Sunday, March 15, 2009

Rumors by Anna Godbersen

Now we’re getting somewhere.

Welcome back to Manhattan, 1899 2009.

So, Elizabeth’s dead, right? But there is no body. As with so many high profile cases, there are conspiracy theories surrounding her death, and a close eye is being kept on those who were closest to her—Swoonmaker Nate, Blairbitch Penelope, Green as Jenny Lina, Di(e), etc. Further: Could it be the young Miss Holland will engage in an affair with her deceased sister’s fiancé, Natedoll? Could it be that his super jealous ex-fuck bunny (only worth a) Penny is all, “Over my—or yours, or Elizabeth’s, or hell, the queen’s—dead body?”

This one is only a slight step up from The Luxe in terms of historical accuracy. I really think there is some gold in the idea of creating a sort of historical soap opera books like such as a sort of alter ego for Gossip Girl (and you gotta admit, of all the spinoffs, this one is by far the most creative in its variations)—at least for the series’ fans. But this utter disregard to the period covered and its culture kinda weakens the whole affair and comes across as rather lazy.

Also: the word ‘circumspect’ was use a dozen times too many. Seriously, now, it’s not even that great a word.

It occurs to me there would be that much stronger a hook if there was some plausible way with which to incorporate all the dramatic tropes herein—starting with the dialogue not sounding so en vogue a la now and all the promiscuity the plot resorts to being contextual and not just a tad bit green.

All of this notwithstanding, I liked reading Rumors a lot more than its predecessor. The characters could all still use a little sculpting to enhance the renowned z-axis and all, but there’s something here that just works. It’s a lot of fun watching these people all screw themselves over, make amends, plunge the knife yet again, and repeat in some sort of vicious cycle. As long as there’s a conscience of when to stop when it gets tireless (under 12 books, please) I’ll keep reading.

It’s kind of like watching that voodoo with the pins and the dolls—lemme tell you, totally satisfying. And fun! God, I sound like I have some sort of complex. I should get Envy sometime, hmm? Hopefully we’ll learn what makes Penny-for-your-fuckup such a psychopath!


ETA: I forgot to mention this, but has anyone who has read the series noticed how the big huge twists are usually presented without much fanfare? I am talking about, like, starting book one with Elizabeth’s funeral and starting this one off with how she’s not dead and all? This structure goes right over my head...

HarperTeen (with Alloy) | 432 pages | June 1st, 2008 | GoodReads | Retailers (compare prices)


H said...

I didn't like the Luxe enough to read Rumours. Maybe I'll read it if I see it at the library or something if it's better that the first one.

Taren said...

I'm telling you, read some Sweet Valley High books. It's the exact same thing, just in a different time period. They were the Gossip Girl books of the 80's.

Laura said...

I love this series because it's so Dynasty like in the 19th/20th Century, NYC... Plus Diana and Henry = HAWT!!!

Amee said...

Oops, shouldn't have read that spoiler! lol

madison said...

There's just going to be four books, Steph. The fourth, Splendor, comes out I don't know when and then it's supposed to be over.

I wasn't crazy about The Luxe, but I got Rumors from the library and if I didn't love it, I definitely enjoyed it. I think for me, it's because I knew what to expect, so I knew I wouldn't be blown away by anything so it was a lot easier to enjoy the story.

I haven't read Envy yet, but I have a good idea of what happens. (I ♥ spoilers.)

Ashley said...

I enjoyed this one MUCH more than the first. I'm excited for Envy!

Em said...

thanks for reviewing this one! I didn't like the first one so it's interesting to hear that this one is better. I'll have to give it a shot.

Tiqa Khairi said...

Is it just me or does the girl from the cover really look like Amy Lee from Evanescence? And oh god I've just realised that this book was published on my birthday! WOOO!! Hahaha. Thanks for the review. I'll def pick this one up

Vanessa ( said...

I'm reading Envy now, and it starts the same way with the twists without fanfare you speak of.

I really have no idea what's happening and I just read that part.

I can't wait to read Envy.

I love The Luxe series.

Nikki said...

I think its a great way to get young kids interested in real literature from that time period. I've had a whole bunch of people ask me for Classic recommendations since reading this series because they want a taste of the real thing. I think its important to recognise it for what it is - a modern book written for teenage girls. If you keep that in perspective, all those historical inaccuracies you seem to have problems with become less important.

Sadako said...

Heh heh. Sounds deliciously evil. Very Dangerous Liaisons for the younger set.

Jennifer said...

Envy is even better than the first two. I'm actually excited to read the fourth one, Splendor, when it comes out :D

Ruth @ Bookish Ruth said...

You know, I'm usually pretty picky with historical fiction, but this sounds just cracky enough that I actually might like it. Everyone needs guilty pleasure reads, right?

Post a Comment

Hey! For some reason, this embedded comment form makes most people click twice before the comment is processed and published. It's not you - it's just that it's a new Blogger feature with kinks and all that. (But I adore it and don't wanna get rid of it!) I removed Captcha to make the process easier. You don't have to rewrite the comments twice; just click on SUBMIT twice and it should work. If not, email me. Thanks! -Steph