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The Luxe (Luxe #1)

3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  61,495 Ratings  ·  4,269 Reviews
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, s
ebook, 464 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins (first published January 1st 2007)
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Zoe tbh it really matters on how mature you are-as in what kind of books you read. If you are used to reading romance novels that include sex and other…moretbh it really matters on how mature you are-as in what kind of books you read. If you are used to reading romance novels that include sex and other romantic scenes then you should be fine.(less)
Jacki Yes! Rich, powerful (for their age) and spoiled. Complete with their own version of the poor. Very fun read if you don't try to take it TOO seriously!
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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The Luxe is about turn of the century New York socialites falling in love and misbehaving. New York's darling debutant, Elizabeth Holland is poised to marry one of the most eligible (and debaucherous) bachelors in the city, but her perfect life is not what it seems.

The Luxe reads like Gossip Girl meets Edith Wharton. Sadly, it has all of the shallowness and poor writing of the former, with little of the intelligence and power of the latter.
For realsies. Read the rest of my thoughts on The Lux
Maybe at this moment you're checking my rating and thinking, "What the fuck?!"
I'm going to tell you something: I enjoy reading shallow, trashy books. Somehow they pull me into a world of bitchy, spoiled, backstabbing characters; name-dropping and the need to choke them all for being so damn stupid. And I fucking love it. You know why? Because they keep me interested in their stupidity. The more books I read, the less I stop searching for trashy books. A girl like me can only handle enough in the
Feb 27, 2008 Nian rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: love triangle readers
Shelves: 2008
The Holland sisters, Elizabeth and Diana, are at the top of the social ladder. When their father dies, the girls move away to get educated about being a proper lady and when they come back, they find out that things don’t look too good for the Holland family. They’re broke. But if Mrs. Holland has anything to say about it, they won’t be, not for long. If Elizabeth can marry Henry Schoonmaker—a man who’s so handsome he has the hearts of all eligible females—their family name won’t be smeared. But ...more
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
That dress. That dress! How can this not be a fun romantic read? And so I dived into 1899 New York City high society, with its whirl of dances and social calls and hidden agendas. And came to a stuttering halt very quickly.

I can do shallow and superficial for a hundred pages or so (Exhibit A: The Bookshop on the Corner), but over 400 pages* of banal gossip and backstabbing and jostling for social position? Ugh. Even the secret romances weren't very interesting. I was ready to slit my wrists afte
Luxe by Anna Godbersen

So I'd be lying if I said I was oozing with excitement to read this book. In fact, I put off reading it for just about a year. A really good friend of mine recommended me this book and told me I'd absolutely love it but when I bought the book, I let it gather dust in the corner of my bookshelf.

There are two reasons why I put off reading this for so long: One, because its a Historical Romance. I cannot even begin to tell people how much I HATE (okay, hate is a strong word, but seriously, I don'
Dec 10, 2009 Tatiana rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of "Gossip Girls" and such
Recommended to Tatiana by: self-inflicted out of morbid curiosity
Sorry, but I can't go on reading this drivel. Maybe I am too spoiled by Edith Wharton and know too much about Gilded Age mores to enjoy this book. I know that young men and women of that time simply do not behave, talk, or live the way Godbersen portrays in her books. If you take the historical setting out of the story, what's left is a who-will-hook-up-with-who kind of trash. If I ever want to read that, I'll pick up Gossip Girls.

Beautiful cover though...
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
Jan 04, 2009 Shannon (Giraffe Days) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Shannon (Giraffe Days) by: Julie
It's September 1899 and the Manhattan season is starting off with a bang. Elizabeth Holland, the darling of the high society set, has returned from her year in Paris in time for the first ball of the season, held at her best friend Penelope Hayes' newly finished and incredibly vulgar mansion. Penelope is all about showing herself to the best advantage, and has her sights set on young rake Henry Schoonmaker - but his father has other ideas. Intending to run for mayor the following year, he wants ...more
Kathryn CA
Nov 10, 2008 Kathryn CA marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: NOBODY
Recommended to Kathryn CA by: The Cover
I hate, hate, HATE books that are suppose to be set in one time period but they have the behavor of someone in a different time period. If I didn't know better, I would have thought that this books was set in the present time. I won't ruin it for anyone who wants to read it... but I was disappointed. I thought "How could such a pretty book not be good?" I always thought that not judging a book by its cover was about ugly books being good, but now I know better.

