Better late than never is the attitude when it comes to this post! I can’t believe we’re already near the end of April! I managed two books in March, not the best but I’m improving. So, without further ado here are my thoughts on the books I read in March…
You may have noticed that I love a good YA read. I read The Luxe by Anna Godbersen as a teenager and absolutely loved it! I’d highly recommend. So when I saw she had written another series set in 1920’s NYC I had to give it a read despite being the ripe ole age of 22…
This time round Godbersen follows three young girls as they tackle New York City. Each with their own story to tell, but the drama of NYC living means the three girls become wrapped up in each other’s lives in one way or another. Romance, deceit and foul play are abound. It’s not a literary masterpiece but it’s certainly a page turner and full to the brim with drama. Set amongst the backdrop of the roaring 20’s (think Gatsby) this novel is a bit of a historical fiction with a Gossip Girl edge.
First things first, this is by no means a romance novel. So, if that’s what you’re after possibly avoid this one. While it does contain elements of love, it’s a very obsessive, unhealthy love.
O’Neil; depicts the story of Sarah and her sordid “affair” with an older man, Matthew. I really could not stand either of these characters. With Matthew I understood my dislike, he’s a nasty piece of work, a user, and an arrogant so and so to be brutally honest. I found my dislike towards Sarah harder to be ok with. After all, the main character of a story is often depicted to be likeable. I believe O’Neill very purposefully wrote Sarah to be an annoyance to the reader. She awakens something within you as you read, stirring up emotions you may have never tapped into before. Sarah’s obsessive behaviour, and her treatment of others will get under your skin. I read this book in one sitting as I really wanted to see where O’Neill was going with this character’s arc.
Many events occur throughout the text which cause Sarah to call her own character into question. She becomes fully aware of the person she is, yet continues to behave appallingly. The way she treats her father, friends and housemates in favour of her “boyfriend” Matthew will make you so angry. I was getting more and more annoyed as I read.
That’s the beauty of this novel. It’s written in a means that will make you want to slap Sarah, shake her, and scream “what’re you doing!?!”. Whilst I disliked Sarah, I liked the overall plot, it was very compelling. Trying to figure out what could possibly go wrong in Sarah’s life next became a game to me.
While I’ve seen comments on how this book is a great feminist piece, I have to say I can’t wholly agree with that. Sarah has to fight to find what she really wants in life, but she always ends up being steered (whether in a negative or positive direction) by a man. Her lover, her boyfriend, her housemates, or her dad. For a novel that’s based on female empowerment and a young woman finding herself, the narrative relies heavily on the influence of men…