February 9, 2012

Review: Vixen by Jillian Larkin

Vixen by Jillian Larkin

Release Date: December 2010
Publisher: Random House | Delacorte Books
Pages: 421 pages
Source & Format: Borrowed From Friend; Hardcover
Series: Flappers #1
Amazon | Goodreads

Summary
Gloria Carmody wants to be a real flapper - including bobbed hair, rebellion, and music-filled nights in a dangerous speakeasy. But, she's engaged to Sebastian Grey. It seems that her party days of over before they've even begun.

Clara Knowles, Gloria's cousin, will do whatever it takes to keep her secrets hidden. She thinks her past is long forgotten, but is it?

Lorraine Dyer, Gloria's best friend, is dying to step outside of her friend's shadow. She's consumed with jealously and no one is safe from her desperation.

Thoughts on Vixen
Unfortunately for Vixen, I read this book after I read Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen. Both books are set in the 1920s. Both are part of a series. Both follow the lives of three girls - each a different "type" of girl. I LOVE Anna Godbersen, which is probably why I preferred her book. Vixen felt like a slightly trashier knock-off.

I had a hard time getting into this book at first. In fact, I started reading it last year before setting it aside for later. I wasn't really drawn into the story, and I didn't particularly like the characters. Luckily, when I picked it back up, I was finally able to get past the first few chapters. The action definitely picks up from that point on.

This is definitely a glamourous version of the 1920s. It's got everything you could want in a book about the era. Jazz singers, mobsters, flappers, catty girls, fancy dresses - and a whole lot of rebellion.

Each chapter is told from the perspective of one of the girls. I think my main problem was that I didn't really understand the characters. Sometimes, it felt like their motives weren't quite consistent. For example, one minute Clara is mourning what she did in the past and the next she's wishing she could go back to that life. It wasn't a huge deal, but it did bother me. Also, jumping from one character to the next left me wishing I could spend more time with the character I liked and skip over the one I didn't. I understand why Larkin switched perspectives, but I wasn't a huge fan of the decision.

The storyline was quite "scandalous." I don't really want to give anything away, but I definitely felt like drama played a large role in the book. It was, however, a very delayed drama. Larkin took quite a lot of time setting up the story before the book finally started moving forward.

This book is part of a series, but I won't pick up the next unless I can find it at the library. I didn't love it enough to want to buy the next one, but I liked it enough to keep reading if the book presents itself.

So Quotable
"Clara should have given her cousin a tutorial in the art of lying. Rule Number 1: Keep it simple. Rule Number 2: Never explain. Rule Number 3: Don't involve any other party unless he is complicit in your lie."

"Sometimes it takes a good friend to give us the courage to do the things we could never do for ourselves."

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