On the Back of the Book
New York City, 1900
In high society nothing is more dangerous than a scandal. Two months have passed since the esteemed Holland family's shocking fall from grace and those watching the impetuous Miss Diana Holland are beginning to whisper again.
Further uptown, notorious cad Henry Schoonmaker and his new bride are the city's most celebrated couple. But the glittering diamond she wears hasn't brought her all she desires.
Manhattan's most envied residents appear to have everything: wealth, beauty, happiness.
But in a city ruled by reputation, sometimes the most practised smiles hide the most scandalous secrets...
Pre Read Thoughts
Okay, this is a re-read. I first read it a couple of years ago when I was 18 and adored it but after the disappointment I feel after reading The Luxe and Rumours I'm not sure if I'll like it anymore. Once again I think that the UK cover is too busy with all it swirls and things. It distracts you from the dress which for me is the focus of the cover. The RRP is £6.99 and that's what I paid. It's a reasonable price and I won't grumble about it. The synopsis doesn't really say much so I'm wondering how much I remember and what's gonna happen.
Post Read Thoughts
It's taken me ages to read this because I didn't enjoy it at all. The whole thing felt incredibly mediocre. The whole book felt limp, nothing happened until the final 100 pages. That means that 3/4 of this book is just filler and that's ridiculous. Surely it should be quality over quantity. Maybe that's just me getting old though. The writing isn't any better, it's filled with dull narrations and many, many descriptions of outfits that I couldn't give a stuff about. The pace is slower than a snail stuck down with super glue (although why you'd stick a snail down with super glue I have no idea). I could barely manage more than a couple of pages at a time until everything started happening. Having all your plot development at the end of the story is stupid, it makes the reast of the book boring.
The characters get worse in every book. Diana has gone from a bright, quirky individual, to a stupid, lovesick puppy that does nothing but pine after their owner. In this case, that's Henry, who's described as a "cad" but he's nothing but a drunken idiot with no backbone. I mean he says he loves Diana but look at how easy it was for him to forget about her. He even married another woman for crying out loud! Speaking of his wife, dear Penelope is nothing but a vindictive nymphomaniac who thinks that she's better than she is. Everything she says about Diana is also true about herself. She's a hypocrite. She has no morals. I guess that's why she continues to be the friend of poor, fragile Elizabeth who just gets soppier with every book, I want to slap her silly. I get that she's had a tough time but she doesn't even seem to be trying to move on. Unlike her former love rival Lina who has turned into nothing but a social climbing gold digger who has only managed to get to where she is by blackmailing people. None of the main characters are likable and none of them are particularly realistic.
Overall I'm unimpressed. The whole thing is ridiculous, I don't believe that any of what happened is likely to have ever occured. I know it's fiction but this isn't a fantasy book. I also want to know why none of the parents seem to actually care what their children do. I mean my mum would skin me alive if I treated anyone the way these morons do. I can genuinely see why teens lovbe these books but for me this just doesn't cut the mustard as even a semi decent read. I mean for it to be that there'd have to be some semblance of a plot running through the book not just leaping in at the end like "Look at me! I'm a plot!" that really didn't make me very happy.
2 stars - The only reason that this is getting 2 stars is that it's not bad enough to get 1. In that sense it's Anna Godbersen's lucky day. I personally don't like it and if you have similar taste in YA to me I don't think you will either, however, if you're a Gossip Girl then you're sure to love this book. You should definitely check out the series.