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If you love The Great Gatsby, you'll want to read the Flappers series.

Jazz . . . Booze . . . Boys . . . It’s a dangerous combination.
Every girl wants what she can’t have. Seventeen-year-old Gloria Carmody wants the flapper lifestyle—and the bobbed hair, cigarettes, and music-filled nights that go with it. Now that she’s engaged to Sebastian Grey, scion of one of Chicago’s most powerful families, Gloria’s party days are over before they’ve even begun . . . or are they?
Clara Knowles, Gloria’s goody-two-shoes cousin, has arrived to make sure the high-society wedding comes off without a hitch—but Clara isn’t as lily-white as she appears. Seems she has some dirty little secrets of her own that she’ll do anything to keep hidden. . . .
Lorraine Dyer, Gloria’s social-climbing best friend, is tired of living in Gloria’s shadow. When Lorraine’s envy spills over into desperate spite, no one is safe. And someone’s going to be very sorry. . . .
From author Jillian Larkin, VIXEN is the first novel in the sexy, dangerous, and ridiculously romantic series set in the Roaring Twenties . . . when anything goes.

432 pages, Hardcover

First published December 14, 2010

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About the author

Jillian Larkin

4 books346 followers
Jillian Larkin’s fascination with flappers and the 1920s began during her childhood, which included frequent home screenings of the classic Julie Andrews/Carol Channing film Thoroughly Modern Millie. She lives in New York

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,028 reviews
Profile Image for Jules.
49 reviews10 followers
November 8, 2011
There should be a "couldn't finish it because it was so bad" shelf in addition to "read/to-read/currently-reading". As it is, I've made my own, but someone ask Goodreads to get on that, because I think making it one of the three default shelves would be a great addition!

This was...well, not terrible; it was certainly competently written, but it was just extremely dull. If you've read The Luxe or watched Gossip Girl (or, hell, read even one of the GG books) you know all the characters already. Which in and of itself might not be a problem; I like the GG show, and I liked The Luxe series! And I ALSO love flappers. So you'd think this would be an easy sell for me.

The problem is, I feel like Larkin ALSO decided that the similarity to those meant she didn't have to do any work to tell me about these characters. It was like she was writing by rote, going down a checklist of attributes characters should have, relationships, etc. -- and she never did any of the work to make me care about her versions as opposed to, say watching Gossip Girl or re-reading The Luxe series. If she wasn't willing to do the work to make me care, why should I care -- or put in the effort of finishing the book?
Profile Image for Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner).
381 reviews1,715 followers
February 5, 2011
3.5 - 4 stars.

Let's just start out with-- hello, my name is Jamie and I am obsessed with the 1920's and flappers and I will read anything related to said obsessions. Seriously. I once was a flapper for Halloween. I just love the flapper fashion, the literature that arose from the 1920's, the jazz, the transition into the modern culture, the progress in woman's suffrage movement, the mobsters, the speakeasys..it is all just so exciting to me! I just love reading and watching movies set during this time. Anyways, once I saw this book I just KNEW I had to pick it up.

Vixen has it all -- romance, glitz and glamour, catty girls, mobsters, secrets, and suspense, -- and is set in one of those most interesting and alluring time periods in America. It also did deal with more substantial issues like friendship, loyalty, the suppression of women, racial and societal expectations, etc. In some ways this reminded me of Gossip Girl set in the 1920's with the high society, secrets, backstabbing and shocking public revelations. And I totally was picturing the episode of Gossip Girl where Chuck opened the speakeasy and they were all in flapper-like costumes. Larkin nailed it. At some points I felt like if I closed my eyes, I'd be transported into some dark speakeasy, filled with smoke and booze, dancing with glamorous flappers and gangsters with pin-striped suits. I could hear that jazz music playing and feel the excitement of being rebellious and sexy in my fringed dress, headband and bobbed hair cut.

There were some interesting characters in this book. Clara was my favorite -- she was smart, despite some obvious bad choices in her past, and I thought she was interesting and was the shining star for me. I did appreciate some of the dimensions we started to see in Gloria and I started to really appreciate her. At some times I felt like Gloria and Lorraine were a bit cliched and predictable but the storyline and the setting made up for what they were sometimes lacking for me. The storyline was well crafted and I kept wanting to find out what happened.

My one gripe with this book is that I felt like the author went a little bit overboard with the lingo of the time period and she didn't need to because she really had me convinced of the time period with how she built their world. All these phrases and slang were dropped into the story and it felt like a like a kid who learned a set of vocabulary words and tried to keep impressing people with packing them into sentences. It just didn't flow all the time and seemed awkward. The overuse of all the lingo was distracting and it was really unfortunate because she already set such an authentic scene for the reader.

I will note that this might be inappropriate for some younger readers -- lots of booze, smoking and it's pretty sexy. I thought it was tasteful but definitely a little more mature than some YA lit geared for younger readers.

My Final Thought: Vixen is a sexy and intriguing debut that captures the excitement of an era and an underground lifestyle that is full of glamour, grit and danger. It is edgy and provocative without being trashy. It is a promising primer, for older teens (and YA lovers of all ages), into a period of time that should be explored more in YA historical fiction. I cannot WAIT for the second book to come out as the ending was quite exciting and ends with quite the bang..literally. In the meantime, I'll be trying Bright Young Things which is also set in the 20's and seems to be about flappers.
Profile Image for gremlinkitten.
450 reviews97 followers
July 8, 2012
3.75 stars
Once upon a time there were three beautiful girls who went to the best schools (and speakeasies), and they were each assigned booze and clothes that are the cat's meow. But the flapper lifestyle took them into different directions and now they work to find out who they are and what makes them truly happy. My name is Vixen.

And so you've been introduced to the first installment of The Flappers series Charlie's Angels' style (the best I was able to come up with anyway).

Meet our Angels Vixens:
Gloria - She's the one who has it all: the name, riches, looks, clothes, a handsome fiancee, everything comes easily to her, and everybody seemingly loves her. But this poor little rich girl isn't so happy after all and so she begins to rebel.
Clara - Burned by her former flapper lifestyle, she's now trying to start over as "Country Clara" without her sordid past coming to light. So has she turned into a goody-two shoes or is it just part of a grander scheme? Only time will tell.
Lorraine - Jealous of best friend, Gloria, she's desperate to step out of Glo's shadow to become the center of attention as an individual.

Before getting to my review, there are a few questions that should be addressed:
Is this great literature? No.
Will this book change your life? No.
Will you learn anything from reading this book? No. Well, maybe some twenties' slang.
Is this book accurate to the period? No, there are some liberties, but it's good enough as wallpaper to the players and scenes.
Is this book entertaining beyond belief? A resounding YES!

VIXEN is very easy to read and captured my attention from the first page, and while it may not be the best book ever, I had a lot of fun reading it. While there's nothing glaringly obvious anachronism-wise, I did question some word choices, phrases, and actions, but overall they were easy to overlook and I likened it to watching A Knight's Tale starring Heath Ledger. Written in third-person, each chapter focuses on one the three girls' point-of-view, starting with Gloria and continuing with Clara and then Lorraine, throughout the book until the end.

