The Luxe had all the potential to be a stunning version of the show Gossip Girl. As it has been often marketed as Gossip Girl set in the nineteenth century, you’d expect a story about a privileged society, about drama and the ugliness that simmers beneath the glamorous surface. Instead, what I came across was an incredibly lackluster novel with virtually no real plot, more angst than I could possibly digest, and characters that felt like caricatures of every trope out there. Instead of exploring the ugliness of the top 1% – the drugs, the betrayals, the ambition verging on evil, the deceit and politics, The Luxe focuses solely on one woman’s loveless arranged marriage.
The romance in the novel would have been interesting had it not been literally the main plot. And again, if this were a romance novel, I wouldn’t have minded if the characters weren’t throwing away their lives for the sake of one boy or another. Elizabeth is, I believe, our main character and we are constantly told that she is prim and proper only on the surface, that there is a rebel simmering underneath but I don’t see that. I see it in the story, but not in the character itself. She was so… dull.
At the turn of the last page, I didn’t want to know more. Heck, I didn’t think there needed to be any more_everything worth caring about was wrapped up. If Godberson wanted to pursue the story, at the most she could have written one more book with the same plot – romance, angst, marriage, half-hearted rebels. But I cannot, for the life of me, understand why there are three more books? What is there to write about?
Ultimately, I’m giving this book 2 stars rather than 1. Why? Because I finished it. Also, Godberson’s technique of writing was pretty good_ it didn’t feel overcomplicated, nor juvenile but a good balance between simplicity and complexity. But there was little else of merit in the book. I think it’s safe to say that I will not be continuing on with the series.