I was attracted to this book first by it's pretty cover. I'm a sucker for nice covers. But how can you not fall in love with this cover? The blurb also hooked me. Surprisingly though, it gives very little description of the actual book. It's a device that can be effective and ineffective. It worked for "The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas." And it worked with "The Luxe." Here is a description of Anna Godbersen's first Luxe novel.
Imagine, if you will, New York City, 1899...
Society's elite: the glamour, the grandeur, the glittering parties, the most handsome beaus, the most beautiful debutantes ...the rich girl, the humble boy, the forbidden love, the hushed whispers, the stolen glances, the whispers, the scandal, the mystery, the revenge...You are cordially invited to step into 'The Luxe', where the secrets are dark and the sins are delicious ...R.S.V.P.
I don't know what my expectations of this book were. It comes across as a girly book because of the cover but that was all I knew about it. "The Luxe" started off by revealing the ending. I didn't like this because it made the idea of reading the book seem pointless. I trudged onwards though. The plot itself was actually quite good. There were a few problems and predicaments but nothing that was too difficult. It was an easy story to follow.
I liked the characters because it shows how appearances can be deceiving. You may never truly know a person as closely as you think. However, I disliked the name of the main male character "Schoonmaker." I kept misreading it as a swoon. It just seemed too obvious. The main female character, Elizabeth Holland, was a seemingly perfect character, unless you know her well enough. My favourite character was her younger sister Dianna. She didn't mind not following protocol and I loved this. I think I just love rebels.
The story is meant to be set in 1899 but I highly doubt that this book stuck to what would have been accurate in 1899. It seems too modern. But that doesn't really detract fromt the story because I don't really consider it to be historical fiction. It just seems like normal fiction to me.
This book didn't score too well on hookability for me. It could be because I was busy but I didn't feel myself drawn to the book. It was one I was easily able to put down. I made it to the end, but it took a few days.
Plot: 9/10 Easy enough to follow.
Characters: 8/10 Lost marks for what I consider silly names.
Hookability (ability to keep you reading): 7/10 I made it but it was a struggle.