The Luxe by Anna GodbersenThe Luxe by Anna Godbersen

The Luxe

byAnna Godbersen

Paperback | September 23, 2008

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The Luxe is the first book in the New York Times bestselling Luxe series by Anna Godbersen.

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.

Pretty girls in pretty dresses, partying until dawn. Irresistible boys with mischievous smiles and dangerous intentions. White lies, dark secrets, and scandalous hook-ups. 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...

“Mystery, romance, jealous, betrayal, humor, and gorgeous, historically accurate details. I couldn’t put The Luxe down!” —Cecily von Ziegesar, author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Gossip Girl series

Anna Godbersen was born in Berkeley, California, and educated at Barnard College. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Title:The LuxeFormat: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 3 out of 5 by from Bit slow, but a good Victorian-era novel A good intro to the series, as it starts to explore each character and introduce the drama that centers around them. However, the pace was a bit slow and I felt compelled to skim ahead at times. Otherwise, the writing is well done as the description and scenery gives off Victorian-era vibes. I recommend that you only pick this up if you're interested in reading the whole series, as otherwise it'd feel incomplete.
Date published: 2018-07-30
Rated 1 out of 5 by from I really wanted to enjoy the book Honestly, I'm 1/3 of the way in and hoping to return the book. I have no sympathy for the characters and the plot hasn't even started yet. But the covers are pretty if that matters.
Date published: 2018-07-02
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Couldn't Finish It I really enjoy reading novels set in past eras, but this book was just not to my liking. It was really slow and I felt like I couldn't really connect with any of the characters. Kinda disappointed.....
Date published: 2018-01-11
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Boring characters, tragic story The story was somewhat interesting in the romance department, but the characters were not very sympathetic. They were all so fake, and some of them simply revolting. It was a characteristic that they valued, being able to be proper no matter what they actually felt, but it was all very tragic. The only characters I could feel for were Diana and Will, although Will wasn't even a very big character. And sometimes Elizabeth, she was one of the most fake of all, but she was trapped, and she followed her heart in the end. I even felt for Henry on occasion. He had a lot of issues but he was never fake. But Diana was the only good character, really. The forbidden love stories held my attention, since I wanted Elizabeth and Diana to get the men they wanted, and that was my main reason for continuing to read. In the end it was sent in the right direction, but ended too quickly to find out if they would actually find happiness or not. I assume that was to get us to read the next book. But since this barely held my attention, I didst want to bother reading the next one without knowing if it would be worth it. So I read the summaries of the rest of the series, and I don't think I will bother. It sounds like just a lot more idiocy, and not all is well for Diana and Elizabeth.
Date published: 2018-01-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved this series I loved this series. It is very much like a victorian gossip girl. Very dramatic, romantic and exciting.
Date published: 2017-11-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from such a good series victorian era gossip girl #plumreview
Date published: 2017-11-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Luxe Just really entertaining, with beautiful clothes, some melodrama, and outstanding romances, especially Henry and Diana. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-07-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Slow and Sleepy I think The Luxe's biggest weakness is that it moves along at a snail's pace. I understand that this is largely due to the atmosphere and the time frame that the story takes place in - and despite its slowness it still manages to be a quick and easy read - but ultimately, the whole thing was just rather sleepy.
Date published: 2017-06-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Really glad I purchased this! I read the entire Luxe series (four books) in five days! I found myself growing attached to the Holland sisters and I couldn't put the book down until I found out what would happen to them. I would definitely recommend this book!
Date published: 2017-05-21
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Light reading. If Gossip Girl had lived in the era of Edith Wharton. 'The Luxe' has no real depth and characters are all slightly unidimensional but overall an enjoyable summer read.
Date published: 2017-05-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great! Like gossip girl but set in the early 1900's. Great beach read!
Date published: 2017-02-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from As lovely as the cover This was an enjoyable read, I ate this right up in one sitting, could not wait to get the second in the series. These books are my guily pleasures
Date published: 2017-01-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Perfect This series is good, exciting and different. Could not put it down.
Date published: 2016-12-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love Read this first book of the series months ago. Picked up the other three last week, and I've read all of them! A very easy read with all the plot twists... My heart is still breaking after the second book though :(
Date published: 2016-12-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Really good Not what I thought it was goin going to be, so many twists and turns but so good.
Date published: 2016-12-07
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

Editorial Reviews

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