The Luxe (Luxe, #1)
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The Luxe (Luxe #1)

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  48,933 ratings  ·  3,610 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...more
Paperback, 433 pages
Published July 2008 by Puffin (Penguin) (first published January 1st 2007)
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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...more
Mar 02, 2008 Nian rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  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
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
Apr 05, 2009 Shannon (Giraffe Days) rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
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...more
Dec 19, 2009 Tatiana rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  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...
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'...more
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
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...more
Oct 14, 2010 Courtney rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
Kathryn CA
Oct 04, 2009 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...more
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
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.

Denise Smith
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".
Dawn (& Ron)
May 15, 2012 Dawn (& Ron) rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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
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...more
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
Sita Sargeant
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...more
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...more
Sep 17, 2011 Cindy marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: didn-t-finish
OK, I think I'm sending this one back to the library unfinished. When I am halfway through a book and honestly don't much care what happens to anyone in it, I know it's a wash! I had some high hopes for this series based on good reviews from friends, but it really just didn't do much for me. I have very little interest in reading about catty, shallow characters who do scandalous things just for the sake of sensationalism. All of the characters and their relationships felt very flat to me, and I...more
“The difference is that these young people take it for granted that they're going to get whatever they want, and that we almost always took it for granted that we shouldn't."- The Age of Innocence

2.5 out of 5 stars

Setting:New York City, New York; 1899

Coverly Love?:Yes! I'm a sucker for pretty dresses, and not only is this dress absolutely gorgeous, it's my favorite color, pinlk!! What I'd like to know, however, is how the hell they got the girl into the dress. Detachable skirt, maybe?

Dec 14, 2009 Heather rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of Bad Boys and Gossip Girl
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...more
Two sisters, a servant girl, a best friend, and a hot mess of a boy. Throw in two-ish love triangles and you've got The Luxe. I kept reading and reading about this book, just like I had done with Twilight and then decided I just better read the darn book. I'm sure glad I did. What a fun book. It's set in 1899 New York City and alternates the five main characters points of view. I think the alternating viewpoints really made this book for me. I just can't get enough of that. The book ends not unl...more
Mar 20, 2008 Elizabeth rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: teen girls
Shelves: ya, recently-read
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...more
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
(Source: I own a copy of this book.)
The Holland’s are broke, and Elizabeth must marry for money, even though she knows it’s not what her dead father would want, and she’s in already in love with the stable boy. Meanwhile her sister Diana is falling for the boy destined to be Elizabeth’s husband (Henry), whilst the girl currently involved with him, Elizabeth’s best friend Penelope, will stop at nothing to get him.
Who will Elizabeth marry? And why does everybody want Henry?

This is the third time I...more
It begins promisingly—with a funeral. The funeral is for an 18-year-old girl, one of the bright stars of Manhattan high society in 1899. Adding to the tragedy is that one of the pallbearers is the young man she would have married on that date, had she lived.

Then the book takes us back a few months, and everything goes downhill from there. The dead girl, who isn’t dead at this point, we will call Female Main Character (FMC). She has just returned from France to re-enter society and has found tha...more
Nineteenth century Manhattan has never been portrayed so catty or dissolute as it is in this young adult novel. Like Gossip Girl, but with bigger frocks, Anna Godberson’s The Luxe tells the story of the beautiful Holland sisters, their Queen Bee friend Penelope Hayes, and the man they all seem to revolve around, the eligible Henry Schoonmaker. The Hollands are bankrupt, and the only way to save their fortunes before their situation is known, is for the eldest daughter Elizabeth to marry money. C...more
This was an awesome read! I enjoyed the first part of the book and once I got to the last half, I did not want to put the book down! My husband asked why I was in such a rush and why I didn't savor the book? I told him I was crazy to know how it ended! I loved the writing. The author has a way of flowing the plot line and weaving things to keep you very intrigued! This book so surprised me. It was very much a "Oh, what a tangled web we weave!" kinda book. The characters were not only connected b...more
The Lost Lola
Feb 16, 2009 The Lost Lola rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Gossip Girl
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I probably should have taken down notes as I read. There are so many characters who were all so busy **naughty-naughty, wink-wink** So to avoid the risk of misnaming a key character, I can best summarize them thus:

One wants only what’s best for herself (seen flirting it up with one known with the initials of HS). Another wants to save her family from financial ruin and certain social ostracism (seen in a compromising position with the coach man, was it? Also known to be engaged to aforementione...more
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Addicted to YA: The Luxe 10 115 Aug 30, 2014 07:34AM  
has anyone read the sequel to this book is it any good? 18 126 Jun 01, 2014 10:39AM  
YA Book Gang!!: The Luxe Series by Anna Godbersen - April 1st 46 27 Apr 21, 2014 10:01PM  
YA Book Gang!!: Thoughts on The Luxe? (To buy or not to buy) 5 20 Mar 22, 2014 08:16PM  
Is this worth reading? 30 166 Mar 18, 2014 09:11AM  
YA Buddy Readers'...: The Luxe (Luxe #1) by Anna Godbersen - Starting March 9th 2014 35 26 Mar 13, 2014 03:34AM  
YA Book Gang!!: The Luxe by Anna Godbersen - December 10th 15 24 Dec 21, 2013 10:16AM  
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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...
Rumors (Luxe, #2) Envy (Luxe, #3) Splendor (Luxe, #4) Bright Young Things (Bright Young Things, #1) Beautiful Days (Bright Young Things, #2)

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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...” 253 likes
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