As for the characters, Clara (named after Ms. Clara Bow?) was definitely my favorite to read about, she's recovering from the aftereffects of her life in New York City (which includes a boy, of course), and is trying her best to leave the past behind and move on with her life. Her story had a lot to offer and she felt like a real person who had made mistakes and was now left dealing with the repercussions. Lorraine was a trainwreck you can't take your eyes off of, and while I can't say I liked her, I felt sorry for her. She tries way too hard to stand out and ends up making herself look pathetic; if she keeps it up she'll turn into a very ugly person whom everyone hates. Forget Gloria, Lorraine is the "real" poor little rich girl of the book. She's in the middle of making all the wrong decisions and we're along for the journey, which made her multidimensional and interesting to read about as well. Gloria was my least favorite, mainly because I don't think the author knew quite how to write her. At one moment Gloria seemed like a good girl rebelling, but then there would be moments where she was a real bitch and those two aspects just didn't gel into a cohesive whole. Now if she was seemingly sweet on the outside and really was a conniving bitch underneath, then I'd be on board or at least would get it. But she wasn't that type of bitch and she wasn't Alexis Carrington-bitchy (or insert less-dated reference here) either. How she was written made her look more like Sybil and didn't render me to sympathize with her at all. It didn't help that I felt she was too close to a Mary-Sue for my liking. I don't like perfect or near-perfect characters, they're boring and so was she. What was her motivation for anything, such as singing? Was that always a dream or did it just now come about? Is her recent behavior only happening because she's unhappy? Sorry, but there's just not enough there to make me care about this character. Gloria needed to be more fleshed out to make her feel like a real human, with real thoughts in her head and real feelings, and not a cliched cardboard cut-out.

The love aspects of the novel were fairly glossed over, mainly Gloria and Jerome's story, and felt more like teenage hormones than actual real love.
"I don't know you but you're hot and I love you."
"Nothing will keep us apart!"
"We'll be together forever!"

Which is too bad because I like the idea of an interracial romance taking place in the 1920's, it could have been fantastic, but instead was tepid and generally unromantic. It didn't help that half the duo was boring old Gloria and the other half never developed beyond the fact that he's a black musician who's forbidden to her due to the color of his skin. I wished for more impact and still hope for that in the next installment of the series. Clara's budding relationship with Marcus was far more realistic because they actually had conversations *gasp* and was well-paced. The relationships between the girls were touch and go, sometimes they felt authentic, then at other times interactions appeared too advanced to where the relationship had last left off; it was like there were scenes edited out in chunks. The same could be said of the developing romance between Gloria and Jerome.

So a few things bothered me in the book, such as the issue I had with every girl who wasn't one of the main trio being cattily described, i.e. eyes are close together, that color makes her look sallow, etc. Can we get over doing that already? That's not encouraging good behavior. A little more positivity would be a refreshing change. Another thing that annoyed me was at one point, the crap hit the fan and *minor spoiler* . There were some minor editing inaccuracies, such as when Gloria's dress goes from gold sequined to red in less than a page (pages 74-5) but nothing too overt to jar me out of the book altogether. Lastly, perhaps there was a bit too much twenties' slang that wasn't always incorporated into the text as smoothly as possible.

Overall, the plots were well-done and moved along at a brisk enough pace that I never got bored. The ending unfolded so that it tied up the multiple plotlines while still keeping plenty of loose ends for the sequel. So, a lot of the book is superficial, in some cases there are caricatures instead of characters, and it is a shallow interpretation of the Roaring Twenties, I don't care, the book is just plain fun and sometimes that's all I need. And while I can't say I loved this book and it totally lived up to its beautiful cover (seriously that dress is gorgeous, though I could do without the pit shot), I was suitably entertained and will read the sequels to find out what happens next, while I keep up the hope that Gloria will turn into a real, live girl.
Profile Image for Chris.
1,088 reviews23 followers
August 7, 2013
When I finished listening to this book I wanted to go wash my ears out with soap. Yuck! Ptooey! Ewww! The idea is a good one. The story of three teen girls in 1923 Chicago. Gloria is the only daughter of an extremely wealthy family, and she's engaged to marry into one of the best-known families in the city even though he's a stuffed shirt who's made it plain he doesn't love her. Lorraine's family is also wealthy, but she's extremely insecure about, well, everything. So that makes her desire more than anything to be a flapper. (yeah, right) Clara is Gloria's cousin, a former flapper who has come to Chicago in the guise of a mild-mannered farm girl to escape the repercussions of an affair in New York. The chapters alternately tell their stories. Lorraine drags Gloria to a speakeasy where they engage in sultry flapper repartee with the bartender and patrons while downing drinks. This is despite the fact that they're 17 years old and seniors in high school. In fact, during the course of the book, these girls walk around with flasks tied to their thighs and drink more than I did in four years of college. Gloria becomes infatuated with the piano player, a young black man named Jerome. On another visit the band's singer quits and - wouldn't you know it - Gloria decides to try out to become the new "torch." So now this very sheltered teenager is skipping out of school to go practice with an all-black band in an illegal gin joint. The situations are so ridiculous they're laughable. But what really drove me crazy was the totally anachronistic language (Was he coming on to her? It was the engagement party from hell.), the lack of continuity (she's described as going down the stairs from the stage and then they're going across the stage, Lorraine is given a handkerchief with ice in it after her face is slapped--a minute later she's folding the handkerchief and giving it back) and scenes that don't actually end (there's a showdown at the end of the book -- one of several showdowns -- that we never find out how it ended). Clearly the author was trying to appeal to modern teen girls but in doing so she gave up on any sort of historical accuracy. Clearly good writing wasn't a top priority either. I know a lot of other people really like these books. Maybe I read something different?
Profile Image for Briar's Reviews.
1,790 reviews501 followers
April 8, 2020
If I had a guilty pleasure book, this would be it.

Seriously, it has everything I adore: 20s glamour and flappers, jazz music, ridiculous YA drama, a pretty cover and a fast moving plot.

I ended up picking this book on clearance years ago. Like most books I own, it got lost somewhere in my house and I forgot it existed. Then, one day during my epic cleaning sprees to deal with my epic boredom, I found it! Since I'm trying to give myself a well rounded read shelf for 2020, I decided to pick it up. Plus, who doesn't want some goofy, YA, flapper fun?

This story follows 3 girls:
1. Gloria - engaged to some hot, not super nice, rich guy but wants to let herself fall in love with a jazz musician.
2. Clara - Gloria's cousin who is super goody goody, but clearly has a bad past she is trying to hide.
3. Lorraine - the not so nice girl who is friends with Gloria but wants to be the center of attention SO bad and can't get the guy so she's clearly gonna be a jerk. You know, the mean girl.

This book is super strange for me. It's packed full of YA drama and gossip, so this really shouldn't be my thing but I was SO DIGGING IT. It's like my lack of human interaction has made this kind of gossip gold for me. Either way, I totally loved it and needed this sort of fun in my life. It's like Gossip Girl or 90210 or other super dramatic stories.

