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April 18, 2011 / Chersti Nieveen

book review: VIXEN by Jillian Larkin

Larkin, Jillian. Vixen. New York: Delacorte Book for Young Readers, 2010.

Similar books
The Luxe by Anna Godbersen, Gossip Girls by Cecily von Ziegesar, The Season by Sarah MacLean

She didn’t feel like wearing a garter tonight. Her gold-beaded dress, cascading in waves of crystalline fringe, covered the intersection between her sheer stockings and bare thigh . . .

As she dabbed a final drop of perfume in the crease where her shiny bob skimmed her neck, she decided the garter would be necessary after all. Of course it would.

And then, before snapping her bag closed, she added the small black handgun.

Now she was ready.

Vixen is set in Chicago in 1923 right smack in the Flapper Era, and tells the story of three girls. Seventeen-year-old Gloria Carmody wants to live the flapper lifestyle, but this rich socialite is already engaged to the stuffy Sebastian Grey. Cousin Clara comes to keep an eye on Gloria, but this innocent country girl has not only been around the block, she has a dark secret to hide. And there’s the best friend, Lorraine, who’s jealous of Gloria and determined to become the star of the show and win Marcus’s heart in the process.

The Review
For me, this book was a 20s version of The Luxe or Gossip Girls. But debut author Larkin fills her book with sultry details of that era, making every page a delight for anyone intrigued by that time. But this isn’t another Thoroughly Modern Millie, as this book is filled with drugs, drinking, sex, gangsters and violence and I would probably advise it for 15 or older.

As a whole, I was impressed by the world and the story arc. The boys in the story were intriguing and utterly delightful, even if some of the girls felt a little flat. As is the problem facing any book switching from one character to another, I fell in love with one of the character’s stories while I struggled through the other two. Cousin Gloria had such an intriguing story of a reformed bad girl pretending to be a good girl, though I wish her dark secret was told up front as it would’ve added more suspense for me to know what she was hiding. Her romance with bad boy Marcus continually had me guessing if her reformation was just temporary regret, or a real transformation. Add her story with Gloria’s and Lorraine’s, and you get a good example of a bunch of teens struggling to grow up through the flapper era, and how that time affected those who lived it. Even though the ending was predictable since it went the same route as The Luxe, it intrigued me enough to pick up the sequel that comes out September 2011 and see what happens next.

Sequels: Ingenue coming out Sept 2011
Book trailer:
very well done — not only because it’s intriguing, but it gives you the feel of the book

So what’s your favorite period book? Or what’s your favorite time period to read about?

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6 Comments

  1. Jonene Ficklin / Apr 18 2011 7:52 am

    Congratulations, Chersti! You’ve been given The Versatile Blogger award. (Check Scribblers Cove.)

    • Chersti Nieveen / Apr 18 2011 12:23 pm

      Oh wow – thanks! That’s amazing. I really should find a place to post my awards on my blog. Hmm…

  2. Sophia Richardson / Apr 18 2011 10:38 am

    You had me at Gossip Girls in the ’20s. Gotta go add this to my TBR list. . .
    – Sophia.

    • Chersti Nieveen / Apr 18 2011 12:24 pm

      Ha! I do hope you enjoy it – let me know when you get around to reading it 🙂

  3. Julie Daines / Apr 20 2011 9:09 am

    Sounds intriguing. I love stuff set in the ’20s era. I’ll have to check it out.

  4. Margo / Apr 20 2011 8:59 pm

    I’m not sure if I have a favorite period, yet. Everytime I think it’s Victorian or maybe Depression era then something like this comes along and I think, oh Flappers! How cool! My grandma was a flapper, I simply must read this.

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