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Blogger Book Review: Splendor by Anna Godbersen

Posted by cat eyes & skinny jeans on April 10, 2011

Happy, Happy Sunday, inkpoppers! Today we bring you a review of Anna Godbersen’s Splendor, the fourth and final title in the bestselling Luxe series, from Angie of Bibliophile Support Group.

Of herself Angie says, “I love writing reviews about the books I love, even the ones I don’t love so much. I’ve been doing it for years. I hope you enjoy reading my reviews as much as I enjoy writing them. Someday I’d like to write the kinds of books I adore reading. In the meantime, I relish in my freedom to be the bibliophile I am!!!” Visit Bibliophile Support Group to read more of Angie’s reviews. For now, dig into Splendor.

“‘Splendor’ is the fourth and final book in the YA historical ‘Luxe’ series by Anna Godbersen.

“I’m probably way behind here – I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of you have already devoured this novel a long time ago. Well, I just got the chance to read it and I was thrilled. Because, even though I haven’t reviewed the first three books on my blog here, I am a big fan of the ‘Luxe’ series and have been dying to find out how it’ll all end.

“So, if you haven’t read the first three books in the ‘Luxe’ series yet (‘The Luxe’, ‘Rumors’, ‘Envy’) then go check them out and please avoid this review. Because the best part of the series is not knowing what’s going to happen next, so don’t ruin that for yourself!

“Okay, so ‘Envy’ left us in quite precarious situations for our various 1900s characters. Good girl Elizabeth retained her good girl reputation by marrying a friend of her deceased father’s, therefore keeping her pregnancy with her servant-turned-husband respectable. She is floored by her new husband’s kindness and understanding, and tries to be content despite her continued mourning of Will in the reminder of the child she carries. But Elizabeth inadvertently stumbles across some of her father’s old documents and she begins to have questions.

“Penelope, the manipulative wife of rich and handsome Henry Schoonmaker, left us with a surprising announcement of continuing the Schoonmaker line with her brand new pregnancy – made all the more surprising since it was a complete lie. But she had to do something to try and keep Henry by her side and build the life she always hoped for with him. But Henry could not be deterred from joining active duty to try and make himself worthy of the woman who truly loves, Elizabeth’s sister Diana.

“Diana decided to embrace her impetuous nature and leave the confines of high society to chase after Henry, going so far as to chop off her famed curls and try to join the army with him. It has the makings of an adventurous love story, after all – and that is the sort of novel life Diana strives for.

“And Elizabeth’s former ladies’ maid Lina Broud stopped pretending to be the rich Carolina Broad and actually inherited real wealth. But will she be able to keep up the deception?

“So, that is a quick overview of where we left off – though it lacks the surprising depth that Anna Godbersen brings to all these storylines. But if you have read the first three in the series (as I hope you have if you’ve read this far into the review), then you know what I mean and I don’t need to convince you otherwise.

“I was more than happy to jump back into the scandalous, deceptive, dramatic, lovely, romantic lives of ‘The Luxe’ – and it wasn’t hard to do. I was instantly bombarded, in the best way, with new twists and turns and alluring plots. ‘Splendor’ is like its predecessors in the series, in that it continues the trend of being addictive, yet somehow grounded. Anna Godbersen expertly mixes soapy love triangles, lies, and shocks with a vulnerability and believability that is incredible and makes the series truly worth the read.

“‘Splendor’ is unendingly suspenseful with its unexpected turn of events and presents us with smart, unique, fully imagined characters that you can love or love to hate. And without going into any details that could ruin someone else’s experience of the novel, I can honestly say that as it barreled to its stunning, climatic conclusion, I found ‘Splendor’ to be spine-tinglingly, goosebump-inducingly perfect!!!

“It is both beautifully, rapturously romantic and utterly satisfying. Anna Godbersen wrapped up the series not with a perfectly tied bow, but instead with multilayered, bittersweet, varied ends. Each character was given a follow-up that gelled so fantastically with life and its ups and downs, providing some with a sad finale, and others were a happy one – that I was floored by the complete lack of cliches.

“Despite the ‘Luxe’ series being at its core a book of balls and forbidden romances and different levels of society in 1900s New York, entertaining and shocking and fun, it also managed to inspire me and impress me as it came to a close. And it only made me all the more excited to read Godbersen’s next series ‘Bright Young Things’!”

Thank you to Angie from Bibliophile Support Group for stopping by inkpop to discuss Splendor with us.

Over to you…have you read Splendor? If so, what did you think of it? If not, will you be picking this book up during your next trip to the bookstore and/or library?

Share your thoughts in the comments section!

Erika (aka inkpoperika)

2 Responses to “Blogger Book Review: Splendor by Anna Godbersen”

  1. Carter said

    I also read Splendor. I started reading The Luxe novels about two years ago, and was instantly engulfed in the stories. I couldn’t stop, and I didn’t want to. I hated Penelope from the beginning, but understood the reason she was doing the things she did. I thought Elizabeth was a bit to soft spoken and demure, but ladies that day were “supposed” to be like that. Diana though.. What can I say. I loved Diana from the start. She and Henry created the best love story. The series didn’t end for some of the characters, how I’d hoped it would. Then again series as good as this usually never do. I would reread all of the books in a heartbeat if asked or told to. Splendor left me wanting more, but satisfied that the series was ending. I too will soon be reading “Bright Young Things”

  2. Rachel said

    I thought that I liked this series. who wouldn’t love a romantic teen novel? right? but then, I started to read the books and my perspective changed. I mean, a young teen having sex with her sisters fiancé? Elizabeth and will living together before marriage, and not being any better than Diana and Henry and getting pregnant??? sure its a page turner…but why? im a 14 yr old girl who says that we shouldn’t be putting this junk in our minds. of course I don’t mean to disrespect the author, Anna Godberson did a fabulous job with it, but the actual plot of the story is not something we should be submerging our minds in.

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