I can easily say this book won't be for everyone. These girls in the 20s are definitely like girls from the 2010s/2020s. They have feminist life goals and want to be strong women. They don't fit into the 20s society, but totally fit into today. I didn't mind, because I just wanted a fun read and let myself sink into the drama. Buuuut, if you're looking for historical accuracy then this book is not for you. Enjoy the book for what it is!

The book is easy to read and the drama moves fast. There's constantly something going on, and since the book changes perspectives between the three girls we always see something different. There isn't as much romance as there is drama in this book. I expected some awesome love and romance plots, but love is kind of the back burner thing. There are dates and some kisses and sometimes some love confessions, but this is by no means a romance - it's a drama.

Overall, this book is fluffy and glamorous. I want to continue reading this series, mostly because it is totally a guilty pleasure. I love it for what it is - good job Jillian Larkin!

Four out of five stars!
Profile Image for Stacia (the 2010 club).
1,045 reviews3,947 followers
November 11, 2012

Really liked this one. I needed a book that was going to show me some action and not just talk about it. This book fit the bill. I've been reading some heavier content lately and was craving something fun and fast moving. Thank you Vixen for giving me back some of the fun!

Reasons this book shined :

1. Many flawed characters with secrets to hide
2. Taboo interracial relationship (for the time period that is - how scandalous!)
3. A good part of the time was spent in an undergound speakeasy - a den of sin for the young crowd, full of illegal booze, smoking, jazz, and dancing in beaded dresses. I wanted to be there!
4. Lots of scandal and intrigue. Sometimes you just need a good drama.
5. Depth where you didn't expect to find depth. Hey, it wasn't all fluff!

Each chapter had a rotating viewpoint of one of the three girls. Each one had a different and interesting story to tell. This writing style kept the story from getting stale, which I appreciated. Some authors aren't able to write like this without it feeling disjointed, but Larkin nailed it.
Profile Image for Tara Chevrestt.
Author 27 books293 followers
December 30, 2010
I never read the "Luxe" stuff everyone spoke of when referring to this book so I had no idea what I was in for. The writing is cheesy. I can't think of a better word. The characters are incredibly shallow and the story line is predictable.

I bought this brand spanking new with my hard earned money so I am entitled to give a rating espite the fact I didn't finish. I also read a good quarter of it before bailing.

Recommend it for: fans of 90210.
Profile Image for Sarah Mac.
1,063 reviews
July 30, 2015
This was pretty bland. Sad, right? Alas, VIXEN is an excellent example of an author not living up to the dramatic potential of her subject matter.

We're given a handful of stock teen soap characterizations: Gloria, the Good Girl who wants to rebel; Lorraine, the Bad Girl/Best Friend tired of living in her shadow; Clara, the Mysterious X-Factor distant relation who arrives to supervise Gloria's socialite wedding plans. Gloria doesn't want to marry her fiance -- instead she falls into insta-lust with Jerome, an Unsuitable Love Interest (who actually is unsuitable, given that he's a black piano player). Meanwhile Lorraine debates between friendship & climbing over Gloria to take her place atop the heap-o-social-awesomeness. Lorraine also resents that Gloria doesn't realize how awesome she's got it in the male companionship department -- i.e., Gloria's best dude friend Marcus, who plays the role of Golden-Hearted Playboy. But when Marcus chooses Clara instead, Lorraine exposes a dirty secret from her rival's past...except, naturally, her disgust backfires & gets her snared by Carlito, a nasty Criminal With Sex Appeal. Gloria & Jerome, meanwhile, are caught in the crossfire of speakeasy gangsters...which leaves Jerome's sister to pledge vengeance on Gloria's former bridegroom, the stereotypical Backstabbing Rich-Boy Hypocrite, who is tied to Carlito's crew of Capone wannabes.

...And there's a midget gangster named Thor.

Yup. :P

Clearly there's no shortage of plot, but the personalities are wooden as hell. If the author has the skill to flesh them out in future installments...well, she didn't show it here. I liked Clara & Jerome more than the rest, but even they were glorified cardboard. Compounding the problem is the third-person voice. It's flat, flat, FLAT -- lacking any sort of personality, & relating events with occasional snarky comments that weren't so much funny as lamely anachronistic. I do give the author props for a sprinkling of flapper-era pop culture (Buster Keaton movies, Fitzgerald quotes, The Sheik, etc). I also give her credit for the interracial romance angle. But these positives aren't enough to boost my rating. The retro lingo felt forced, the characters were drab, & the writing wasn't strong enough to support an uber-dramatic soap opera.

Overall, a big fat 'meh.' I'll stick with Anna Godbersen's flapper books for my soapy teenage prohibition drama.
Profile Image for Anna Kay.
1,318 reviews151 followers
May 19, 2013
So, this book TRULY surprised me! I did not think that it would be as good as it turned out to be. I figured it would be a let down, because how could it match up to the description that it was given?:

Jazz . . . Booze . . . Boys . . . It’s a dangerous combination.

Every girl wants what she can’t have. Seventeen-year-old Gloria Carmody wants the flapper lifestyle—and the bobbed hair, cigarettes, and music-filled nights that go with it. Now that she’s engaged to Sebastian Grey, scion of one of Chicago’s most powerful families, Gloria’s party days are over before they’ve even begun . . . or are they?

Clara Knowles, Gloria’s goody-two-shoes cousin, has arrived to make sure the high-society wedding comes off without a hitch—but Clara isn’t as lily-white as she appears. Seems she has some dirty little secrets of her own that she’ll do anything to keep hidden. . . .

Lorraine Dyer, Gloria’s social-climbing best friend, is tired of living in Gloria’s shadow. When Lorraine’s envy spills over into desperate spite, no one is safe. And someone’s going to be very sorry. . . .

From debut author Jillian Larkin, VIXEN is the first novel in the sexy, dangerous, and ridiculously romantic new series set in the Roaring Twenties . . . when anything goes.

So that is the description on the inside cover. This book had a very surprising cliffhanger ending that I will not spoil. I ended up loving all of the girls, but I think my favorite was Clara. She is trying so hard to figure out who she is after a major disappointment in life. I loved Marcus, who is best friends with Gloria. He was the most wonderful guy in the book other than Jerome Johnson. Speaking of Jerome, I DEFINITELY did not expect this book to explore interracial relationships and prejudices in the 1920s! The way Jillian Larkin did this was relatable and realistic. This entire book has absolutely beautiful descriptions and emotional insights. It was in triple
third-person omniscient point of view, so each chapter alteranated between the girls (Gloria, then Clara, then Lorraine) and while it didn't use the word 'I' it got inside of their thoughts in a very personal way. Bastian Grey is a very odd character, because at first you think that you know who he is; then he turns into someone completely different. It was very shocking the way his character changed, but he was so deliciously villainous! I loved this book almost to much to cast it. But I will anyway because I am just DYING TO!

