Sunday, November 7, 2010

Review - Part 1A : Vixen - Speakeasy by Jillian Larkin

*Warning: This review may contain spoilers. Read at your own risk.

: Ember
Release Date: August 9, 2011
Pages: 448
Source: First Look, Barnes and Noble*

*This ARC was provided by Barnes and Noble and reviewers were asked to review it in parts.

The Story:

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.

-Barnes and Noble

My Review Part 1 A: One Word: COPACETIC

For the 1920's meaning of "Copacetic" look it up under "C": HERE

First off, I really quite enjoyed VIXEN and look forward to reading its sequel, INGENUE. Thanks to Jillian Larkin I am now bug-eyed and foaming at the mouth for the next book of The Flappers series.

Section 1: So now on to the discussion. Sarah, I have to agree with you when you stated that: “Each of the characters seems to be trying to change their lives by manipulating their image.” Gloria is the every-mother-wishes-she-had-me-as-a-daughter bored with her life and following the rules. Although Gloria sometimes rubs me the wrong way I still say: Go get ‘em girl. Reading her chapters were a bit empowering. Although she may be na├»ve about the real world and plunging off the deep end a little too quickly – is there any other way to do it – it’s refreshing to see a character growing into her own after a lifetime of jumping through loops of fire, “Yes, mother” and “Sure mother, I’ll marry any guy you choose for me so he can take over the reins of controlling my life where you left off while I sit pretty without any qualms.” Very refreshing indeed.

Lorraine, Lorraine, Lorraine... I have to admit, my heart does go out to this character. She’s so lost in life it draws a sigh from my chest every time I think about her character. Don’t get me wrong, Lorraine’s character is quite interesting and has tremendous potential at being a great villain – I can’t wait to see if she’ll grow into herself or just the spawn of jealous, parent-issues, being misunderstood, love deprived and gift-wrapped as a teenage girl. As Lisa Desrochers wrote (give or take): “Circumstances – especially extenuating ones -- dictate action” [Personal Demons, page 230].

My, my Country Clara; have we skeletons in our closet? Clara is the epitome of a good-girl-gone-bad-reformed. Aside from being a born-again flapper trying to successfully complete her sentence in Chicago as Country Clara I wondered what the secret she doesn’t want anyone – not a single soul – to discover. I think I have a few ideas? You?

Section 2: “You're here because you think it makes you free” [Jerome to Gloria]. I believe that this quote defines the whole essence – soul -- of the book, VIXEN. Gloria – especially Gloria, Clara and Lorraine are all trying to accomplish one goal. And that one goal boils down to one thing: being free. Gloria wants to be free of her measured, puppeteered life. Clara wants to be free of her haunting past. And Lorraine wants to be free of her role as the overlooked best friend – free from being in the shadow of her shining star best friend Gloria.

With that said, here is my favorite tidbit from Part I of VIXEN, Speakeasy through to page 144:

“‘I’m Gloria Car – Gloria Carson, from a hick town so hick I moved to Chicago just to find out what a gin tasted like. And to become a famous singer. Which means” – she batted her lashes coyly at the trumpet player – “I hope to God I can carry a tune. Otherwise, what the hell am I doing here?’” – page 107.

***My review is in a 4 part series: 1B2A and 2B***

Happy Reading!


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