Title: Vixen (Flappers #1)
Author: Jillian Larkin
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Pages: 421 hardcover
My Rating: 4/5 stars
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.
Why did I take so long to finish this book? It was just marvelous! The story takes place in the 1920’s, perhaps one of history’s most magical times. This time period was filled with gambling, dancing, drinking, mystery, and more than anything, romance. Vixen takes us through the lives of three young girls, Gloria, Clara, and Lorraine. Gloria is the girl who has it all; money, good looks, great voice, and even a handsome fiancé. Clara, Gloria’s cousin, was sent to help make preparations for Gloria’s wedding, however, there is a lot more in her past than she is letting on. Lorraine, Gloria’s best friend is a girl who sick of being left in the shadows of Gloria. She will stop at nothing to get what Gloria has.
Wow… just, wow! This book left me speechless. The characters, the imagery, the facts, basically everything about Vixen was spectacular.
Gloria is a girl you could easily love. On the outside she has it all but beneath her beautiful exterior is a girl who just wants to escape. Her engagement is a sham, her family life is crumbling around her, and she just can’t seem to get thoughts of Jerome, a black musician, out of her head. Gloria wants nothing more than to shed her Ms. Innocent personality so she decides to become a flapper. She chops off all her hair, buys new clothes, and sneaks out at night to the town’s most famous speakeasy, the Green Mill. It is there that she meets Jerome and soon finds herself auditioning to be their leading lady.
Clara was by far my favorite character. Throughout the whole story she was hiding all of these secrets from her life in New York and I found myself anxious to learn what she was hiding. She was an original flapper. She escaped her small, farming life to join the bright lights of New York City. There she fell in love and got her heart broken. When she shows up at Gloria’s house, she is determined to make a difference with herself. She refuses to be pulled back into her former flapper lifestyle. Things go great until she meets Marcus, Gloria’s male friend and Lorraine’s lifetime crush. Clara knows Marcus is a playboy and probably has some ulterior motives but she can’t help but fall for him. I loved the chemistry between Marcus and Clara!
Now on to the character of Lorraine. Well to put it quite bluntly she was whiny, evil, selfish, and magnificent. She may have been a wretched friend who only thought about herself, but this girl sure knows how to cause DRAMA! Lorraine is driven by her jealousy of Gloria. She wants her looks, her fiancé, her voice, her life. Lorraine gets so caught up in trying to outdo Gloria that she gets herself into several messes. She shows up intoxicated to a few parties, gets thrown out of Gloria’s house twice and even does a few no-no’s with Gloria’s fiancé.
Aside from the interesting, wonderful characters, Vixen is also filled with beautiful imagery. The roaring 20’s has been a time period that has been fascinating to me ever since I read The Great Gatsby my junior year of high school. I felt like I was in the smoky, hidden rooms of the speak easies, or that I was walking the sidewalks lined with beautiful, extravagant homes. I even felt like I could see the glimmer of the flashy flapper dresses. Jillian Larkin created a 1920’s masterpiece with Vixen!