Great White Snark: "I find television to be very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go in the other room and read a book. "

Friday, May 6, 2011

"I find television to be very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go in the other room and read a book. "

Sorry this happened so fast. Apparently, I'm a quick reader when I don't have to sit and dissect the language and analyze the text from a scholarly point of view. Who knew?

This is the book I just finished:

The Luxe is basically Gossip Girl at the turn of the century. No kidding. Like, down to the number of boys and girls and their physical descriptions and everything. If you know nothing about Gossip Girl, I'm not sure if that would improve or lessen your chance of liking this book. For me, it was helpful in that I could visualize all the characters quite easily. And there are a lot of characters.

I think I actually liked this book, despite its cliffhanger ending and three sequels. It was predictable, capitalizing on the shamefully overdone "marriage for love vs. marriage for money" theme. This is what makes the Victorian setting work. I can honestly say that if this novel had taken place in the present day I would've stopped after Chapter 5 or so. But I'm an absolute sucker for lush and lavish descriptions of the upper crust of times gone by. So I stuck it out, and I don't regret it.

It's basically the story of socialite, Elizabeth Holland (aka: Serena van der Woodsen). Her life is seemingly perfect, that is, until her family is suddenly on the brink of being (brace yourselves) POOR. Then it's up to her to marry New York's most eligible (and wealthy) bachelor, Henry Schoonmaker (aka: Chuck Bass). Well, luckily for her, Henry's father wants him to put an end to his playboy lifestyle and threatens him with (brace yourselves again!) POVERTY, and his answer to this is to propose to Elizabeth, who's the picture of elegance and Christian goodness. Both kids, spurred by their obvious desire to avoid destitution, enter into a loveless engagement. Here's where it gets sticky. Elizabeth is routinely shacking up with the stable boy who she loves (he's kinda like Dan Humphrey). Henry is in love with Elizabeth's rule-flouting sister, Diana (Jenny Humphrey). And Elizabeth's drama queen best frenemy, Penelope Hayes (Blair Waldorf TO A T), is in love with Henry. So it's this very tangled web. Well, the book opens with Elizabeth's funeral, and it's up to the reader to piece together how she died. I won't spoil anything, but it was just 400 pages of a LOT of stuff. And not all of it particularly necessary.

Like I said, predictable and enjoyable enough. If I had absolutely nothing else to read, I'd read the sequels. As it stands, I've got about 6 more books I'm DYING to finish before May 16th, and the rest of this series isn't on that list. However, it's definitely something I'll tuck away for future reference if I'm in a reading dry spell. I'd recommend it, but if you don't like period fic, this is absolutely not gonna be your cup of tea.

My reaction:
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I promise this blog isn't becoming solely book reviews! This is just what I like to do with my free time and naturally, you guys are the captive audience to all my whims and whimsies.

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