The Luxe and Rumors by Anna Godbersen – Review

The Luxe books

The Luxe books

Think Gossip Girl meets turn of the century. All of the fabulous balls, gorgeous gowns, gossip, scandal and secrets that you  love in early 1900s New York City.

The story starts out with Elizabeth Holland’s funeral. She was the “it” girl and all of the who’s who has come out in fabulous style to see and be seen. (and to grieve of course) There is Penelope Hayes. Penelope is the exotic, nouveau riche best friend of Elizabeth.  We are also introduced to the very rich playboy Henry Schoonmaker whom Elizabeth was to wed on the very day of her funeral. Lastly we are introduced to Elizabeth’s younger, unconventional sister Diana who hurries down the aisle, unable to conceal the smile on her face.

The story then goes back several months so that we learn the events that unfold up to the funeral. I was hooked from the very beginning. Friends who aren’t really your friends. Backstabbing, lies, betrayals. The Luxe has it all. I have also read Rumors which tells the story of the aftermath of Elizabeth’s funeral and specifically about her sister Diana but I don’t want to give too much away because that would ruin book one for you. Let’s just say it keeps getting better and better.

Actually, now that I think about it, to compare these books to Gossip Girl is unfair. These books are much much better. I look forward to reading the 3rd book in the series.

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“Books May Well Be The Only True Magic” – Alice Hoffman

2008 Year End Review
Number of Books Read: 100
First Book Read:
Confessor by Terry Goodkind
Last Book Read: The Magicians and Mrs. Quent by Galen Beckett

Top 10 Books Read
• The Book of Lost Things – John Connolly
• The Sugar Queen – Sarah Addison Allen
• The Secret History of the Pink Carnation – Lauren Willig
• I, Coriander – Sally Gardner
• The Monsters of Templeton – Lauren Groff
• The Confession of Max Tivoli – Andrew Sean Greer
• The Magicians and Mrs.Quent – Galen Beckett
• The Sweet Far Thing – Libba Bray
• Breaking Dawn – Stephanie Meyer
• Swallowing Darkness – Laurell K. Hamilton

Top 10 Worst Books Read
• Cruel Summer – Allison Noel
• Queen of Dragons – Shana Abe
• Star-Crossed – Linda Collison
• Looking Glass Wars – Frank Beddor
• Orphans of Chaos – John C. Wright
• In the Forest of the Night – Amelia Atwater Rhodes
• Any Given Doomsday – Lori Handeland
• Rumor of Gems – Ellen Steiber
• Saving Juliet – Suzanne Selfors
• Accordion Crimes – E. Annie Proulx

I read 1 less book this year than last year. That is pretty good considering I promised myself in 2008 that if I did not like a book by page 100, I would stop reading it and not include it on my list of books read. So there are quite a few of those in additon to the 100 I actually completed. I definitely found some new favorite authors this year like Lauren Willig, Sarah Gardner, Lauren Groff and Andrew Sean Greer. I also read quite a few stinkers which is why I added the Top 10 Worst Books Read list.

Must Reads of 2009

I keep adding more and more books but here are the 20 books that I absolutely will be reading this year. I also plan to read more books that I actually own and stop borrowing from Kenci and the library so much. Even though I got my beautiful new bookcases, they are all full so I have to thin the herd especially since the library book sale is coming up at the end of February.

• The Girl Who Chased the Moon – Sarah Addison Allen
• The Swan Thieves – Elizabeth Kostova
• New Amsterdam – Elizabeth Bear
• The Temptation of the Night Jasmine – Lauren Willig (Pink Carnation Book 5)
• The Court of the Air – Stephen Hunt
• Ladies of Grace Adieu – Susanna Clarke
• The Story Sisters – Alice Hoffman
• Delicate Edible Birds – Lauren Groff
• Nocturnes – John Connolly
• Revelations – Melissa de la Cruz (Blue Bloods Book 3)
• The Name of the Wind – Patrick Rothfuss (Kingkiller Chronicles Book 1)
The Last Wish – Andrzej Sapkowski
• The Bloody Chamber – Angela Carter
• Porcelain Dove – Delia Sherman
• The House at Riverton – Kate Morton
• The Meaning of Night – Michael Cox
The Glass of Time – Michael Cox
• Midnight Never Come – Marie Brennan
• The Big Fish – Daniel Wallace
• The Little Giant of Aberdeen County – Tiffany Baker



*  a small caveat to this list is that I also endeavor to read and critique anything that Dani places before me via email, blog, text or tiny USB drive in a TIMELY manner this year. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that her stuff is very, very good.

Well, I guess that about sums it all up. I pretty much pilfered Kenci’s format for this blog but they say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Actually, I’m just a lazy bookwhore. 😉

Now I am off to read!