The Luxe

Paperback | September 23, 2008

byAnna Godbersen

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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, suddenly everyone—from the backstabbing socialite Penelope Hayes, to the debonair bachelor Henry Schoonmaker, to the spiteful maid Lina Broud—threatens Elizabeth's and Diana's golden future.

With the fate of the Hollands resting on her shoulders, Elizabeth must choose between family duty and true love. But when her carriage overturns near the East River, the girl whose glittering life lit up the city's gossip pages is swallowed by the rough current. As all of New York grieves, some begin to wonder whether life at the top proved too much for this ethereal beauty, or if, perhaps, someone wanted to see Manhattan's most celebrated daughter disappear...

In a world of luxury and deception, where appearance matters above everything and breaking the social code means running the risk of being ostracized forever, five teenagers lead dangerously scandalous lives. This thrilling trip to the age of innocence is anything but innocent.

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From the Publisher

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 Yor...

Anna Godbersen was born in Berkeley, California, and educated at Barnard College. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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see all books by Anna Godbersen
Format:PaperbackDimensions:464 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 1.05 inPublished:September 23, 2008Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0061345687

ISBN - 13:9780061345685

Appropriate for ages: 13 - 17


Rated 4 out of 5 by from Balls, gowns, and scandals This is one of those guilty pleasure books. There is something compelling about the catty girl drama as they fight over boys and struggle to live their lives for others and themselves. Admittedly it was a little slow to start, but before I could recognize it, I was hooked on the characters and plot and found myself racing through it. It is quite a consumable series. There seems to be a character for everyone- if you dislike one you are bound to find someone you do relate to. Godbersen provides a variety of personalities in her cast. When you chose your favorite, all you’ll want is to see them reach their fairytale ending. If this book is missing something, it would have to be substance to sink your teeth into. No hidden messages or lessons to learn from. …However it is still quite an entertaining ride! I would not call it literature, but is a bundle of fun- especially for those who are drawn to luxurious lives of pretty, young women. If balls, gowns, and scandals tickle your fancy, then this is a good fit.
Date published: 2012-11-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Exciting I am really not into gossipy type books but this one really intrigued me ti was amazing on the story line. Elizabeth falling in love with someone else while women fight for her fiance. Its like spicy syrup.....dont ask why.
Date published: 2012-08-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Historical Gossip Girl For someone like me who likes the high school chick flicks and historical fictions, this was the perfect fix. It started off a little slow but it got better with time. Toward the end it was quite exciting. It was a thick book but I flew through it in no time. In fact I found it a little addicting at points. In brief, I thought this book was written acceptably, had good plot points, and above all, was very enjoyable.
Date published: 2010-07-31
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Good story line This book had a good story line, but the writing wasn't very effective. It was a little bit boring and too descriptive. The story moved very slowly.
Date published: 2010-04-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Gossip Girl in the late 1800's This book is very gossip girl meets the private series, so if you liked any of those books, i would highly suggest picking this series up! It takes place in Manhatten during the late 1800's. The book settles around the Holland family, meaning Elizabeth and Diana Holland. They grow up in a world where you are either filthy rich or dirt poor. Life for the rich is gossip, love, betrayals, "friendships" and lots of trouble. The book revolves around the fact that the Holland family are going to loose everything they own and the life they have ever known due to the fact that their father died. Know it's up to the girls to try and prevent this downfall from riches to rags. So can they do it? Pick yourself up a copy and find out.
Date published: 2009-11-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Luxe The lives of Manhattan’s finest sisters, Elizabeth and Diana Holland, take a turn for the worst when their money finally disappears. They try to keep the secret concealed, but their mother arranges a wedding for Elizabeth, forcing her to marry notorious bachelor and socialite Henry Schoonmaker, in order to save her family from lower class. The only problem is that they both love someone else. Soon enough the secret of the not-so-in-love lovers and the Holland family’s money reaches a powerful upper class socialite, who uses her new found information to arrange the death of a dear friend of hers, none other than Elizabeth. As New York buzzes of Elizabeth’s death, some start rumours wondering if she really did die or if it was just a hoax....
Date published: 2009-10-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great! Very Gossip Girl (Cecily von Ziegesar) meets Gemma Doyle (Libba Bray) meets Private (Kate Brian). I'd reccomend this to anyone looking for a tale of the fabulous Upper-East-Siders with a dash of mystery and 19th-century intrigue. Book cover is fabulous!
Date published: 2009-10-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved it! I really really enjoyed this book. If you’re looking for a romance novel filled with drama, gossip, betrayal then this is it. It kind of reminds me of the Blue Bloods series but minus the vampires and this is set in the 1800’s. At times it was a bit slow but I didn't mind it. I highly recommend!
Date published: 2009-09-18
