Anna Godbersen’s The Luxe follows eighteen-year-old Elizabeth Holland, a socialite in nineteenth century Manhattan. As a member of New York’s high society, Elizabeth leads a charmed life of lavish clothes and exquisite parties— until her family comes to the realization that they are on the brink of financial ruin. Enter Henry Schoonmaker: attractive, wealthy, the life of the party, and looking for a girl to marry. Elizabeth should be ecstatic and relieved when Manhattan’s most eligible bachelor proposes to her, shouldn’t she?
With the trimmings of a Jane Austen novel and the attitude and bite of Gossip Girl, Godbersen’s The Luxe is a page-turner. I recommend this book for teenage girls who seek romance novels without the clichés and conventions of modern chicklit.
Bottom Line: Great historical fiction — a romance novel with attitude!
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Submitted by Caroline C.
No teen ever thinks they’ll end up living on the streets. Maddie certainly didn’t but here she is, learning how to protect herself, figuring out where to find food and shelter when she can and, sadly, learning how not to trust people in order to survive. She has a plan to get herself off the street and back to school. It’s not easy but she is smart and persistent and she has one person she can rely on–herself.
But life isn’t always a straight path as Maddie finds out. First she meets Q, another homeless teen, then she unexpectedly finds herself caring for a six-year old boy. As Maddie become enmeshed in her new makeshift family, she realizes how lonely her solitary life was before. She is happier now, but is this what is right for her and her new friends? Should she protect them at all costs or should she protect herself?
Darlene Ryan has written a moving, interesting story that unfolds in unexpected ways. As you follow Maddie on her coming of age journey, you will find yourself changing with her, moving first in one direction then back in another. This is both a sad and happy contemporary novel that is a pleasure to read.
Bottom Line: Excellent realistic fiction, definitely worth reading!
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Submitted by: Ms. Bing, BEHS Librarian