The Luxe by Anna Godbersen: it's good- trust me. Just read it. Though the plot is somewhat predictable and none of the characters seem to be all that likeable, I LOVE this book. I can't wait to read the second one because it's just that good. Godbersen did a FANTASTIC job writing this story and for her first try, she was highly successful.
The Luxe has been called the Gossip Girl series of it's time: it deals with New York Manhattan socialites during the 1899 turn of the century, equipped with all the drama and husband-grabbing as any novel faced with competitive high-society "friends". The book opens with the death of Elizabeth Holland, the brightest society girl of the bunch, and proceeds to go back in time to tell of how Elizabeth came to be dead. We quickly find out that Elizabeth is the perfect product of her society (except for the trysts that she has with the stableboy), that her best friend Penelope Hayes may have had her hand in Elizabeth's death, and that Henry Schoonmaker, Elizabeth's betrothed, may have been having an affair with Elizabeth's sister Diana. Obviously this book is not lacking in plot. This is definitely a fun "romp" through Manhattan's society that I'm sure is still thriving and just as interesting now as it was over 100 years ago.
Though the story took me a couple pages to get into due to the overload of names and people, I quickly found myself being sucked into the story. The funny thing about the book is that even though the different storylines are engaging and you want to keep reading through all forms of distraction, all the characters are unlikable. What I mean is that they ARE likable, but there's still a level of disgust and apathy that you end up feeling for each character- it's weird really and hard to explain. To get what I'm talking about you just have to read it. Although I feel somewhat apathetic towards the characters, The Luxe is one of the better books that I've read recently, and find myself thinking about often. I have the sequel, Rumors checked out, and I can't wait to finish what I'm reading and read it. I hope it's as good as the first.