Bella Thorne as 'Gloria Carmody'

Blake Lively as 'Clara Knowles' (with shorter hair obviously)

Emma Roberts as 'Lorraine Dyer' (also with shorter hair)

Trevor Donovan as 'Sebastian "Bastian" Grey'

Garrett Hedlund as 'Marcus Eastman'
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La Monde Byrd as 'Jerome Johnson'

Katerina Graham as 'Vera Johnson'

Stefanino Sorice as 'Carlito Macharelli'

Abigail Breslin as 'Ginnie Bitman'

Marion Cotillard as 'Claudine' (the Carmody family's maid)

Marcia Cross as Beatrice Carmody (Mother)

I truly fell in love with this book and I will definitely be buying my own copy. I will also be desperately awaiting the release of "Ingenue" in September! I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys historical fiction, romance and intrigue. Enjoy the book and comment below if you wish! :)
Profile Image for RaeLynn Fry.
Author 6 books56 followers
March 22, 2011
First of all, let me start out by saying, I LOVED this book, and have since passed it on to many friends. I was giddy when I saw it in hardcover on the shelves of my local book store. I wanted to grab someone and say, "I read that before it even came out and it's REALLY good, so you should buy it." But I didn't.

Set in 1920's Chicago, Jillian Larkin’s, Vixen, tells a story of love, jealousy, secrets, and revenge stitched together masterfully. The novel starts with a short prologue at only 169 words. I was left thinking, “Ooh, this is going to be good” The two sentences that got me?

And then, before snapping her bag closed, she added the small black handgun. Now she was ready.

Who’s she gonna kill? I don’t care! She’s gonna look HOT doing it.

Vixen is the first in The Flapper series and follows the life of Gloria Carmody. A rich white socialite engaged to the very eligible bachelor, Sebastian Grey, she thinks she’s in love. But that’s before she meets a black jazz piano player from the local speakeasy named Jerome Johnson.

Larkin tells the story from the alternating points of view of Gloria, her cousin Clara Knowles, and her best friend Lorraine Dyer. Through the book, it’s revealed that each girl has a secret to they’d kill to keep quiet.

Lorraine is hiding her midnight tryst with Gloria’s fiancé. Country Clara is hiding her Flapper past and scandalous ties in New York City. And Gloria is in love with a black man.

Each girl is tied to the other in her secrets, new friendships are formed, and old ones lost, as each has to deal with the decisions they make and their repercussions those decisions create.

Everything Larkin gave me is real and tangible. I could taste the descriptions of the clothes, hair, and atmosphere—from the dark and smoke-filled Speakeasies to the cheap liquor during Prohibition.

I felt the jealousy Lorraine had every moment she was with Gloria, the love she held for her best friend, and her unreturned feelings of love towards a boy who would never look at her the same way.

One downfall in the book was that I felt I could connect more with Lorraine rather than Gloria because everything about her was real. I felt that Gloria’s situation and problems were a little cliché and typical of this sort of book, but that in no way means I didn’t enjoy her character or her story.

I enjoyed the fact that Marcus and Gloria are best friends. That’s it. End of story. There isn’t a secret crush or love triangle involved—and it’s not because Marcus is gay. It’s because Larkin has seen that’s been overdone.

Despite the lack of romance between those two characters, there is A LOT of PG-rated sexual tension throughout the story and for each of the characters—from unreturned, reluctant, forbidden, to false love—it’s all there, and I found myself rooting for each of the characters.

This is a great debut novel. So many times, I see superficial writing and simple stories, especially in YA—it’s almost as if new authors are scared of going ‘too deep’. But not so with Larkin. Her novel is intricate and detailed, exciting and interesting.

When people say a book is character driven this is what they mean. The story is there and it’s strong, but it comes secondary to the characters and their arcs—their story. They are what move the plot. And it moves so smoothly.

I can’t say enough about how much I loved this book. It was a little over 300 pages, but it felt like a walk in the park. I can’t wait to get my hands on the second in the series.
Profile Image for Guillermo.
452 reviews24 followers
March 29, 2011
Somewhere in the back of my head, while reading Vixen, I learned that I'm glad I wasn't born a girl. And it's not for the patriarchal reasons that most men might come up with, but because when it comes to cruelty, you girls take the cake. Boys will physically bully the weaker one, but girls destroy you socially, emotionally, mentally - which is far worse than the bruise on your forearm.

Jillian Larkin created a world - set in the 1920s, the flapper generation (not to mention the age of the Lost Generation where expatriates roamed around other countries, each writing great novels) - that sucks you right in and leads you down the path of three lives of three rather stunning girls.

There's Gloria, a top-notch socialite whose engagement to Sebastian "Bastian" Grey only means a life of boredom for her. In a last attempt of adventure, Gloria sets off with friend Marcus Eastman to the most notorious speakeasy in Chicago - the Green Mill. There, Gloria is lured into the world of the flapper. She's seduced by their allure and their brash lifestyle. The singer on the stage sparks her most wildest dream of singing in front of a live crowd - a dream that would never be realized as long as she is engaged to marry Bastian. Most of all, she feels a sudden magnetic attraction to the piano player and jazz musician, Jerome Johnson.

Then there's Clara, Gloria's cousin from Pennsylvania, who arrives to Chicago under the assumption to help Gloria with her wedding. Truth is, Clara's running away from the life she led in New York. She plots to use Chicago as a fresh start. There she is drawn into her cousin's secrets and her inner circle. Most of all, she is drawn to Marcus Eastman. However, strange notes start arriving - first mysteriously left in her room - and a ghost from her past resurfaces. Clara is faced with her secret life unraveling while keeping up her act.

And finally, there's Lorraine, Gloria's closet friend. As she realizes those in her world are slowly drifting in several directions, she begins to scheme how to get them back. However, the more she schemes against her best friend and Clara, the deeper she digs her grave.

Jillian Larkin breathes a unique life into each of her characters, never afraid to turn the tables at a whim. Vixen is probably the best young adult novel I've read this year (that's not saying a lot considering it's the first I've read this year). Best of all, it lacks what is taken too seriously these days - you won't find cell phones, wizards or vampires in this novel. Instead, you get the sheer glamor of a lifestyle your grandparents probably enjoyed or were against. You are dropped into a world where communication between friends isn't as easy as signing onto an instant messenger or picking up your cellphone to text. No, Larkin picked the 1920s because things were difficult back than, while at the same time being much simpler. She created a love story we wouldn't think twice about these days but would have caused an uproar in scandal back then. She created a world in which girls still scheme against each other, but they did it in fashion - no joke, I really do like the 1920s which acts as the sole reason for my interest in the novel. I surely can't wait until Ingenue hits bookshelves in August of this year.
Profile Image for Rebecca.
458 reviews11 followers
November 17, 2010
Vixen is historical young adult fiction set in the roaring twenties with speakeasies, flappers, bootlegged booze, gangsters and socialites. There is so much to grab the reader in this debut novel by author Jillian Larkin, I recommend the book to anyone who gravitates to either historical fiction or young adult genres. You can’t go wrong, either way.

