Thursday, February 12, 2009

Envy by Anna Godbersen

Jealous whispers. Old rivalries. New betrayals.
Two months after Elizabeth Holland's dramatic homecoming, Manhattan eagerly awaits her return to the pinnacle of society. When Elizabeth refuses to rejoin her sister Diana's side, however, those watching New York's favorite family begin to suspect that all is not as it seems behind the stately doors of No. 17 Gramercy Park South.
Farther uptown, Henry and Penelope Schoonmaker are the city's most celebrated couple. But despite the glittering diamond ring on Penelope's finger, the newlyweds share little more than scorn for each other. And while the newspapers call Penelope's social-climbing best friend, Carolina Broad, an heiress, her fortune - and her fame - are naything but secure, expecially now that one of society's darlings is slipping tales to the eager press.
Manhattan's most envied residents appear to have everything they desire: Wealth. Beauty. Happiness. But sometimes the most practiced smiles hide the most scandalous secrets...
(Summary from jacket flap)

I love fluffy books. I've read almost all of Meg Cabot's stuff. The Twilight series kept me glued to the pages (well, the first one did...but that's another story). And those Simon Pulse RoCom books? Mhmm. Delish. I have no problem with reading books just for the juice. I really don't think that a book has to have some deep intellectual meaning in order to be worth something. Everyone needs to be able to appreciate a good sugar story.

So you know, if you haven't read a good fluff book in a while, then I have a little something to say to you. First of all, what is your problem?! Second of all, go pick up The Luxe. Please. This series is some of the best chick lit/fluff out there. Who doesn't love reading about rich New York socialites living at the start of the twentieth century? Not only does that time period include gorgeous dresses, sumptuous dinners, and fashionable pale skin, it also offers scandal, lost love, and full body swim suits. Ahhh.

And you know...I don’t think I’m going to say much about this book. I don’t want to over-analyze, and in the process ruin, my guilty pleasures.

SO. For my little opinion bit:

Envy was a bit slow in parts; there was too much talk about dresses and houses for my taste. I get that the characters are wealthy and extravagant but by the 300th page, I didn’t need to hear about how one person’s hair was perfectly coiffed and how their dress accentuated their miniscule waist beautifully. Because waists and hair do's were mentioned entirely too much. It was just the balance of what was focused on that was a little bit off. I’d have liked for the focus to have been more on the drama.

Other than that, it was good. I love the setting of The Luxe series. It’s the thing that makes these books work. New York City. Pretty girls, unreachable boys, social-climbers. It’s totally ideal. And the lavish descriptions and imagery brings it all to life. It’s over the top in a good way.

AND the little twists the story took were fantastic. 

[SPOILERS] The whole entire book, Penelope and Henry were still married but you keep getting these little sides where Henry and Diana are trying to figure out their relationship. And then Penelope gets all this dirt on Henry so he can't really get out of his marriage. So of course the fix to all of this is for Henry to have sex with Penelope and walk out half naked onto the balcony where Diana sees. So then Diana goes and gets laid by Penelope's brother. And THEN Elizabeth finds out she's having Will's kid and so she needs to cover it up by getting married fast and the ideal choice, Teddy, went off to war so she has a boring and unfitting marriage to her father's former advisor guy. Then Henry, needing to feel all masculine and such goes off to war too, leaving Penelope sort of. When Diana hears about it she cuts off all her hair and at the end of the book she's leaving to pose as a guy in the army. [END SPOILERS] 

Whew. Needed to get all that out. The twists are awesome. 

It’s one of the only series in which I like the shiny, exaggerated, and obnoxious.

It’s delicious.

So yeah, maybe there were little faults and missteps in this book, but you know what? I still loved it. You can’t not love The Luxe.

And let me just say that Splendor had better be seriously amazing because the cliffhanger at the end of this book was killer. 


  1. I know I shouldn't have read the spoilers! Eeek!!! I'm really excited to read this now. Wow!!!!

  2. I love this series! Yeah, it's really fluffy, but I think it's more informative than, say, Gossip Girl, because it takes place 100 years ago. You get a little history lesson along with all the scandal and drama.

  3. I really, really want to read this!!

  4. I can't wait for the this! Love the covers, drama, plot, and characters....and I really shouldn't have read those spoilers, LOL. ): I should start RUMORS ASAP so I can move on to this one! Looks amazing, great review! (:

    PS. And I <3 how the spoilers are in white--clever!

  5. I know its bad to read the spoilers but i did, i needed to know what was going to happen.
    The whole thing with Penelope and Henry makes me mad. I mean its really scandolous(luv that) and no offence to Anna but DOESNT ANNA BELIEVE IN LOVE?! Most of the lovers in the book end up torn apart and my favorite(Diana and Henry) were so wonderful and scandolous, I hate Penelope for breaking them apart. Penelope is a horrible wife. If I were Henry I would go break up with her imidiatly and go to Diana. Sure Diana would be ruined but they could run away together like Will and Elizabeth! Will and Elizabeth were perfect until it all got ruined by being poor. This has nothing to do with my comment but I am pretty sure that when you say she cuts off all her hair I assume u mean until it hits her shoulders, neck or ears which somewhat bugs me, I loved her hair!!!
    Very suprised/angry fan

  6. Lol. I should NOT have read the spoilers. I couldnt help it :( Stupid adrenaline rush. Anyway. Im only half way through rumors and now and now... ergghh i have to wait until i get my allowance to go get Envy. I cant wait to read envy and then read Splendor1 YAY. YAY. YAAAY!

    Im done now :)

  7. im glad i read the spoilers cuz after rumors i cried my eyes out and was so depressed now i know diana and henry can possible be together now!!!!

  8. OH MY GOD!

  9. Splendor spoilers:

    Okay, well Diana and Henry unfortunately do not end up together. They make plans to run away to Paris together to get married but Diana is too headstrong and doesn't want to be known as Henry's "second wife". Therefore Henry goes back home and Diana goes to Paris to persue her writing career.

    Penelope falls "in love" with a prince. She believes he loves her and therefore tells Henry they can get a divorce if that is what he wants. After she sleeps with the prince she finds out that he really didn't love her and he leaves her immediately. So Henry and Penelope stay together.

    We also find out that Snowden actually paid a police officer to kill Will so he could marry Elizabeth. Elizabeth finds this out but Snowden locks her up in a room and drugs her. When Elizabeth awakes from the drugs she is able to push Snowden down the stairs therefore killing him.
    Teddy comes back and he and Elizabeth declare their love for one another. Teddy then raises Will and Elizabeth's child. (so beautiful, I always liked Teddy even though I also liked Will too-Elizabeth is very lucky)

    Carolina/Lina gets engaged to Leland but on their wedding day Tristan turns up and demands money from her. He raves on about how he was the one that built her role in society etc etc. Carolina/Lina ends up telling Leland the truth about her past. Leland is upset that Carolina/Lina has lied to him all this time and the two do not end up getting marriesd. Instead Carolina/Lina invites Claire to come and live with her in her new house so Claire does not have to work for the Hollands anymore.

    All in all, this series was interesting with many many twists. It wasn't a fairytale/happily ever after ending but real life adaption kind of ending. Even though it wasn't the ending I had wanted, this book is still the authors and of course it is her story. But that is pretty much the story. Hope you enjoyed and sorry if I ruined it for anyone.



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