Before I say anything about The Luxe, I have a confession to make. I’m not usually a fan of teen drama, but I totally watched Gossip Girl, a show about a group of ridiculously rich and privileged teenagers living in Manhattan’s Upper East Side (and, as the show progressed, their college years and adult lives). For years, it’s been my dirty little secret, but now I have to admit it that I loved the show and I was really upset when it ended in December. I knew it was time, but I also knew that I would miss the back-stabbing, the jealousy, the twists. Oh, the drama! I already miss the drama. That’s why, when I heard The Luxe was similar to Gossip Girl but set in the late 1800s, I knew I absolutely had to read it.
In the prologue, beloved socialite Elizabeth Holland has died and her sister, Diana, is missing from the funeral procession. Diana enters the church late, hiding a smile that only Elizabeth would understand, if only she could see it (but she can’t, because, you know, she’s dead).
The actual story takes place in 1899, during the weeks leading up to Elizabeth’s death. Though Elizabeth is generally well-liked, it is revealed throughout the book that several people believe they benefit from her death. There’s the jealous best friend, the fiancé who doesn’t truly want to marry her, the bitter maid who is sick of serving her, and even Elizabeth’s own sister could have what she wants if Elizabeth would just disappear. It definitely doesn’t become a typical who-dunnit, but it was hard to tell just who would benefit enough to actually kill Elizabeth. This isn’t a story I want to spoil for anyone who might read it, and I don’t even know how to say any more about the story without revealing too much so I have to stop here. If you’re interested in the book, don’t bother if you want a deep book with some kind of message. This one is pretty fluffy.
For fans of Gossip Girl: The Luxe‘s Elizabeth and Penelope are like a toned down version of Serena and a much more evil version of Blair. I found myself comparing them as well as other characters to the characters I’ve watched on GG for years.The Luxe is definitely not a rehash of GG though. The biggest thing they have in common is that they are both about a group of rich young New Yorkers.
I was tempted to keep my enjoyment of The Luxe as secret as my love for Gossip Girl, but I can’t. I really enjoyed it and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series. It was exactly what I needed after reading The Marbury Lens, ew. I like when I want to finish a book because I'm totally into it instead of wanting to finish it so I can be done with it forever.