The plot is divided into three distinct storylines, each focusing on a different girl: Gloria, the newly engaged socialite; Clara, Gloria's cousin with a dark past; and Lorraine, the best friend cast in Gloria’s shadow. The chapters switch between the points of view of the three girls which keep the story moving but may be confusing to younger readers.

Through the three separate paths of the girls, we watch as the teens assert themselves by walking the line of acceptable behavior to try to gain their independence and freedom. The overall message of Vixen seemed to be “the only thing that matters is pleasing yourself” which is quite the opposite of the philosophy parents hope to impart in their children. The characters were selfish, manipulative, arrogant, pompous and cruel to some extent. Violence, sexual innuendo, and drunken behavior fill the story with drama that keeps a quick pace for the reader.

The book covers the gamut of controversial topics; i.e. prohibition, corrupt politicians, adultery, deceit, interracial relationships and injustice, pre-marital relations and pregnancy, the mob and its corruption. Foolish decisions, a tiny glimmer of innocence and misguided choices surround the three girls as they find paths of discovery which are woven with danger. While I found their behavior too extreme for the typical teen, even in the days of flappers, the storyline held my interest and this same behavior made the book that much more interesting. However with that said, there is too much alcohol, sex, cigarettes and other elicit behavior for the younger teen readers. THIS IS MY WARNING,
PARENTS: Read this book first and have a conversation with your young reader.

Vixen is a solid debut novel, and definitely a strong beginning to The Flapper Series. Since the book ends on a cliff hanger with several questions left unanswered, the author makes it impossible for the reader not to rush out and buy the next one as soon as it is published. Watch for book two, Ingénue to come out in 2011.

*I received this ARC as part of the B&N First Look YA Book Club for the purpose of an unbiased review. I blog regularly at http://guiltyindulgencebookclub.blogs... and at http://www.theromancereviews.com/rpoma72.
Profile Image for Bonnie (A Backwards Story).
416 reviews224 followers
December 30, 2010
With another new year—-and decade-—upon us, I thought it would be a good time to look at a new book that takes place close to a century ago, during the Roaring '20s. (Can you believe it? Another decade and we'll have our own version of the 20s!) Debut author Jillian Larkin has released the first in her Flappers trilogy, Vixen. Told in three alternating points of view, the novel is pure historical fiction: we learn not only about flappers, as the series title suggests, but get a peek at what life during the Roaring '20s was like, from prohibition, speakeasies, and gangsters to fashionable clothing, hairstyles, and slang. There's a little bit of something for everyone, and Larkin paints a picture that makes it easy to picture the vibrant decade in the mind's eye. The book releases at a good time, too: HBO recently released aired the debut season of its latest TV hit, Boardwalk Empire, and fellow teen author Anna Godbersen (author of the popular historical series The Luxe) recently released a new book set in the same time period, Bright Young Things. There's also talk of a movie version of the musical The Drowsy Chaperone, which closed on Broadway about three years ago.

While I'm not normally a fan of novels with chapters that alternate POV, Larkin handles the shift well and such a break-up of the novel is necessary. The three main characters in the novel lead very different lives, and through each of them, we're able to flesh out different aspects of the decade. In fact, Clara steals the show despite the fact that her cousin Gloria is the "main character" of the novel. I found myself most eagerly looking forward to Clara's plotline as she tried to make a new, "regular" life for herself after previously being a flapper in one of the most notorious speakeasies. It is through Gloria and her friend, the scheming, back-biting Lorraine, that we experience teenagers going through rebellion as they try to grow up too fast and live glamorously--while, of course, hiding what they're doing from their parents and, in Gloria's case, fiancé. The novel ends with everything in flux, making it easy for readers to start looking forward to the release of 2011's Ingenue, coming out in August.

The Teen Section needs more historical fiction. So much of what's out there is war-based (and a lot of that revolves around the Holocaust). There is so much more that has happened and decades chock-full of stories waiting to be told. It's nice to see a niche forming for a decade that isn't heavily studied in school but still full of intrigue. I hope this trend continues and that period pieces are finally beginning to make their way back into fashion.

Profile Image for Alanna (The Flashlight Reader).
418 reviews77 followers
December 29, 2010
Speakeasies. Forbidden romance. Betrayal. Jillian Larkin’s novel Vixen has all of these elements and more! Vixen is the first novel in the new The Flappers series. In this book, Gloria, the beautiful protagonist, is out to claim her identity before her marriage to the prestigious Sebastian Grey. After one night at the speakeasy the Green Mill, Gloria finds herself changed, but she doesn’t know to what extent. Suddenly, she is more outspoken and mysteriously drawn to Jazz. With her friends Marcus and Lorraine, Gloria continues to frequent the Green Mill despite knowing that her fiancé and mother would be furious if they found out.

After several twists and turns (and sultry scenes) Gloria finds herself breaking every rule she has ever known. Her world is changing faster than she thought possible. Gloria starts sneaking out of her house to visit the forbidden speakeasy, protesting against the rules and her pretentious fiancé, and finds herself forming romantic feelings for the club’s taboo pianist, Jerome Johnson. Everything is working out for Gloria until someone betrays her. Could it be Lorraine, her insanely jealous, social-climbing best friend? Clara, her “sweeter than pie” cousin (with a dark secret) from Pennsylvania? Bastian, Gloria’s fiancé with a wicked alter-ego?

Larkin’s beautiful, descriptive language paints a beautiful setting of 1920s Chicago. Her writing style transports the reader to that fantastic era in American history. Capturing the allure of flappers, speakeasies and gangster-ruled Chicago is certainly one of Larkin’s writing strengths—along with the development of her characters. The passion between Gloria and Jerome is searing, and gives the reader goose bumps. But Jerome and Gloria aren’t the only characters shooting sparks. Readers can feel the passion between Marcus and Clara escalating.

The ending of Vixen will leave you with your mouth agape. Lies, scandal, murder, and shocking revelations leave Gloria racing towards a new chapter in her life, and embarking on a journey that no previous Chicago socialite has ever been a part of before. But Gloria isn’t the only character facing new adventures. Marcus and Clara have found the beginning of something wonderful, while Lorraine and Bastian are seething in the shadows of jealousy and revenge.

The next book in the series, Ingénue, (set to be published in August 2011) will surely be—as our young flappers would say—“totally Jake.”

This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Chelsea.
133 reviews58 followers
April 26, 2017

One of the things things that I was worried about going into this book was, it wouldn't live up to all of the hype that I've been hearing. I've heard so many good things about this book, I just hoped that it would be as good as everyone was saying, and to be honest it really was. There's very few books that are set during this time, so even just that makes it a good book, but Jillian uses the language from that time perfectly, and it really helped to convince me that it was 1920's and the flapper lifestyle was banned by prohibition.

I do like the way the book is set up. One chapter your reading about Gloria, the next about Lorraine, then the next about Clara. But there were times while I was reading that I felt I didn't want to know what was going on with Lorraine. I felt more of a connection and more of a concern of what was happening with Gloria and Clara. For awhile I just saw Lorraine as a girl who dressed as a slut who wanted Marcus Eastman. I found myself reading her parts faster because I just had to know what was happening with Gloria and Clara, but didn't want to miss if anything happened while she was around.

