The Luxe by Anna Godbersen
I admit it...it was the huge pouffy dress on the front of this YA novel that drew me to it before the positive reviews did.
But, I mean, look at it! Pouffy and pink!
Anyhoo, this YA novel is basically Gossip Girls as imagined in 1899 New York high society. As the review in Publisher's Weekly perfectly summarized:
"This tangled web includes not one but two sets of star-crossed lovers; an upstairs/downstairs romance; a scheming social climber; a bitter servant girl; and oodles of money, all set in a Edith Wharton via Hollywood vision of Old New York."
I really enjoyed this YA novel, especially as it represents something other than standard high school drama. Though the plot twist is easy to see from page one, I enjoyed the story that got the reader there - the fashion, the friendships, and the fact that only 100 years ago, marriages were still arranged to benefit class and cash - in this case, forever changing the life of angelic Elizabeth Holland, beloved daughter of a high society family.
The author leaves the novel wide open for a sequel, which is due out in early June (entitled Rumors, and featured a huge RED dress on the cover). Overall, I really enjoyed this YA novel from a different era...