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Perhaps this series is more for a younger crowd. I really had plans to get into this series. I picked up both Luxe and Rumors, intending to give it a go. But I just couldn't get into it. I kept putting it down, and had to force myself to pick it back up again. I found nothing about these girls that I could empathize with and want to get to know them better. They just seemed spoiled, always getting their way, with little in their heads but what they wanted. There have been many references to Gossip Girl and this series. Maybe the same audience would be more willing to get into this book. But I am definately not one of them. These two books will be going to the second-hand bookstore.
Date published: 2009-07-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Starts slow... A story that focuses on 3 socialite elites from 1899 Manhattan: prim and proper Elizabeth Holland and her wild, radical sister Diana, and the deviously beautiful Penelope Hayes, Elizabeth's 'frenemy.' Who will land the catch of the year, Mr. Henry Schoonmaker? What secrets are being hidden? And trust me, everyone has secrets here. My main issue with this book is how long it seems to take for the action to start. While I understand the necessity of backstory and lead-up, it shouldn't take three-quarters of the book to do so. However, the last 100 pages did capture my interest, and the second two books look intriguing enough to be worth the read. Definitely not a book that grabbed my attention right from the start, definitely not one that I couldn't put down, and like another reviewer said, I really wanted to like it more than I did, but still worth the read, especially if you like reading about historical social norms and customs.
Date published: 2009-04-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An excellent start to an excellent series! This book was truely amazing. It reminds me of Gossip GIrl... but in the 1800s. lol! I have so far read the first two books in this series and highly suggest both of them.
Date published: 2009-03-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Series! This a fun and exciting series full of gossip, romance, intrigue and betrayal. Placed in the late 1800's, this book is easily read and leaves you wanting more, including beautiful silk dresses and horse drawn carriages. The second book was equally enticing. Looking forward to reading the third installment.
Date published: 2009-03-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from What a luxe! Just like many of the readers, I was drawn to this book because of its beautiful cover! And I’m glad the story delivered. Anna Godbersen takes you back to New York in the late 19th century. She gives you the pleasure of being part of an elite you wish you had been part of. The story tells you what it was like for the rich and beautiful of Manhattan’s elite in the year 1899. Of course, these families and their members are full of secrets and always hiding something. But they always look their best and smiles are all they give you. The story focuses on the life of Elizabeth Holland and those around her: her mother and younger sister Diana (who I really hope comes back in Rumors (book #2)); her husband to be, the most handsome young single of Manhattan’s high society, Henri Schoonmaker, and her « best friend » Penelope Hayes. Without forgetting her one true love Will. Imagine yourself wearing one of these big beautiful gowns from back then, made with tons of tissues and silks coming all the way from Europe and elsewhere. And just walk into one of the glittering parties held in these beautiful mansions covered in art. You’ll be surrounded by drama and scandals, by desires and betrayals, you definitely don’t see nowadays. And don’t forget that your coach driver is waiting for you at the entrance to take you back home whenever you want. It’s a fast read. It flows very nicely and although there are a couple of parts in the story that can get a little predictable, the conclusion is definitely a twist you won’t expect coming. It may also leave you with some cliffhangers, but I’m hoping they’ll be covered in Rumors and/or Envy. I definitely recommend this book. You’ll be certainly entertained and taken to a beautiful place.
Date published: 2009-03-10
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good Teen romance The fact that we are told the main character is dead right from the first page only served to make the story more intriguing. The clincher is the absolutely gorgeous frothy pink dress on the cover. Yes, eventually the dress is described within the context of the story. Its picture is better than described. - This is a nice teenage romance without all the gushy kissing and other icky stuff (oh wait, that would be if it were aimed at pre-teens). Not as much character development as I would like in an adult novel, but perfect for the teen reader. - To find out more about this book and the following ones in the series, be sure to check out the official website . You can enter contests as well as learn about life in 1900 New York City. the
Date published: 2009-03-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved It I love this book. I like how it is in the past yet it is really exciting and people are always betraying each other. It make it more exciting to know that you never know who will betray elizabeth next (Diana, Penelope, or Henry) I love this book.
Date published: 2008-11-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Addictive and Compelling The Luxe centres on a group of beautiful and privileged teenagers in 1899 Manhattan. The Luxe is not another story about spoiled adolescents spending money on designer everything and having casual sex with anyone. The world of Luxe is glamorous and seductive, dangerous and mysterious but with a strong emotional core. At its heart, the Luxe is about discovering that true happiness come not with grand mansions and the ‘right’ connections, but from being true to your heart and the love you’ve found. Truly an addictive book, I stayed up late many nights reading it.When I finished, I literally left the house in half an hour to buy its sequel, Rumors. Coming in January, is the third book in the series, Envy, and I will be first in line for a copy.
Date published: 2008-11-01

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Editorial Reviews

“Mystery, romance, jealousy, betrayal, humor, and gorgeous, historically accurate details. I couldn’t put The Luxe down!”