. But not so with Larkin. Her novel is intricate and detailed, exciting and interesting. When people say that a
book is "character driven", this is what they mean. The story is there, and it is strong, but it comes secondary to the characters and their arcs-their story. The characters move the plot. And it moves so smoothly. I can't say enough how much I loved this book. It was a little over 400 pages, but it felt like a walk in the park, it went so fast. I can't wait to get my hands on number two in the series.

posted by RaeLynn_Fry13 on December 14, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

Teenaged DANGEROUS LIAISONS in the Roaring 20's

I am very picky about my young adult fiction. I'm always looking for books in this genre that are original and don't speak down to their readers. I was intrigued by this new Flapper series because I loved the idea of looking at the lives of young adults in the 1920's. ...
I am very picky about my young adult fiction. I'm always looking for books in this genre that are original and don't speak down to their readers. I was intrigued by this new Flapper series because I loved the idea of looking at the lives of young adults in the 1920's. It is such a fascinating era of change and liberation, especially for women.


In the first book of the series, VIXEN, we are introduced to several young flapper wannabes. Gloria Carmody is a coddled 17-yr-old socialite who is engaged to be married to prominent young bachelor Sebastian Grey. Gloria is unsure about her life and marriage and starts dabbling in the world of speakeasies. Her friend, Lorraine Dyer, is envious of Gloria and always seeking to get attention and climb out of Gloria's shadow. Gloria's cousin, Clara Knowles, arrives to help keep Gloria in check and make sure she marries Sebastian but Gloria has a secret wild flapper past of her own. These three women get caught up in Chicago's underground world of speakeasies and flappers with mixed results.


I love the use of 1920's slang and detail in the book. Larkin is very good at setting the tone. She reveals how even 80 years ago, young adults were dealing with the same sorts of issues that we struggle with today. These women wrestle with sex, alcohol and rock 'n' roll. (only in the form of jazz at this time) One of my problems with the novel, however, is that the only likeable character is Clara. Clara is seeking to overcome her past and start over. She is flawed but genuine. Gloria is just annoying and thoughtless. Lorraine is a rotten friend and her constant need for attention is tiresome. The men in the book don't fare any better. Sebastian is a jerk. Gloria's friend Marcus is a spoiled brat. Even Gloria's secret lover comes off as too cliched. The book felt very much to me like a teenaged version of DANGEROUS LIAISONS set in the Roaring 20's. But it fails to reach any real depth.


*PARENTAL ADVISORY*--The young people in the book are in their late teens and early twenties. They drink heavily, they are disrepectful to their parents, they have illicit sex and smoke like chimneys. It is naive to think that young people don't struggle with these issues today and I don't think a book should be written off because they depict these things. However, none of the characters seem to really learn anything except for Clara. They just continue on with their irresponsible behaviors.


BOTTOM LINE: Recommended with reservations. I think this series is original but the whole thing fell flat for me. The characters are wooden and boring and not likeable. However, I would be interested in reading more and seeing how the series develops.

posted by bibanon1 on November 18, 2010

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  • Posted November 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Teenaged DANGEROUS LIAISONS in the Roaring 20's

    I am very picky about my young adult fiction. I'm always looking for books in this genre that are original and don't speak down to their readers. I was intrigued by this new Flapper series because I loved the idea of looking at the lives of young adults in the 1920's. It is such a fascinating era of change and liberation, especially for women.


    In the first book of the series, VIXEN, we are introduced to several young flapper wannabes. Gloria Carmody is a coddled 17-yr-old socialite who is engaged to be married to prominent young bachelor Sebastian Grey. Gloria is unsure about her life and marriage and starts dabbling in the world of speakeasies. Her friend, Lorraine Dyer, is envious of Gloria and always seeking to get attention and climb out of Gloria's shadow. Gloria's cousin, Clara Knowles, arrives to help keep Gloria in check and make sure she marries Sebastian but Gloria has a secret wild flapper past of her own. These three women get caught up in Chicago's underground world of speakeasies and flappers with mixed results.


    I love the use of 1920's slang and detail in the book. Larkin is very good at setting the tone. She reveals how even 80 years ago, young adults were dealing with the same sorts of issues that we struggle with today. These women wrestle with sex, alcohol and rock 'n' roll. (only in the form of jazz at this time) One of my problems with the novel, however, is that the only likeable character is Clara. Clara is seeking to overcome her past and start over. She is flawed but genuine. Gloria is just annoying and thoughtless. Lorraine is a rotten friend and her constant need for attention is tiresome. The men in the book don't fare any better. Sebastian is a jerk. Gloria's friend Marcus is a spoiled brat. Even Gloria's secret lover comes off as too cliched. The book felt very much to me like a teenaged version of DANGEROUS LIAISONS set in the Roaring 20's. But it fails to reach any real depth.


    *PARENTAL ADVISORY*--The young people in the book are in their late teens and early twenties. They drink heavily, they are disrepectful to their parents, they have illicit sex and smoke like chimneys. It is naive to think that young people don't struggle with these issues today and I don't think a book should be written off because they depict these things. However, none of the characters seem to really learn anything except for Clara. They just continue on with their irresponsible behaviors.


    BOTTOM LINE: Recommended with reservations. I think this series is original but the whole thing fell flat for me. The characters are wooden and boring and not likeable. However, I would be interested in reading more and seeing how the series develops.

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2012

    GOOD

    I am going to be completely honest, when I first started this book, it could not keep my attention, in fact I started paying closer attention more towards the end of the story...but other than that I am kind of looking forward to the sequel as long as it was as interesting as the last couple of chapters of Vixen.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 3, 2010

    Neat premise falls short

    I received this book for free through the First Look program at Barnes & Noble.

    Gloria Carmody is a young socialite in Chicago who seems to have it all. She's finishing her last year in high school and is engaged to Sebastian Grey, who was one of Chicago's most eligible bachelors. But when her cousin Clara comes to town to help plan the wedding, Gloria realizes she'll have to live it up before she gets married. I wasn't a huge fan of this book. I found the dialogue stilted and oddly schizophrenic--at times Larkin has captured a 1920s feel (especially when she uses period slang), but at other times, it doesn't sound like people talking at all. I also thought the plot was weak--lots of implausible moments and wooden characters. This book has a fun premise, but lacks the polish and realism to bring it off successfully.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Okay

    This book was a quick read, but it did keep me interested and I was entertained (but also a lot sitcoms on TV do the samething for me). I really would not let my 12 year old daughter read just a little to racy for her. It was like a Nancy Drew Novel with sex.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted May 20, 2011

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    Posted September 25, 2011

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    Posted January 2, 2011

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    Posted February 4, 2011

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