Friday, July 22, 2011

Vixen - Review

Title: Vixen
Author- Jillian Larkin
Publisher:  Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Goodreads Summary:

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.

My thoughts:

Not too shabby, as young adult books go.  We read this for book club, and it sparked some interesting conversation.  

I had the hardest time remembering that the characters were only in high school.  I didn't disapprove of their behavior, especially for the time, I just kept picturing them in my mind as in their twenties.  So when one of them would say that they had school the next day, it would throw me off- and to be honest, those moments seemed kind of throw away to me, like Larkin just threw them in randomly to remind us that these were high schoolers, and that this was a young adult book.  

The characters were not all that particularly likable- I thought Gloria to be insipid and bland, and even her rebellion seemed perfectly cliched. Her romance with Jerome I think is just starting to be played out- will she be able to handle the prejudices that are directed at her? Is she strong enough?  I am not so sure she is.

 Clara also fell way too easily into the role of a perfect influence and paragon of purity - her year of rebellion quashed in an ultimatum delivered by her aunt, Gloria's mom. The character Lorraine was my favorite-  I called her a hot mess, and she really was.  But this made her so much more interesting than the others.  She had depth that I felt the others lacked, even Clara, despite Clara's sordid past.  I really felt sorry for her too, being so in love with Marcus, and Gloria and Marcus knowing and silently mocking her.  Too cruel.  She really just wanted someone to care about her - she didn't seem to be first in anyone's life, not even her parents.

Although I was not totally in love with this book, I am a fan of this era, and I am curious to know what happens in the sequel, with Lorraine and Sebastian.  Ranked with my recent YA reads, I would put this below Libba Bray and the Hunger Games, but above Magnolia League and Twilight.  

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