Sunday, 23 May 2010

Envy by Anna Godbersen

GENRE: young adult novel

Two months have passed since the dramatic homecoming of Elizabeth Holland. Manhattan society eagerly awaits her return. But Elizabeth won’t rejoin her sister Diana’s side. The whispers are beginning - is all as it seems behind closed doors? Uptown, Henry and Penelope Schoonmaker are the city’s most celebrated couple. But despite the glittering diamond she wears, the newlyweds share little more than scorn for each other. Manhattan’s most envied residents appear to have everything they desire: wealth, beauty, happiness. However, in a city where appearance is everything, sometimes the most practiced smiles hide the most scandalous secrets...


Envy is the third novel in the The Luxe series. I have to say, Envy is definitely my favourite The Luxe novel so far. I really, really loved reading it.

Things get a bit more serious in this novel. The first two novels were focused on scandals and gossip, and on women backstabbing each other, but this novel gets more serious and tackles some new themes, which I really loved.

Henry’s and Penelope’s relationship is very official. Penelope wants to be with Henry as his wife in every sense of the word, but Henry deeply resents her role in his life, which is mostly that of a hindrance on his way to happiness with Diana. They share some interesting moments, and my favourite one was definitely on one particular evening in Florida. In that chapter, I actually wished that the story would take a positive turn for their marriage, although I am really fond of Diana Holland. Of course, things are never as they seem in the world of these wealthy inhabitants of Manhattan. The whole love triangle between Henry, Penelope and Diana, which gets a fourth member at one point, is really intriguing and entertaining to read about. It’s all very dramatic and also pretty serious. The members of this strange group – Henry, Penelope, Diana and Grayson – all make some mistakes that they regret, but can’t do much about them. Especially Penelope learned a hard lesson in the end (or did she really?...): you have to pay the price for your actions. If you deprive people of happiness to make yourself happy, you have to face the consequences sooner or later.

Henry’s final decision really surprised me and saddened me, even, but at the same time, I’m really happy he made it. He’s finally becoming a man; it’s time he grew out of his cad-mode. Diana, especially, is a piece of work, and I mean this in a good sense. This girl definitely has spunk and even though her strong spirit is crushed for a while, it regains its strength in the end in a rather surprising way. Well, all is fair in love and war, people say. And, actually, Henry and Diana are, in fact, connected to war. This is a new theme introduced in this novel and I’m really curious as to how Godbersen will pursue it in Splendour, the final novel of the series.

Elizabeth’s story really surprised me. She had to do something in this story to save the family’s good name, as well as her own, but I hoped she would do this with another person. Sadly, that person was not available, and now one can only wonder how her situation will unfold.

As for Carolina Broud, or rather Broad, she’s a character that keeps surprising me. She goes through a few changes in this novel. She’s high in the sky first, then trips a little and falls, and gets incredibly lucky in the end. I really wonder what she’ll do now that she has the means to do pretty much anything she wants to do. She is in love with one man, but also kisses another one. She’s an unpleasant person, but very intriguing to read about, even more so (to me, personally) than Penelope Schoonmaker, neĆ© Hayes. Anyway, it’s pretty evident that these two women could be friends even without their arrangement made in Rumours: they love the glamour of Manhattan above all, as well as scandals and gossiping. They make a perfect pair of two backstabbing women.

This novel was a great read for me, and as I’ve said, the best novel in the series so far. It’s not just about glamour anymore, although there’s glamour in abundance, but things also take really surprising turns and get a bit more serious. I definitely recommend this novel.

THIS MISS RATES: /(4.5 stars)


Sa Toya said...

I want to read this one now...great review!

Julie P said...

I have the first one in the series on my TBR list. Thanks for sharing!

Irena @ This Miss Loves to Read said...

I think this is a great YA series.

Christina T said...

I agree with you about Lina. I think maybe I sympathize with her as opposed to Penelope because of her humble beginnings and how much she has to lose. Diana is my favorite character. I love how adventurous and brave she is compared to her more timid sister.

I liked both Rumors and Envy the more than The Luxe and Splendor. I look forward to hearing what you think of Splendor. I hope you love it. It is definitely a fascinating series. I hope Bright Young Things will be just as good.

Great review!

Irena @ This Miss Loves to Read said...

Thanks! Yes, Diana is the best, she's got spirit. I am looking forward to Bright Young Things.

Bookalicious Ramblings said...

Whoa, you're fast! Sooo you'll be needing Splendour now, huh? ;) I have a copy waiting for you - you know where to find me. :)