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The luxe
Book
2007
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Trade Reviews

  Library Journal Review

The Gilded Age was never so yummily tarnished. Elizabeth and Diana are the beautiful and (unbeknownst to their circle) recently impoverished offspring of the well-heeled Holland family. Opening at Elizabeth's funeral, the story unfolds in a taffeta whirlwind of social engagements, secret lovers, and startling betrayals. Elizabeth enjoys a hot affair with the stable boy, while her younger sister pines for Elizabeth's fiance, the roguish Henry Schoonmaker. For fans of The Age of Innocence (starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Winona Ryder, 1993) and the Gossip Girl TV series (launched in 2007). Why It Is for Us: The parties, the dresses, the bitchery. With well-developed characters and surprising plot twists, Godbersen's series is better than most adult romances, minus the spicier bits. [Also in the series: Rumors (ISBN 978-0-06-134569-2. 2008) and Envy (ISBN 978-0-06-134572-2. 2009).] (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Booklist Review

A quote from Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence is the appropriate start to this first novel set in Manhattan's high society in 1899. On the day she had expected to wed Henry, a fellow member of New York's Old Dutch families, 18-year-old Elizabeth Holland is, instead, remembered at a lavish funeral. From the somber procession, Godbersen tracks back through the previous months, exposing the family secrets and pressures that force Elizabeth to accept Henry's surprising proposal. Alloy Entertainment, the packagers who produce the Gossip Girl series, share the book's copyright, and fans will recognize many similar elements in this title, including designer outfits, society watchers' commentaries, and frankly referenced sexual trysts. But this is more than just Gossip Girl in the Gilded Age. Most characters fit neatly into categories, but they are often vividly sketched, and the suspenseful story is propelled by interwoven scandals and well-supported plot twists. A compulsively readable romance about young women who strain against societal conventions, this is sure to be in high demand; consider multiple copies.--Engberg, Gillian Copyright 2007 Booklist

  Kirkus Review

A big, sumptuous tale of catty girls, dark secrets and windswept romance unfurls in this compulsively readable novel of late-19th-century New York City socialites. Godbersen weaves a tenuous web of deceit, backstabbing and pretense that follows four teens: Elizabeth Holland, a prim and proper lady of old-money society, is betrothed to one man, though furtively loves another; Henry Schoonmaker, a debauched playboy who must marry Elizabeth or be disinherited; Diana Holland, Elizabeth's younger sister who is in love with her fianc; and Penelope Hayes, a member of the nouveau riche who will stop at nothing to win Henry's affections. As Elizabeth and Henry's wedding approaches, the spectacle unfolds in a wondrously grandiose scene, making for a fun, though not entirely unexpected dnouement. A delicious new twist along the Gossip Girl vein, readers will clamor for this sharp, smart drama of friends, lovers, lies and betrayal. (Fiction. YA) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
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. Download a LUXE screensaver PC Version Mac Version Get this widget 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.
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