However, if you like mindless stor
Jan 18, 2008 Jessica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: youngadult
Hmmm. This is an interesting book. It is, as the name implies, very luxe. The gown descriptions are sumptuous, and all the characters are gorgeous, with thick curling hair and full pouty lips. However, I had a hard time figuring out who to root for, as it were. You don't really get deep insights into Elizabeth, ostensibly the heroine, and her handsome lover's thoughts are never known at all. The villainess bitchy girl, the little sister, the rich cad, all get more detailed character development, ...more
Apr 25, 2009 Courtney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
Recommended to Courtney by: Samantha
Shelves: young-adult
One big love triangle between Henry Schoonmaker, Diana Holland, Will Kellar, Elizabeth Holland, Penelope Hayes, Lina Broad, and Teddy. Elizabeth is having an affair with her coachmen, Will. Naturally their forbiden love is kept a secret. The Holland family begins losing money, forcing Elizabeth into an engagment with the charming casanova, Henry Schonnmocker. There's a few problems with that however:Penelope has a delusional infatuation with Henry but Henry is having a love struck affair with El ...more
Andi ⚯͛
This book is like Gossip Girl set in the late 19th century. Normally that would be fun for me since books like those are my guilty pleasure, but this was not as fun.

I loved the time period this was set in as well as Godberson's description of their wardrobe and settings, but I never really got attached to the characters nor was I really invested in the story. I saw that ending a mile away along with many other things in this book. It was predictable to say the least.
Jul 13, 2008 Kristi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
Beautiful Elizabeth Holland, lovely, prim, proper and of course a lady. Too bad she is dead. The story opens to a dreary day in late 19th century New York at the funeral of Miss Elizabeth Holland, the exact day in which she was to be wed.

Then time flashes back and we are taken through the events that ultimately lead to the death of Elizabeth.

Sisters Elizabeth and Diana couldn’t be more different. Elizabeth, the oldest, has always had the most pressure put on her to be a proper lady, to watch eve
Jay G
Jun 19, 2017 Jay G rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Want to see more bookish things from me? Check out my Youtube channel:

It's 1899 and Elizabeth and Diana Holland are head of the social scene in New York. Unfortunately for the Holland family, their money is dwindling and their mother is beginning to have to sell their belongings. That's when William Shoonmaker comes to their mother with a proposition. Elizabeth is to marry his son Henry, the biggest bachelor known to Manhattan. Elizabeth agrees, even thou
Dawn (& Ron)
Apr 19, 2012 Dawn (& Ron) rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those looking for a light historical read
3-1/2 stars

Set during the closing months of the 19th century, telling the stories of the young social elite and their servants. This doesn't pretend to be more than it is, a light, fun historical romp, and just what I needed at the time. Filled with backstabbing, manipulation, betrayal and drama, but surprisingly there is more depth than I originally anticipated, there is humor, heart, romance and duty to one's family, station and heart.
"The girls of her class were slaves to rules, going about l
Dec 29, 2007 Karin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you didn't think the nineteenth century was full of drama then think again. Life in New York in 1899 was very eventful. At least it was for the very wealthy. Elizabeth Holland has been a perfect daughter her entire nineteen years of life. She has been groomed for years to be perfect - to talk when she was supposed to, to receive visitors on Sundays, and always appear happy no matter when she was feeling on the inside. People in New York expect her to marry well and continue the traditions of ...more
Jan 09, 2009 Angie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: good-uns, bibliocrack, ya
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.

Giselle (Book Nerd Canada)
Scandal and intrigue on the upper east side in Manhattan, New York! This is literally just like Gossip Girl but set in a different time period, girls with ball gowns and arranged marriages are all the rage. Not to mention backstabbers, liars and cheaters. I pretty much disliked everyone except the two Holland sisters and in guess that's what Anna was trying to do.

A main character who you want to be happy for. I kind of wished the romance between said main character and her certain lover was dev
Megan Baxter
Dec 06, 2011 Megan Baxter rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Gossip Girl meets The Age of Innocence. Except that there's not really any Age of Innocence here.

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.

In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook
Denise Smith
Dec 30, 2008 Denise Smith rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
First, I can't believe that this is considered Youth Fiction! It definitely read like it was written for a teenage audience, but there was way too much sex, even if it was only ever implied. It was incredibly predictable and the characters were extremely unlikable. Beware, moms of teenage girls, this book was recommended to me as the "next big thing".
Right. How the f$#% do I review this book? I couldn't even bring myself to finish it. I mean I liked it, okay I didn't really like it. Maybe I would have...if I had started the book at the begining and not 60 pages into it...oh well. I didn't and that is why this is less a review and more a rant about why I couldn't bring myslef to even finish the book.

1. Annyoing characters. Although I did like the quiz at the end (My friend Leesa and I were bored in ceramics and I had the book in my
Stacia (the 2010 club)
I can't believe that I'm about to rate a book based on the characters over the story itself.

The Luxe as a read felt like historical fiction meets Gossip Girls. The historical part was great - the Gossip Girls part - not as much.