The ending is one that I did not see coming. I usually have this sense about how things are going to end, but with this one it kind of threw me for a loop. It does clear up a few questions that were brought up during the rest of the novel, but then it throws in a few more. I think that was a really good plan, because now I know I want to read the second one to see what happens, and I'm sure most people that liked the book will feel the same way. Now I am kind of dying to know if she's going to add the new character she did the epilogue with. Because that would make four people for the next novel, but it would also help to fill in some holes that I've found by running through the story in my mind and questions that I have about them.

Overall this was a really good book. I just couldn't get over the fact that Lorraine, even though her story was not meant to be, was boring and annoying to me. It was still an amazing read and should be read by anyone and everyone. I would recommend this book to someone that wants to read either a good book set in the 1920's or a really romantic mystery, or anyone just looking for a good read to be honest. So add this to your TBR list if you haven't already!
Profile Image for Debbie.
902 reviews166 followers
December 31, 2010
This book started off slow for me. I loved the whole flappers era aspect and how Gloria, Clara and Lorraine's forays into this underground environment varied so widely. The way it affects each of them is not exactly what you would expect given each girl's personality.

The characters

Gloria was your typical rich girl who was spoiled growing up and feels the need to rebel before she submits to a marriage of convenience. The main problem I had with her was that as the story progresses she decides she wants to become a jazz singer and is even willing to run away with a forbidden man and try to make it big in New York. This sudden desire seemed to come out of the blue and thrown in there simply to facilitate the forbidden romance. I would have liked to see some build up as to why she would want to become a singer in the first place.

Clara was probably my favorite character. She has a somewhat sordid past that she is sent to Chicago to try and runaway from the results of her actions. She reinvents herself as "country Clara" in order to try and right her life and I loved seeing how parts of her act truly reflect her character and she must grapple with finding the happy medium between her rebellious side and her softer side.

The romance

Despite the whole singing career aspirations coming out of nowhere I did like the build up of Gloria's fascination with Jerome, an African American piano player in a speak easy. You are kept guessing if she is really willing to give up everything and face a life of recrimination if she were to pursue a romance with Jerome. For Jerome, he would also face a tough future as white people would distrust his presence with a white girl and his own family and friends would judge him for dating a white girl. Seeing if the two were really willing to make that huge leap was one of the things that kept me reading.

The story line

The story started off slow but the ending is what grabbed me. When Gloria and Jerome's romance is betrayed you are kept guessing who was the one who turned them in. Was it Clara? Lorraine? Someone else? The ending will leave you hanging and wanting to know what happens to each of the characters in the next book.
Profile Image for Nancy.
473 reviews10 followers
December 29, 2010
The more I read this, the more I realized Vixen sounded like Anna Godbersen's The Luxe, apart from the 1920's setting, that is. But whereas Godbsersen failed (IMHO) to deliver her characters, the storyline, and all the scandalous details, Jillian Larkin manages to entice her readers and throw us into the mysterious, dangerous, and ultimately, very sexy world of the Flappers.

The storyline was very driven, and scandalous. I found myself eagerly flipping the pages, wondering what juicy bits Larkin was going to spoil me with. I saw a lot of things coming (as I did with The Luxe) but that didn't take the fun away from reading this.

The characters were all socialites, but they had their distinctive personalities as well that made me like them despite everything. Take Lorraine, for instance. I would have hated her, but Larkin's characterization of Lorraine really showed depth and the kind of turmoil she was in. Lorraine was always brimming with jealousy, she was clingy, she was a mess but she was also bold and venturesome, and I admired her for her ability to just pick herself up after a fall. Lorraine was more than the in-your-face and annoying villain driven by love and hatred, after all. The Luxe never achieved that deeper level of self and development that I really hoped for, but this book really nailed some of the inner conflicts, and the intricate relationships the characters shared with family and friends.

The 20's were such an amazing time period to write about! Larkin does extremely well in taking her readers into the dark and dangerous rooms of speakeasies, to the imagery of the independent Flappers with their bobs and luxuriously puffing on cigarettes. Seriously, I could imagine every scenario, right down to the magnificent confidence Gloria must have exuded when she made her short-lived debut at the underground bar.

Overall, Vixen was full of juicy scandal, but at the same time, manages to deliver refreshing characters with development, and yes, a ridiculous amount of expected romance. Of course, I fairly enjoyed that last part. With that said, how torturous is it that Larkin is going to make me wait till August 2011 for the next installment??? Argh!

(ARC received through Random House.)
Profile Image for Josie.
1,395 reviews29 followers
August 27, 2012
What a setting! 1920s Chicago, speakeasies, jazz, gangsters -- it's all there. Shame about the characters, though. They were all so one-dimensional that I couldn't bring myself to care about any of them. Clara was the most interesting, and I genuinely did love her backstory and was rooting for her the whole way through. But Gloria was bland and unlikeable, and as for Lorraine -- what a trainwreck. I can't understand why she and Gloria were ever friends. There was nothing to expain that. Oh, and Jerome -- why did Gloria ever fall in love with him? Was it seriously just because he looked at her across a crowded room? I cannot invest in a romance if there's no reason for it. He was mean to her, how ~hawt. I don't think so.

Other than that, this is just typical YA fare with an overuse of the word "flapper". There were whole paragraphs that read a bit like this: "She put on her flapper dress and flapper headband and some vampy makeup. Now she looked like a true flapper! She went to the speakeasy where all the other flappers were hanging out and ordered a dirty martini from the bar since that was a flapper drink. She felt very flapper-esque!" Which made me want to bang my head against a wall. WE GET IT ALREADY, SHE'S A FLAPPER.

The ending was all over the place.
Profile Image for Angie.
356 reviews905 followers
April 7, 2011
Well... I must say that the first half of the book was cute but only so-so. The end of the book was great though! All of a sudden the story really took off. I have to say it was kinda daring for the author to talk about an interracial relationship that took place in the 1920s. I will be curious in future books to see just how accurate to history the author stays. At first I wasn't going to read the sequel but now I am for sure! ! I gave it three stars only because the first half of the book was a little but of slow.

Profile Image for Ravenclaw251.
474 reviews25 followers
November 17, 2018
I wanted a change of pace and something just to get my mind off of things, but this wasn't it.
I wasn't a fan of the writing. I felt it was a lot of description and I just wanted it to get to the point. The main character, Gloria, just came off to me as trying too hard, and I really just wasn't a fan.
Profile Image for Natasa.
1,179 reviews
June 7, 2019
I simply couldn't find anything redeeming about this novel. The characters are shallow. The setting feels like the interchangeable dresses you put on a paper doll. The dialogue is simple.
Profile Image for Lena ♫ ♪ .
278 reviews46 followers
November 29, 2010
I loved the setting, the concept, and the era, but honestly? I don't think this is the book for me. Don't get me wrong. This book is well-written, thought out, and even has a bit of mystery/suspense behind it, however, I just couldn't get into.

