Thursday, 20 May 2010

Rumours by Anna Godbersen

GENRE: young adult fiction

After bidding good-bye to New York's brightest star, Elizabeth Holland, rumours continue to fly about her untimely demise. All eyes are on those closest to the dearly departed: her mischievous sister, Diana, now the family's only hope for redemption; New York's most notorious cad, Henry Schoonmaker, the flame Elizabeth never extinguished; the seductive Penelope Hayes, poised to claim all that her best friend left behind—including Henry; even Elizabeth's scheming former maid, Lina Broud, who discovers that while money matters and breeding counts, gossip is the new currency. As old friends become rivals, Manhattan's most dazzling socialites find their futures threatened by whispers from the past. In this delicious sequel to The Luxe, nothing is more dangerous than a scandal . . . or more precious than a secret.

Rumours is the second novel in The Luxe series. I already liked the first novel, The Luxe, but Rumours is even better.

I totally loved how the stories of all the characters continued in this novel. The glamour and the glitz of Manhattan’s society were still present, as were rumours and plotting. The schemes in this novel were even more sinful and vicious. The plot was not remarkable, but it was really good and I really, really enjoyed reading this novel.

The characters have evolved. I especially enjoyed Lina Broud’s progress into the high society. I don’t approve of her behaviour, necessarily, but she really wants to make it in Manhattan as a lady and her determination, and a bit of help from people who think the same way as she does, pushed her forward. I was surprised how easy things have turned out for her, but I’m also glad at the same time. Now that Lina Broud is a member of the Manhattan society, things will get even better. After all, it was her fault that things got wild in the end. She really is a trouble-maker.

As for Penelope Hayes, she is the queen of scheming. She is self-absorbed and thinks too highly of herself. Her problem is that she can’t take no for an answer; she takes a negative response very personally, which is pretty evident in this novel. She was really lucky to get that bit of information that helped her achieve what she wanted, but my jaw dropped when it was certain she was getting her way. She is a horrible woman, but I love her character because she always stirs trouble and makes things interesting.

One thing I didn’t like was how Elizabeth’s return was handled in a lukewarm way. Sure, it was a secret, but those closest to her reacted so randomly. I don’t know, I would have expected more tears, shouting and accusations than were actually present in the novel. However, this little drawback redeemed itself in my eyes with the ending. Oh my, I definitely did not see that one coming! I was so absolutely surprised because of the event concerning Elizabeth and because of Penelope’s undeserving triumph that I immediately picked up Envy (the third novel in the series) from one of my book shelves and started reading it.

I have to say, the women in this novel are either naive or incredibly backstabbing. The men, on the other hand, are their puppets. They’re so silly, really. But I like that. I like the drama. Every once in a while, a drama of almost operatic proportions feels so very good to read! I really recommend that you start reading The Luxe series. It’s not mind-blowing, but it’s so much fun and it’s a great read. Plus, the time period is very appealing. The book ends on the first day of 1900. You still have the class, the style and the glamour of the 19th century, but modernity is slowly starting to kick in. I like that, personally.



Emma said...

i've wanted to read these for a long time. thanks for the good review!

Jen said...

i've been thinking of reading this series for awhile. I just might have to go to it! I loved your review!!

Bookalicious Ramblings said...

Loved loved loved this book and the whole series! :D