Keeping in the spirit of my light and easy reading of late I picked up my copy of The Luxe which I have had on my shelf for a while now. I do enjoy reading young adult fiction and the gorgeous cover of this one had me interested right away. I must admit I didn't really have very high hopes for this book - I just thought it would be a nice gossipy, easy read for a cold, dismal weekend. It was a nice gossipy read but I also thought it was quite a good book overall (I've already picked up the second book in the series so it must have hooked me in).
The Luxe is set in New York in 1899 and starts with the funeral of high society girl, Elizabeth Holland who has died suddenly and mysteriously just days before her wedding to fellow high society member - Henry Schoonmaker. The rest of the novel takes us through the days leading up to this event - filling us in on other members of New York society and their secrets and relationships. I found the writing tight and well structured - even though the focus is on the relationships and crushes of 18 year olds I didn't think the writing became overly soppy (something that would have made me stop reading right away!). The writing and dialogue is by no means appropriate to the era in which the book is set but the author talks about her intentions behind steering away from this style in a special section at the end of the book.
Some reviews have talked about this book as being a cross between Jane Austen and Gossip Girl - it is definitely more Gossip Girl than Austen for me but I still really enjoyed this book - much more than I thought I would.