Welcome to the Historical Fiction Online forums: a friendly place to discuss, review and discover historical fiction.
If this is your first visit, please be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above.
You will have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed.
To start viewing posts, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

YA: The Luxe by Anna Godbersen

User avatar
Divia
Bibliomaniac
Location: Always Cloudy, Central New York

YA: The Luxe by Anna Godbersen

Postby Divia » Thu August 28th, 2008, 3:04 pm

Ms. Cecily Von Ziegesar of the Gossip Girl series said this: “Mystery, romance, jealous, betrayal, humor and gorgeous, historically accurate details. I couldn’t put The Luxe down."

As I wrote earlier it is apparent that Ms. Von Ziegesar needs a history lesson.

First off, everyone is raving about the “historical details” in this novel. Yeah, that’s great, but the fact is there weren’t that many historical details in this novel. As I stated on Amazon I could list about 50 other authors who do it better than Ms. Godbersen. Oh sure Ms. Godbersen portrays settings very well with all the crystal and wood inlay and such things, but really if we are going to write a historical novel how about we have the characters act like they are from the 1899? Is this a radical idea? Apparently, it is for this author.

Every cliché that you could possibly think of was used in this book. Not to mention a very predictable plot that anyone with half a brain could have figured it out. There were no original ideas and the characters were dull and uninteresting.

All of the characters were predictable and one dimensional. We had the good sister who always obeys her mother, the pretty boy who got all the girls, the jealous but beautiful best friend, the envious poor maid and the bratty little sister. I might have liked the younger sister better if she had embraced her rebellious side by wanting to join the suffrage movement. Instead she smoked, read books (and it was implied that women in the Victorian Era never read books????)and she wanted to be poor. I’m not sure why she was thrilled her family was penniless considering the alternatives A. Governess B. Sweatshop C. Whore.

Another aspect that I hated was how sex was handled in this book. Everyone and their brother was having sex. Now, let’s look at this logically. A woman in the 19th century had nothing but her reputation. Birth control was almost non existent at the time. So I am to believe that a rich young lady who only had her reputation and family status to obtain a husband would jeopardize her future by having sex? If she became preganat the scandal alone would destroy not only her but her family’s reputation. No respectable man would want to marry her. Now, young men of the time did engage in sexual activity but they were not held to the same standards as women. However, in this novel all these girls were having sex. If the author wanted to have one of the characters engage in naughty behavior then so be it. However, let’s have some realistic consequences with these actions.

The writing style was also a odd. At first I the author tried writing in a Victorian style but then she would cast it aside and write in a more modern tone. She would flip flop between these two styles which was annoying. Pick one and go with it! If you can’t write in a Victorian style, then don’t attempt it.

Another reviewer on Amazon said this book (and I’m paraphrasing) was nothing more than Gossip Girls in old fashioned dresses. I would agree with that statement. The girls were too modern.

For teens, or adults looking for good historical fiction, this is not for them. For people looking to read a mindless book about catty girls in pretty dresses that somewhat resembles the Victorian Era then this book is for them.
News, views, and reviews on books and graphic novels for young adult.
http://yabookmarks.blogspot.com/

User avatar
Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Location: Seattle, WA

Postby Misfit » Thu August 28th, 2008, 3:16 pm

I haven't read this one, but I read Rumors (as you did) and can't agree more. Stick with Edith Wharton.

User avatar
Divia
Bibliomaniac
Location: Always Cloudy, Central New York

Postby Divia » Thu August 28th, 2008, 3:25 pm

Rumors wasnt as bad. At least she did some crazy things at the end, so I gave her 3 stars instead of 2. But yeah its nothing to write home about.
News, views, and reviews on books and graphic novels for young adult.

http://yabookmarks.blogspot.com/

User avatar
diamondlil
Bibliomaniac

Postby diamondlil » Thu August 28th, 2008, 8:30 pm

I got this purely because of the cover! I haven't read it yet, and won't be for a while because my sister (who is not really a reader) has borrowed it.

User avatar
Divia
Bibliomaniac
Location: Always Cloudy, Central New York

Postby Divia » Fri August 29th, 2008, 1:47 pm

See and thats the thing. If your sister who doesnt read loves it and wants to read the sequel then thats cool. I'm all for it. However, for those looking for a good historical fiction story this ain't it.
News, views, and reviews on books and graphic novels for young adult.

http://yabookmarks.blogspot.com/

User avatar
michellemoran
Bibliophile
Contact:

Postby michellemoran » Sat August 30th, 2008, 1:50 am

HA! Diamondlil - I was contemplating buying it for the exact same reason. Thank you Divia for the great review. I think I may skip this one.
Visit MichelleMoran.com
Check out Michelle's blog History Buff at michellemoran.blogspot.com

User avatar
diamondlil
Bibliomaniac

Postby diamondlil » Sat August 30th, 2008, 12:43 pm

The covers for this book, and the sequel:

Image


Image

User avatar
Kailana
Reader
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
Contact:

Postby Kailana » Sat August 30th, 2008, 7:47 pm

So many people I know loved the first book in the series. I read some really great reviews of it, but I have been waiting for paperback before I read it.

User avatar
Divia
Bibliomaniac
Location: Always Cloudy, Central New York

Postby Divia » Sat August 30th, 2008, 7:48 pm

The covers are great. Again historically wrong, but very pretty.

Kailana, I think the paperback comes out very soon.
News, views, and reviews on books and graphic novels for young adult.

http://yabookmarks.blogspot.com/

User avatar
Kailana
Reader
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
Contact:

Postby Kailana » Sat August 30th, 2008, 8:22 pm

I probably would just read it for fun. I read historical fiction and non-fiction from those time periods, but it is not really 'my' time frame, so I am not picky about the history aspects. I actually don't really know what my time period is anymore now that I am not in university actually studying it... Maybe I should just go back to school...!


Return to “By Author's Last Name G-L”