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Friday, December 10, 2010

The Flappers: Vixen by Jillian Larkin

Hi there, insatiable readers!
Happy Friday to you all and welcome back to the blog.

A quick reminder that there are currently FIVE...that's right FIVE...contests currently running on the site.  What are they for?  Well, books of course...and you can find the links to one and all in the right hand side bar of my site under 'Contests'.  One of them actually closes TONIGHT!  Don't miss your chance to enter the Chronicle Books Happy HAUL-idays Giveaway...if I win, YOU $500 Wish List of awesomeness from their catalog of bookish treasure.  Just click here to be taken straight to the contest post...moving on...

I hope you're ready to add another book to that ever growing wish list (well, mine is always growing, so I presume yours is too) because boy oh boy do I have a great one today...which is purely my opinion of course, but I do believe some of you just might share it by posts end.  Question you believe me? 

Don't worry, that was a rhetorical question.
I'd never REALLY ask that because after all, if you didn't at least see some grain of truth in my reviews, the way I see it, you wouldn't I thank you for letting me share my reading adventures and allowing me the chance to shed some light on a title or two that you may have missed.  Let's get right to it then....

Today's post is featuring a book from the YA genre and while that's not a surprise to see on the blog, the focus of the book is as it takes place squarely in the 1920s.  Yes, my friends....much as the vampires had (well, are still having) their day, it seems that the roaring 20s have made their way to the forefront and refuse to be silenced (hey, all the better in my opinion...especially when they are this good).  Without further adieu, today's book of choice is....

The Flappers:

Ever wonder what life would be like just outside of your own little world?  Well of course you have, who hasn't at one point or another...but how many of you have had the gumption to seek it out?  My bet right about now, there are far less hands raised in the real world than not, but in this fictional wonderland, things are quite the opposite.

Gloria Carmody is considered one of the social elite in most polite circles.  A beautiful face, social grace, an envy worthy fiance in Sebastian Grey and a background that would withstand the most grueling least until now.  For her, the world would seem to be an oyster merely waiting for her to reap its riches, but TO her, it's lackluster, binding, and stuffy leaving her to feel as a caged animal.  Good thing she has other upstanding friends, Lorraine Dyer and Marcus Eastmen, to blow off a little steam with...and venture into the saucier side of things.  It is the roaring twenties after all.  If one wishes for excitement and thrills, it's simply a matter of being in the right place at the right time...with the right look.  Feathered headband or eyelash dress anyone? 

In the underground world of speakeasies and shady deals, it's easy to get caught up in the glamour and lose your true self.  Good thing her cousin Clara Knowles as just arrived to keep her on the straight and narrow.  With a mouth that wouldn't utter even a warranted complaint and a style of dress so plain as to rival any good farmer's daughter, Gloria's impending wedding should go off without a hitch...then again, maybe not.  It seems that Clara isn't quite the innocent darling she presented herself as...but then again almost no one in this story is.  Time for a little show and tell ladies and gents.  I hope you're ready because this surprise is pos-i-lute-ly unexpected.   

Okay, fellow readers of YA...get ready for a book that is unstoppable, unforgiving, and totally, utterly...JAKE! It's time for a bit of a break from paranormal creatures though they will always live in YA stories.  The new wave that is making its way to the front of the line is the 1920s. That's grab your best flapper-esque dress, vamp up your lipstick, bob your hair and give your best smoldering look to the camera because flappers are the bees knees and this story is the cat's meow!

Flappers were known for their ambition, drive, fashion sense, and their unflappable nature.  Ambition though is one thing that can be very dangerous.  Too little, you're left at the unmarked door with the wrong password; too much and it goes straight to your head (much like with Raine aka Lorraine, one of her besties).  Clara, Gloria, Lorraine....the three girls to know in this story and also the three girls that you only REALLY get to know as the story continues.  It's a classic case of the old adage; it's not what's on the outside but on the inside that counts. With all these gals are hiding, oh boy...get ready for some happening times, shocking revelations, danger, romance, and all that really, there's jazz and though I'm not a huge fan of that particular music scene, I totally fell under this book's spell.

The girls are each as vibrant as they want to be both on paper and in their 1920s lives.  Secrets are kept from each other but not from the reader as the story progresses allowing you to have an omnipresent look at anything and everything as events unfold.  Surprisingly enough though, the way the final scenes play out are completely unexpected.  How so?  You'll have to read it to find out, but trust me, it's good.  You'll cheer for the under dog, laugh at the unexpected sweetness discovered in the most unusual places and people; in fact don't be surprised if you find yourself envisioning the scenes as they roll off the page...vividly.   In fact, so much of the book deals with music in one way or another, just after I finished it, I had the radio on.  Ever have a song come on that you know would have been a great match for what you were reading?  I have and such was the case here.  The song that met my ears was Slide by the Goo Goo Dolls.  Definitely speaks to the events occurring that involve Gloria and Jerome.  Read into that what you like since I won't be spoiling the surprise....I know, I know...I'm being all sketchy and vague, but to say too much would ruin the initial experience of this one so forgive the allusions, or better still, grab a copy to unveil them for yourself.

Recommended reading for mid to late teen readers through adults as there are a few close encounter scenes though they are chaste in nature, the heart races nonetheless.  It's a story of one girls rise to society heights, the depths to which one had fallen, and the desperate nature of the human soul to be on top of it all no matter what the cost.  This is one pos-i-lute-ly fabulous time you don't want to miss! Scheduled release date as of this post is December 14th, 2010 from Delacorte Books for Young Readers, but I'm already marking my calendar for 2011 when the sequel (The Flappers:  Ingenue) is due out. 

ARC for review received and read in conjunction with the Barnes & Noble First Look Book Club.  (THANKS!)  To stay up to date on the books currently being read and discussed, check out their website or follow along on Twitter.

Until next time....happy holidays....and happy reading!


Michelle (Red Headed Book Child) said...

Ooooh snazzy!

Mel (He Followed Me Home) said...

Ahh, to live the life of a socialite in the 20's! I'm reading Bright Young Things right now....move over vamps LOL

Thanks for the review, looking forward to reliving the 20's again with this one!

Gina said...

Michelle: Agreed...that cover is quite snazzy. ^_^

Mel: Ooh..I read an 80 pg teaser sample from that was good. Can't wait to see what you think about that one as well as this!

Tales of Whimsy said...

Ooo sounds so cool. I've love that era.

Bri Ahearn said...

I wanted this so bad. :(

Great review!

Sounds like Clara was named from Clara Bow?

Jessica K. said...

Great review!! I am sooo stalking you now! EEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!

Lisa said...

I'm looking forward to reading this book. I love that era!

The1stdaughter said...

I just love the style that goes with this time period! As well as the mystery which it sounds like was nailed perfectly. I can actually think of a few "flapper" gals who would adore this book, I may just have to make a recommendation!

Fabulous review my dear!

Unknown said...

Sounds like a great book! Recently I finished a spy, romance novel by Peter Hoffmann called Carnal Weapon. It is set in the Eisenhower-era and deals with temptation and espionage. Highly recommended.

Gina said...

Bri Meets Books: may be right! *starts to investigate*

Jessica K.: Yay! I love the know in the "yay this is fun and great" sense, not the "creepy get away from me" sense. (LOL) Hope you enjoy the site!

Lisa: Sounds like a potential perfect fit.

The1stdaughter: It is rather JAKE is it not? LOL. Thanks for the kind words my friend! ^_^

Clark: It DEFINITELY was! Thanks for the reccomendation as well. Will have to look into it...

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