Goodreads Summary: "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."
What first caught my attention about this series was the covers. They are all so gorgeous. And I know some of you are probably bored senseless with the pretty models wearing dresses but I just can't resist. Some of the covers do seem to just be following the popular trend but others, and I consider this series to be in the latter category, seem to really fit. For this historical series the models in the captivating creations seem to work perfectly.
As for the novel itself...
At first I had a bit of difficulty keeping up with all of the characters that were introduced to me, there were so many! But after a few of the alternating chapters when I got to better know both the main and secondary characters I found recognizing them to be second nature. My favorite chapters were narrated by Elizabeth's younger sister Diana with Penelope as a not so distant second. Unfortunately Elizabeth wasn't a favorite of mine, I'm hoping that she'll grow on me. The boys however are scrumptious.
What I found myself thinking as I read this novel is that it reminded me, in concept at least, of the gossip girl novels. Full of drama, alternating points of view, and secrets. Simply delicious! I love how you can only grasp the story in its entirety by taking the time to get to know the various girls through their chapters, how they all intertwine and how much their own "White lies, dark secrets, and scandalous hookups" effect one another.
For those of you that aren't especially fond of historical fiction because you feel as if you have to be experts in history, fear not. This is not one of those kinds of novels. Despite not knowing a great deal about this era of history I never once felt like a ditz reading The Luxe, rather Anna Godbersen does a brilliant job of giving you what you need without making you feel as if you're sitting through a history lecture as all of the best historical fiction authors do.
Overall I'm really pleased that I chose this novel as my first venture, in a very long time, into the historical genre and one of my first of the young adult variety. I'm giving The Luxe by Anna Godbersen a four out of five stars review. Anna Godbersen is a great authoress and I'm looking forward to not only getting my hands on the rest of this series but venturing into her other historical novels.