Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Review of Rumors

Rumors (Luxe #2) by Anna Godbersen
Pages: 432
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Pub. Date: June 1, 2008
My Rating:

*If you haven't read the first book in the series, Luxeplease read my review of that novel before this one to avoid any spoilers!  

Goodreads says, "After bidding good-bye to New York's brightest star, Elizabeth Holland, rumors 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."

I started this novel knowing there would be more drama, more gossip, more scandal, and more unexpected twists and turns.  I assumed it would be like Gossip Girl, but on steroids and of course wearing a much prettier dress.  I didn't think the plot could shock me even more, but Anna Godbersen does a brilliant job of dropping unforeseen bombshells on her readers.  I compare Rumors to a roller coaster.  I know there will be twists, turns and huge drops. I know they are coming; however, I am still taken by surprise.  Anna Godbersen's Rumors, the second in The Luxe series, is another page-ripper that doesn't disappoint.

The novel starts with Elizabeth Holland off to find her true love, Will, in California and the rest of NYC mourning the lost of their queen bee.  Only a few characters know of her "death" in order to avoid marrying Henry Schoonmaker, who is NYC most eligible bachelor.  The fact of the matter is, although Henry may be dreamy, she doesn't love him.  In fact, her sister, Diana is in love with Henry and feelings are actually reciprocated from the former stoic Henry.  This displeases Penelope, the nouveau riche best friend of Elizabeth Holland who has had her claws in Henry from the start.  Penelope won't stop at anything to get what she wants. She's the chess master in this novel making calculated moves against naive opponents.  Lets just say it was painfully delicious.  Then there is Lina Broad, former maid of the Hollands. She is also a focus in this novel as is trying to make a name for herself amongst the rich in NYC.  Her story develops as well, but some of the choices she makes drives me nuts.  Lastly, there are a few big questions in this novel.  For me, they were the following:  Will Elizabeth truly be able to escape to Will and live NYC behind forever without disgracing her family?  Will the rich New Yorkers believe that she is truly dead?  Will Diana finally be able to be with Henry or will the treacherous Penelope win this one?  And will someone please slap Penelope or actually play hardball against her?  All of these juicy situations are developed in Rumors and even more.

I love the character Diana. I enjoyed her from the start and I preferred her to her sister, Elizabeth.  Diana is compelling, adventurous, and a non-conformist. I liked that this novel focused on her more.  The Holland household at the start of the novel needs help. The Hollands are broke and people are starting to talk.  Without Diana's big sister there, she is on her own to fix her family's situation.  There is a friend of the family that comes along to help her with this and I haven't quite figured his motive out yet.  I wonder if he will be in the third book?  But anyway, Diana grows as an adult in this novel as she fills the role of the woman of the house many times while her mother's health suffers.  I definitely liked how Godbersen developed the character of Diana.

This novel also focused on the character of Penelope and her behind the scene manipulations.  She truly is the puppet master.  If there was a wizard of NYC behind the curtains, she would be it.  Many times I wasn't sure how she was going to play out her latest cards she had been dealt, but just like the game of poker, she knows when to hold them and when to raise the stakes.  She's the character I love to hate.  Towards the end of the novel, I was shocked at just how desperate she became in order to win over Henry.

I could tell that Godbersen truly researched the time period.  It became obvious many times in the novel that characters, like Henry, couldn't do what they want mostly because they are at the mercy of their parents even though they are twenty years old.  This added ingredient absolutely developed the conflict and drama further and it also made the time period even more compelling.  Once again, I loved Godbersen's use of excerpts from gossip columns or newspaper articles as a break in between each chapter.  It added that extra special something, just like it did in Luxe.  It truly made the time period come to life along with Godbersen's fantastic writing style and descriptions.

I highly recommend this series, not only to people who enjoy historical fiction, but to readers who want to be swept away to a different, more glamours time.  This novel envelops its readers in a world that we can only dream of.  It was delicious, fascinating, and everything I had hoped for.  The ending had me on the edge of my seat and I was thinking, "Now we are talking!"  I immediately reached for Envy, the third in the series, and I'm sure once again, Anna Godbersen will exceed my expectations.

*Buy Rumors here
*Buy Luxe here
*Buy Envy here
*Pre-order Bright Young Things (Godbersen's newest series)

*Watch the Book Trailer:


  1. I thought the ending of this one was really shocking. This is probably my favorite book in the series. I can't wait to hear what you think of Envy and Splendor. Diana is my favorite of the Holland sisters and Penelope is that girl we all love to hate. Unfortunately compared to her sister and Penelope, Elizabeth Holland has the personality of a porcelain figurine. Fantastic review!

  2. Christina- You are right; it was completely shocking! Diana is my favorite as well. Thanks for stopping by! :)

  3. I just couldn't get into the first book in this series. It was far too much like Gossip Girl and I didn't like Gossip Girl so...but I'm glad other people like it better then I did.

  4. Fantasy- I'm sorry to hear you didn't like it. Surprisingly, I am a fan of the GG TV show and not the books. The thing that makes this series very different than GG, in my opinion, is the historical piece, which I am a sucker for. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Great review. These characters always catch my attention.

  6. I love Diana too. She is my favourite Luxe character. I love that she's a rebel!


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