Two sisters' reviews of Young Adult and Middle Grade books, inspired by their lovely library.
If I had to choose a favorite time period for parties, balls, fancy dresses, and flirtations, I would not have chosen New York in 1899. I usually prefer earlier in the Victorian era, or the Regency era instead.
Series: Luxe, Book 1
Genres: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Romance
Rating: 4.5 stars
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.
If I had to choose a favorite time period for parties, balls, fancy dresses, and flirtations, I would not have chosen New York in 1899. I usually prefer earlier in the Victorian era, or the Regency era instead. However, the complicated and interwoven stories in this book, told from many different perspectives, worked surprisingly well together to tell a very unique and engaging story.
This book has the most complicated love triangles I have ever read about. And unusually, it is mostly one man with many ladies fawning (or fighting) over him rather than the other way around. The Luxe stars main characters Elizabeth Holland, Henry Schoonmaker, Diana Holland, Penelope Hayes, Lina Broud, and Will Keller, with deep and ever-changing relationships between them all.
One thing I found very funny and ironic is Henry’s last name, Schoonmaker. In Dutch, this (well, schoonmaakster) means a cleaning lady or housemaid. This is quite a good name for the richest and handsomest bachelor in all of New York!
I would recommend this book for fans of Libba Bray’s A Great and Terrible Beauty series, and Sarah MacLean’s The Season, and for people fond of the type of constant scandals present in period dramas such as the TV series Downton Abbey.