Sunday, November 28, 2010

ARC Review: Vixen (The Flappers, Book 1) by Jillian Larkin

ARC Review: Vixen (The Flappers, Book 1) by Jillian Larkin
Publisher: Delacorte Press
(Dec. 2010)
Hardcover: 432 pages
Reading Level: Young Adult
Source: B&N First Look Program
Rating: 5 Stars
ISBN-10: 0385740344
ISBN-13: 978-0385740340

SYNOPSIS (From Goodreads): 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: Wow! What an amazing debut by Jillian Larkin. Vixen is now my favorite YA debut book for 2010. It’s that special. This is definitely one of those must read books, it’s just too wonderful to miss out on. This is the first book that I’ve read that is set in the 1920’s, so I wasn’t sure I was going to like it because it was outside of what I like to read. But surprisingly, I loved it! Vixen is the first book in The Flappers series. The second book, Ingenue will be published in 2011 and Diva, the third book, will be published in 2012. I will definitely be continuing the series.

Vixen is a book that you don’t want to put down from beginning to end. It is so entertaining and captivating. When I was reading the book, I was immersed in the aura of the 1920’s because of the detailed descriptions of the time period, including the flapper lifestyle, clothing, hairstyles, jazz music, prohibition, alcohol, speakeasies, gangsters, etc. The story is told in alternating points of view of three teenage girls, Gloria, Clara, and Lorraine. Gloria is a socialite in Chicago. She is engaged to Sebastian, who comes from a powerful family. Clara is Gloria’s cousin who is visiting Gloria to help her with the wedding. Lorraine is Gloria’s best friend. Larkin goes in depth with each character's storyline, that you really get to know each of the girls well. Each girl has their own lead role in the book, which I thought was great. I loved each character. The plot was solid throughout the book, no boring spots or weak plot points. It was cleverly done.

While the girls try to find themselves and fit in, so much drama unfolds as the stories of these three girls seamlessly weave in and out of each others lives. I loved the drama! And when the cute bachelors enter the lives of these girls, everything gets way more complicated. This made things very interesting. There is rebellion, jealousy, betrayal, romance, deception, lies, secrets, danger, and mystery. And the ending leaves on such a great cliffhanger that you can’t help but want to know what happens next.

There really wasn't anything I didn’t like about the book, except that the word “love” was introduced a little too soon for me personally. I like to see a relationship last a little longer before it blossoms into love. But other than that, the book was awesome!

Vixen is truly a bookish delight! I’d recommend it not only for older teens but for adults as well. For those of you who enjoy reading about the 1920’s but want a young spin on things, this book is perfect for you. But even if this isn’t something you’d normally read, just give it a try like me, it will amaze you. If you like reading debut authors, then make sure Vixen is next on your list.

*Although this is considered a YA book, the level of maturity is higher than in other YA books I’ve read, in terms of the girl’s relationships with the guys. If you aren’t into the angsty books, then this book is probably more your style. There are a few sexual references but not many, as well as underage drinking. So just wanted to point that out.


  1. I have been putting off getting a copy of this one. I have to read it now. Great review.

  2. I am just dying to read this one -- so glad it's as good as it sounds!

  3. This is a great novel from a debut author. So many times I see superficial writing and simple stories, especially in YA-it's almost like new authors are scared of going 'too deep'. But not so with Larkin. Her novel is intricate and detailed, exciting and interesting. When people say that a
    book is "character driven", this is what they mean. The story is there, and it is strong, but it comes secondary to the characters and their arcs-their story.


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