To start off, I didn't like any of the main characters. As you can see, the book is told in three separate, yet connected points of view. First, Gloria. Gloria is the "it" girl. The girl who has it all. She's engaged to Sebastian (the hottest bachelor in town), her family is wealthy, and she has looks others would kill for. The catch with her is, even though her family resembles a Norman Rockwell painting, they're anything but that. Plus, she suffers from rebellious rich girl syndrome. What I mean by this is, she may have everything girls dream of having, yet she still wants to be a Flapper. Flappers are notorious for being "easy" party girls. To top that off, she starts falling for a black singer from the the most notorious big easy in town, the Green Mill.

While Gloria seems like she would be a likable character, she's anything but. I absolutely HATED the way she treated her friends and Clara. She judged her cousin before she got to know her. Honestly, I just can't stand users and to me, Gloria is a user.

Then there's Lorraine. She's Gloria's best friend and town trouble maker. This girl will do anything to catch anybody's attention, but who's attention does she want most? Marcus, also known as the town heartbreaker. Sadly, Marcus is too wrapped up in his life to notice her. I don't blame Lorraine for being the way she is. If my best friend was always the center of attention, I'd be jealous too. The thing is, she's never happy for anyone. And, believe me, this girl isn't afraid to be cruel.

Last but not least, Clara. Out of all the girls, Clara is my favorite. She's the Flapper from New York who moved to Chicago to stay with her cousin, Gloria, and stay out of trouble. At first, she begins to act saintly. If you act like an angel, you'll be become one, right? The last thing she wants is to get involved with a guy. She suffered enough heartache back in New York. To top of this off, the main reason she's in Chicago is to make sure Gloria marries Sebastian. If this doesn't happen, then Clara will be on a one way ticket to boarding school. The only problem I really had with Clara is, she's just such a poseur sometimes. Her true self will escape every now and then, but still. I get why Clara pretends to be this perfect angel, but I why can't someone just be a better version of themself?

What did me in with this book was the lack of romance. There was NO chemistry with any of the characters. At one point, I just expected each character to complain for a few pages about about something, then move on to the next chapter where the next narrator begins complaining.

Overall, I did enjoy the writing and the setting, but as I said, this just wasn't the book for me. The boys are bastards, the girls are biatches and the pacing was slow.

**This review can also be found here: http://addicted2novels.blogspot.com/2...
Profile Image for Amy.
109 reviews
July 17, 2015
Novels set in the early 1900s are my kryptonite. Vixen was no exception. It was glamorous, scandalous and “absolutely gorgeous, darling!” Sorry. It had to be done.

Gloria Carmody has it all: wealth, looks, a stunning voice, not to mention a rich, handsome fiancée, Sebastian Grey, scion of one of Chicago’s most powerful families. To the surprise of Gloria’s jealous, social-climbing best friend, Lorraine Dyer, Gloria isn’t happy with her life. She wants the flapper lifestyle – the bobbed hair, cigarettes, and music-filled nights. It’s just too bad for Gloria that her mother has brought in Clara Knowles, Gloria’s goody-two-shoes cousin, to ensure that the wedding runs smoothly, and that Gloria doesn’t step out of line. But Gloria is determined not to let her party days to slip away before they’ve even begun, and with Lorraine’s envy spilling over into a desperate state, it seems that no one is safe. Not to mention the fact that Clara isn’t exactly as lily-white as she appears, and has some dirty little secrets of her own that she’ll do anything to keep hidden…

Okay, so I’m going to be completely honest here and admit that the cover was what made me buy the book. Not the cover as much as the blurb on the back: “Young. Wealthy. Defiant. Beautiful. Dangerous. It’s 1923… And Anything Goes.” And then this quote from the dust cover: “Jazz… Booze… Boys… It’s a dangerous combination.” So let’s just give a round of applause to whomever came up with those quotes (as well as the Exclusive Books Winter Sale) for making me abandon my two rules of: a) never judge a book by its cover, and b) never buy anything unless you’ve read the first couple of pages (duh, to check if the author can actually write a book, because I have suffered through way too many books with potential, but the author messed it up with their terrible writing style). Well, I did it. I judged. And I loved it.

Let me make this quick and simple:
Storyline: 4* - at times it tended to drag on a bit (understandably – most books do - but this would have to be at Hunger Games level for five stars)
Writing: 3* - the writing sometimes tended to have a bit of an amateur touch, but was overall pretty good
Characters: 5* - wow, I loved them. They were relatable, cute, funny, and daring. Everything that 1920s flappers should be.

So overall, Vixen scored a fabulous four-out-of-five.

I recommend it to everyone who loved The Great Gatsby (yes, even those of you who only watched the movie… You’ve got to start somewhere, right?) And if you didn’t like The Great Gatsby… Well, you obviously need to go read/watch it again.

Check out my blog at http://www.amybouwer.blogspot.com to read more of my reviews and blogs!
Profile Image for Bird.
780 reviews27 followers
December 7, 2010
Kudos to this book for not shying away from controversial subjects - sex, smoking, underage drinking (during Prohibition, no less). So many YA authors seem nervous about including those things in their books, probably from the backlash that will inevitably arise from conservative parents/teachers.

The only YA I usually read is paranormal, so this was a bit different from me. However, I loved the world of the 1920's, and didn't mind the lack of the supernatural at all.

In short....
The Good - strong plot, lots of realistic time period details
The Bad - stereotypical and disagreeable characters, choppy narration style

The book is narrated by three characters. It's nice to get the viewpoint from the three main players, but at the same time there are definite limitations. Many times a character's "chapter" will end on a bit of a cliffhanger, and you then have to read through the next two chapters (narrated by the other characters) until returning to the original cliffhanger. But by that time, the cliffhanger events have passed, so rather than seeing it firsthand, the reader only sees snatches of it when the character "thinks back." Or it isn't revisited at all through that character's eyes again, and is instead viewed by another character. A bit anticlimactic.

But my main caveat is that the characters were all horribly stereotypical, and extremely unlikeable. Gloria, the overly privileged teenager who is sure that happiness resides outside of her wealthy world and with some handsome, troubled man. Lorraine, the best friend tired of going unnoticed by everyone, who tries too hard and resents Gloria for having so easily what Lorraine feels she'll never have. Clara, a girl with a troubled past, who pretends to be someone else, then worries if a boy will ever like her for who she truly is. Then there are some dangerous mobsters, an overbearing, fortune-hunting mother, etc.

I could maybe overlook this if all of the characters together had even one redeeming quality. Alas, that was not the case. Everyone was deceitful and selfish, worrying only about their own wants/needs and not worrying how that would affect those around them. (Or worrying only superficially.) This is why I tend to avoid most YA that isn't fantasy/paranormal, because then the focus tends to be a Gossip Girl-esque parade of bratty girls rather than a story with an actual plot.

This story did have a solid plot, and moved along nicely, but I didn't really care what happened to any of the characters by the end of the novel. Good plotting isn't enough to make me overlook horrible characters. I won't be continuing on with the series.
Profile Image for Annette.
923 reviews26 followers
April 25, 2012
Vixen is a very entertaining historical fiction about society life in the 1920s.