However, I really warmed up to flow of the story as it moved along past my initial first reaction. Sure, this book is about high society in the late 19th century. It's absolutely girly and gossipy and filled with mock scandal. Unashamedly, I found myself starting to love
I saw a lot of mixed reviews for this book, and I understand why, but I personally really enjoyed reading it. It's not a very deep story, but it doesn't pretend to be either. It's a little shallow but very entertaining, which is why I didn't even realize how quickly I was going through the story.

If you enjoy reading about gossip, drama, backstabbing, period settings and pretty dresses without too much substance every once in a while, I'd recommend this book. It's a lot of fun.
DNF at 20% - just couldn't do it. The plot was boring, the characters were annoying and they just whined all the time. I'm sorry but I just couldn't finish it.
Jul 08, 2010 Carla rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I will admit to be a super Gossip Girl fan. It's like crack, emphasis on the word "like". I just can't get enough. And I like me some pretty covers. So when I decided to buy The Luxe, it was purely based on the fact that this sounded like such a scandalous tale of debauchery and ruined repuatations and that it would look nice on my bookshelf. The story goes a little something like this -

Elizabeth is this amazing beauty, she's prim and proper and considered a true lady (I wonder sometimes what i
Mar 14, 2008 Elizabeth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: teen girls
Shelves: recently-read, ya
I've seen this book compared to Gossip Girl, and I don't think that's an entirely fair analogy. I can see where it came from; the main characters are well-to-do New Yorkers, and there is an emphasis on beauty and backstabbing. However, it was much better written than GG.

I admit I've only read one GG, inspired to do so because I like the show. I've marveled, in fact, at how the writers of the show managed to get such a well done show out of the source material, because the one that I read was BAD
I spent a day and a half with Anna Godbersen and The Luxe. I don't know if I'll be going back forthe other three books. The book only closes one plot and leaves all the others w-i-d-e open. I rarely feel this 'meh' about a book. I don't think it was bad. I also don't think it was historically accurate, which killed some of my enjoyment. I don't like period novels, but if you're going to do something you ought to do it right damn it. We have girls running around for secret midnight affairs, when ...more
Jun 12, 2012 Victoria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-reads
After reading the first two books in the "Bright Young Things" series and loving them, I was so excited to find out Anna Godbersen had another series!

I actually loved The Luxe a little bit more than BYT! This was such an intriguing read and a great mystery. The way the story starts out at Elizabeth Holland's funeral, just sets you up to trying to solve the mystery the entire story. Every time I thought I had figured out who was responsible, something else would happen and completely change my mi
Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!*
Eeeeehhhh ... It was okay, I guess. It wasn't really my kind of book. Sure, I like a good shallow read. But this one felt a little too shallow -- yes, too shallow even for me. The whole thing is about bratty, whiney nineteenth-century teenage girls plotting against each other. oooh how SCANDALOUS! Predictable, corny ... the dialogue was lame and the characters were all the same. But ... well I guess I've read worse. I guess it depends on your taste. This one just wasn't the book for me, I'm afra ...more
Silvana (Por detrás das Palavras)
Rebeldes foi um livro que trouxe da biblioteca com a expetativa de uma leitura descontraída, leve e com uma narrativa interessante. E será que foi isto que aconteceu? Não. O livro não me ofereceu nada daquilo que eu esperava dele. Lá está, não é muito bom criar expetativas.

À medida que ia lendo o livro confrontei-me com uma escrita bastante aborrecida e pouco cativante da minha atenção. Tinha a sensação que a estória não avançada, que a escrita era fria e pouco próxima de mim enquanto leitora.
Oct 08, 2009 Heather rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of Bad Boys and Gossip Girl
Shelves: 2009
Well, Godbersen is no Edith Wharton, but who is? I went into this book expecting it to read like historical fiction with a bit of scandalous intrigue, but got Gossip Girl in a Victorian setting instead.

Godbersen mentions clothing and internal decoration about a thousand times too many for my taste. I really don't care to know every detail about every outfit the characters are wearing, but I allowed it as these women are just sad little cutouts, and it would seem natural for their thoughts to be
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Anna Godbersen was born in Berkeley, California, and educated at Barnard College. She currently lives in Brooklyn with her husband.
More about Anna Godbersen...

Other Books in the Series

Luxe (4 books)
  • Rumors (Luxe, #2)
  • Envy (Luxe, #3)
  • Splendor (Luxe, #4)

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“Don't go looking for boys in the dark
They will say pretty things then
leave you with scars.
Do go looking for boys in the park
For that is where the true gentlemen are.”
“The first stab of love is like a sunset, a blaze of color -- oranges, pearly pinks, vibrant purples...” 358 likes
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