Monday, February 7, 2011

Book Review: Vixen by Jillian Larkin

Pages: 421
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Pub. Date: December 14, 2010
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "Every girl wants what she can’t have. Seventeen-year-old Gloria Carmody wants the flapper lifestyle—and the bobbed hair, cigarettes, and music-filled nights that go with it. Now that she’s engaged to Sebastian Grey, scion of one of Chicago’s most powerful families, Gloria’s party days are over before they’ve even begun . . . or are they? Clara Knowles, Gloria’s goody-two-shoes cousin, has arrived to make sure the high-society wedding comes off without a hitch—but Clara isn’t as lily-white as she appears. Seems she has some dirty little secrets of her own that she’ll do anything to keep hidden. . . . Lorraine Dyer, Gloria’s social-climbing best friend, is tired of living in Gloria’s shadow. When Lorraine’s envy spills over into desperate spite, no one is safe. And someone’s going to be very sorry."

Gloria Carmody appears to have it all. She's wealthy, she's beautiful and she's even engaged to Sebastian Grey who is one of the most eligible, as well as wealthy, bachelors in Chicago.  But Gloria dreams of more for her life and is attracted to the flapper nightlife.  Her best friend, Lorraine, desperately wants to be the center of attention and is tired of always being one-upped by Gloria; plus, she isn't a fan of Clara, Gloria's cousin who just arrived to the city to make sure that the wedding goes off without a hitch.  Clara is the "country" cousin from Pennsylvania, but surprisingly she hides more secrets than anyone else.  Vixen is a fun debut that will transport readers to the dangerous and sexy world that is the Roaring Twenties.  

This book is scandalous! It is definitely not for younger readers, but more mature young adults will enjoy the intrigue and the naughty behavior. If you are a fan of Gossip Girl or The Luxe series, you will enjoy this novel.  This novel made Bright Young Things seem pretty tame as it focuses more on Prohibition, the gangsters, and the dangerous side of the 1920s, much like Boardwalk Empire.  There's no doubt that this novel is like coming across the most juicy gossip; it's definitely mind candy.

Larkin switches the point of view with each new chapter, so readers will get background on all three girls and be able to put together a lot of the "skeletons in the closet."  I can't say that I connected with the characters of Lorraine or Gloria, but I did enjoy Clara.  She had to deal with some pretty intense problems and I felt her story was the most captivating.  I couldn't stand Lorraine; in fact, I was hoping someone would just take her down Blair Waldorf style.  

I liked how Larkin brought the time period to life. She definitely depicts a seedier side to the Roaring Twenties, but it felt authentic.  Things weren't always PG- the characters had to deal with violence, sex scandals, the possibility of children outside of wedlock, interracial romances, and lets not forget a lot of booze, which are all racy topics for the time period.  I must admit, I liked this unpredictable and edgy side of the Roaring Twenties.  

If you are a fan of historical fiction and you've been looking for an exciting series like The Luxe, then look no further.  The second book in the series, Ingenue, comes out this summer and I look forward to finding out what happens to the three girls, because at the end of Vixen, they were all in very precarious situations.  One thing is for sure, I'm lovin' the drama!

*Buy Vixen
*Pre-order Ingenue
*Watch the book trailer


  1. Yours is the first review that mentioned the iffy things. Thank you! I love knowing that ahead of time. Awesome review.

  2. Oooh, so excited to read this one! I spotted the cover months ago and was very intrigued. Glad to hear you enjoyed it so much... I'm all about the dramz, especially the historical variety!

  3. I really enjoyed Vixen and I'm on the edge of my seat waiting for the next one even though it is not out until August. I can't wait to see what happens to the characters.

  4. This book is next on my TBR pile and I'm excited. I also hadn't heard about it being a bit more mature, other reviews kind of skipped over that fact. Not that it's a bad thing, just interesting what some people share and what some people don't. Great review!

  5. I cannot wait to get my hands on this one. I still have to finish the series the Luxe, but I want this one so bad. :) Great review.

  6. I love that this is more risqué than BYT - at times BYT was just a little too tame, and even a little boring for me! Great review - I'm really looking forward to reading this one!

  7. Great review! I still need to read Bright Young Things as well. When I was trying to read Vixen over the Christmas holidays, I had a hard time with Lorraine's character. I have never been a fan of "mean girl" best friends such as Penelope from the Luxe series. I will have to give the book another try though because I do want to find out what happens.


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