Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Book Review: Splendor

Author: Anna Godbersen
Publisher: HarperCollins
Series: The Luxe #4
Release Date: October 27, 2009
Pages: 400
Read it in: 2 days

***NOTE!! This summary/review does contain spoilers, so if you have not read the series yet-- and want to-- you might want to skip this one!!***

Summary: New beginnings. Shocking revelations. Unexpected endings.

As spring turns into summer, Elizabeth relishes her new role as a young wife, while her sister, Diana, searches for adventure abroad. But when a surprising clue about their father's death comes to light, the Holland girls wonder at what cost a life of splendor comes.

Carolina Broad, society's newest darling, fans a flame from her past, oblivious to how it might burn her future. Penelope Schoonmaker is finally Manhattan royalty-- but when a real prince visits the city, she covets a title that comes with a crown. Her husband, Henry, bravely went to war, only to discover that his father's rule extends far beyond New York's shores and that fighting for love may prove a losing battle.

In the dramatic conclusion to the bestselling Luxe series, New York's most dazzling socialites chase dreams, cling to promises, and tempt fate. As society watches what will become of the city's oldest families and newest fortunes, one question remains: Will its stars fade away or will they shine ever brighter?

LC's Take: 

In the fourth and last installment of The Luxe series, you can't expect anything to turn out the way you think it will. It has been a roller-coaster ride, following the drama-filled lives of Diana, Elizabeth, Penelope and Lina-- and true to her writing style, AG delivers an ending that will shock her readers and leave them sighing over the fates of her characters!

Diana and Elizabeth Holland-- two sisters born into a world of wealth and privilege in 19th century New York City-- have anything but "charmed" lives. Elizabeth bet everything to be with her one true love, and watched as her whole world crumbled to pieces. Now she is picking up those pieces, only to be caught as a victim in a plot for her family's money. Diana, outwardly the opposite of her quiet and conservative older sister, is still struggling with her passionate love for Henry Schoonmaker, one of the wealthiest young men in the city. Henry meanwhile loves Diana just as passionately, but was blackmailed into marrying Penelope, the Holland sisters' worst enemy. 

Oh, Penelope... here is an amazing character because of her complexity-- throughout the entire series, she is the one person that you love to hate, because she is just so devious and scheming. But by the end of this book, you really come to pity her when you find out that she is her own worst enemy, and that she is just as much a victim to the society she lives in as the rest of the girls.

And Lina-- AKA Carolina-- is a similar character. Throughout this series she has done some truly horrendous things-- backstabbing her way to greatness, abandoning her only family, lying through her teeth at every turn--only to discover in the end that all the money in the world can't buy her the one thing she actually wants-- someone to love her for who she really is. 

Splendor ends The Luxe series like the grande finale of an amazing play. All of the characters have grown up and have come to realize that what they wanted in the beginning is completely different from what they know will make them happy now. I won't give away what happens or who ends up with who, but the ending was very well-done-- although like I said, completely unexpected! I know that this is one of those series that I plan on buying and re-reading one day. It was an incredible story made up of unforgettable characters, gorgeous world-building, and a totally addicting plot. I am so happy I discovered these books, and hope if you end up reading them that you get caught up and enjoy them as much as I did!

LC's Rating:
**Swoon!** This series is to die for! And Splendor was a great end to a great series-- I highly recommend these books to anyone who loves historical fiction, drama, and unexpected endings!


  1. Thanks for stopping by my blog.
    Great review! I am still to read this series. I love historical fiction so I will definitely be checking this one out.
    Have a great weekend!

  2. I have seen so many people talking about these books on blogs and various you-tube channels and one of my friends love these books too but I haven't got round to reading them yet. One day I will because they sound really good :)

  3. Erika~ Oh yes, if you are a historical fiction fan, you will definitely love these!! Have a great weekend :)

    Alex~ I totally support the reading of this series haha-- they are very entertaining!

  4. "Oh, Penelope... here is an amazing find out that she is her own worst enemy,........"

    Isn't that the way it even turns out in life?
    I am not sure if I want to read this series for the stories, or for the covers!!
    No way eBooks for these ones - LOVE the covers too much!!



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