Gloria is a rich, society girl engaged to be married to a proper, rich gentleman.

Clara is Gloria's cousin, who arrives from Pennsylvania to help plan the wedding.

Lorraine is Gloria's best friend.

These teens have big secrets they are keeping from each other. There's deception after deception, backstabbing, jealousy, and devious plots ending up in what can only be described as a hot mess for all of them.

The males in the story also add much color. Marcus is probably in love with Gloria, although they are more like brother and sister, and Lorraine is secretly head over heals for him. Sebastian is the fiancée, and he's a cad. Jerome is the forbidden love...especially since he's black.

The depiction of the 1920s was very interesting. Each of these girls are pushing the limits -- wanting more freedom to enjoy the flapper life with all the alcohol and gangsters that come along with it. It's prohibition, and proper girls don't cut their hair, drink alcohol, wear tight dresses with lots of make up, or visit speak-easies. Or do they?

Can you blame them? They are seventeen years old (sometimes I forgot they were that young) and they are being forced into engagements and boring, quiet lives where women are to be seen and not heard. It's not hard to imagine their wanting more from life.Oh, what a tangled and dangerous path they end up taking to get a taste of this unattainable life.

Larkin's pacing in Vixen is excellent. There is always something happening to one of these girls that will keep you on the edge of your seat. The multiple narrators work very well. I felt I got to know each of the girls very well via this technique. I learned some things about the roaring 20s, and really enjoyed being immersed in that time period. I had no idea that flappers wrapped their breasts to make them flat. I just thought it was the cut of the dresses that made them look that way -- but they worked for that flat-chested look!

Vixen ramped up the tension until the very end, where there was some resolution, but we're still left desperately wanting more. And thank goodness, I already have Ingenue, the next book. I also have an ARC of Diva, the third book in The Flappers series, so I'm hoping to read both of those soon.

Teen girls who love romantic adventure, even if they aren't into historical fiction, will love Vixen. This is a rollicking romp through a unique period in history as well. I thoroughly enjoyed Vixen, and will recommend it widely.
Profile Image for Maree.
803 reviews24 followers
August 23, 2011
A solid book, a lot more adult than I expected from reading the premise. These aren't silly high society girls who dream of nothing more than marrying rich eligible young men (though they may start out as such) but real characters with pasts and futures that aren't at all so pretty.

The book hops around between three girls, Clara, the former New York flapper who got into a heap of trouble and is now playing the good country girl at her cousin Gloria's. Her cousin is engaged to a handsome old money man who she feels nothing for, and cuts her hair in a bob and starts going out to the speakeasy for prohibition drinks. Her best friend Lorraine cannot get the man she wants, and is out partying and drinking way too much with men who make her feel desirable to feel better about it.

Lorraine has some true problems and doesn't come off as a particularly nice character, but someone who is always in Gloria's shadow and resents it. Her trouble is motivated by personal selfishness, which makes the reader pity her but not particularly like her.

Gloria's romance was a little dull for me too, one of those 'glance across the room and feel the sparks' kind of romance that has very little basis. The fact that she's a society white woman and he's a black man does make it interesting, but very little happens in regard to the race issue in this book, though it's well set up to cause a stir in the next.

Clara's story was the one I liked the best, from her started faux romance with Marcus to her recent past which of course has to come back to haunt her. She's a self-assured flapper having fun being the good girl now, and I was surprised that she didn't have any thoughts about how boring that life was compared to her old one.

Overall, the three girls' stories were interwoven well and it was a fun but quick read.
Profile Image for Derya.
Author 21 books112 followers
July 9, 2013
Gloria, Clara ve Lorraine‘in 1923 Chicago‘sunda partiler, erkekler ve sırlarla dolu yaşamları.

1920‘lerde hükümet tarafından yasaklanan alkol, dünyanın en meşhur gangsterlerinden Al Capone‘un yasadışı alkol ticaretiyle zirveye yükselmesine, hatta TIME dergisinin kapağına çıkmasına kadar varan bir dizi olayla sonuçlanmıştı. Çünkü yasaklar daima cezbeder ve insanları ne kadar yasaklarla dize getirmeye çalışırsan, o kadar kontrol edemeyeceğin ve neticede pişmanlık duyacağın olaylarla karşılaşırsın. İşte 1923‘de geçen Vixen/Fettan‘da mafyanın işlettiği gece kulüplerinde alkol su gibi akıyor, dönemin tutucu kesiminin şiddetle kınadığı jazz müzik icra ediliyor, kısacık saçları ve havalı elbiseleriyle flapper‘lar gönüllerince eğleniyorlar.

"Kendinde bir şeylerin değiştiğini hissedebiliyordu, içinden karanlık bir şey yükseliyor, yüzeye çıkmak için önüne gelen her şeyi bastırıyordu. Sesinde yeni bir enerjiyle, ‘Pekala, o halde,’ dedi. ‘Haydi gidip kafayı bulalım.’"

Mafya babası Al Capone ve flapper’ların idolü Zelda Fitzgerald (F. Scott Fitzgerald‘ın eşi) kitapta karakter olarak yer almasalar da yazar isimlerini anmadan geçmiyor. Al Capone’un masasında takılan yeniyetme gangster Carlito Macharelli aslında kitabın tek gangsteri. Bunun yanı sıra, birbirinden farklı karakterlere ve geçmişlere sahip Marcus, Bastian ve Jerome isimli gençler kitabın erkekler klubünü oluşturuyorlar.

Jilian Larkin‘in dönemin ruhunu yansıtmaya gayret eden romanı, zaman zaman heyecanı artırmak için ucuz trüklere başvursa da kendini kısa sürede okutmayı ve okuyucusunu eğlendirmeyi başarıyor.

Profile Image for Cacey Hopper.
Author 4 books7 followers
December 29, 2011
I gave this one two stars, which was generous, believe me. The two stars are simply for the obvious research the author put into the twenties era. She goes to great lengths to describe everything, from the clothing, makeup, hairstyles, to the speakeasies. But, in my opinion, she should have spent an equal amount of time developing her characters. They are flat and one dimensional (if that). They change personalities from one chapter to the next. I suppose some people would say this is how characters evolve through the story telling, but it didn't come off this way in this book.

One of my biggest pet peeves with novels, and their characters, is the characters doing things for no reason. They magically fall in love with another character...why? Oh just because. Drives me nuts. Tell me why they're love! In this book one of the main characters sees a pianist in a club and falls head over heels. The first few times they speak he's mean and harsh to her. Of course that makes her love him even more! Stupid.

And that about sums it up: stupid.
Profile Image for Christine (KizzieReads).
1,287 reviews87 followers
April 15, 2017
Well, this one surprised me very much. I was expecting another story of rich girls wanting a part of the darker side of life in 1920's Chicago. What I got was a much more richer story and what a wicked twist at the end. The writing was very fast paced, and very intriguing. I can't wait to read the second book, as I really want to see where it takes me.
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