Monday, December 20, 2010

Review: Vixen

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: AmazonBN.comBookDepository

Trailer (seriously love this trailer!) :


  1. I always see this but it doesn't interest me. I love the 20's but I don't know if I'll love this novel!

  2. Love your review, and I can't wait to read this one. I've been looking forward to it for a while now.

    I just read Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen, and these two books sound quite similar, but I'm hoping I enjoy this one more than BYT.

  3. I have to agree the cover and synopsis isn't that great, but your review and the awesome trailer definitely makes me want to read it!!

  4. I pretty much dismissed this book, but after reading your review, I am convinced that I would enjoy it. Plus, I love the Jazz era! I must get my hands on a copy...hopefully over the winter break!

  5. I read BYT by Anna Godbersen...have you read it? I'm wondering how the two compare. I love the setting - The Roaring Twenties is an awesome time period. :)

  6. i can't wait to read this!!! thanks so much for the fantastic review!

  7. I can't wait to get my hands on this one! @ jessica I just read BYT by Godsersen my self. and this book does sound a lot like it. I too love the jazz era!