Vixen (The Flappers #1) by Jillian Larkin
publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
released: December 14, 2010
hardcover, 421 pages
intended audience: Young Adult
Jazz . . . Booze . . . Boys . . . It’s a dangerous combination.
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. . . .
From debut author Jillian Larkin, VIXEN is the first novel in the sexy, dangerous, and ridiculously romantic new series set in the Roaring Twenties . . . when anything goes.
Review: This books was a completely surprise to me. When I received this one for review, I hadn't given it much thought, and it definitely wasn't one that I was really excited about. Despite my love of the flapper era, the cover and the synopsis didn't grab me. With that said, I couldn't be more grateful that this one was sent to me out of the blue---or I would have missed out!
Jillian Larkin's writing draws you so completely into both the glamorous and the gritty side of the twenties. You can practically smell the booze and smoke and feel the sway of the room of an underground speakeasy. You squirm in your seat at the snobbery and lofty expectation of the rich high society set. It was all there---the romance, the glittering gowns, the scandal, and the danger of living in a time that was also known for it's gangsters and prohibition.
Vixen follows the stories of three girls: Gloria, her best friend Lorraine, and her cousin Clara. All very different, but all struggling to figure out their lives. Each wants something more than the hand they've been dealt, whether that be a suffocating, loveless marriage, or constantly living in the shadow of someone else, or carrying around a big scandalous secret and a broken heart. The way each story unfolds and intertwines had me glued to the page.
The story touches on some pretty serious themes and I think that is what surprised me the most. It's not all cattiness and dresses and dancing. It's about loyalty, friendship, living in fear, living up to expectations, and trying to turn your life around. One of the most interesting things about this story was the love story between Gloria, a white, rich girl, and Jerome, a black jazz pianist. This whole thing was beautifully, beautifully written. Because while in this day and age, people normally don't bat at eye about interracial couples(thank goodness), back in the twenties this would have been a very BIG deal.
You have to read this book to find out how it all plays out, but be prepared for a very steep cliffhanger!! I loved it and will be anxiously awaiting the next installment, Ingenue, due out in August 2011.
Random House has put together a fun website for Vixen...check it out here.
Purchase Vixen at: Amazon • BN.com • BookDepository
Trailer (seriously love this trailer!) :