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Review: Vixen by Jillian Larkin

In total lurrrve with this cover!!!
V i x e n  by Jillian Larkin

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.

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Source: borrowed/Library
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Next: Ingenue (August 9, 2011)
Challenge: YA Historical Fiction Challenge

VIXEN is an impeccably told story, riddled with rebellion and risky romance, glamorous danger, and authentic characters! I'm so glad I had a related English assignment, otherwise I wouldn't have picked it up until much later in the year. I was totally engrossed in the story, and I connected with most of the characters. The book had just enough drama, just enough jeopardy to keep me entertained and interested. Larkin did an incredible job whisking me away to the epic Roaring Twenties, an alluring time of glitz and unprecedented wealth!

Told in three third person POVs, VIXEN describes the life of three very dissimilar girls - Gloria Carmody, Clara Knowles, and Lorraine Dyer. Between them, my favorite is Clara. She waltzes into the Carmody estate, an innocent facade about her, gets trash-talked by her aunt and walks away, for the most part, unscathed. Clara has an amazing willpower, one that gets her through the emotional wreckage that was the previous year, and allows her to acclimate well to this sudden change in her life.  I loved how no one saw her as anything more than a common, saintlike, country bumpkin from the east, because it shows just how clever she is. I delighted in the fact that she had everybody completely fooled! She's intelligent, most especially streetsmart, and she's intuitive - some of my favorite qualities. So, when love happens once Marcus, aka Mistah Playah, shows up, I couldn't have been more thrilled!

Gloria, while likable, I didn't enjoy nearly as much. I found myself easily annoyed by her know-it-all type personality, and I rolled my eyes more than once when I saw how spoilt she could be. On the other hand, she could be immensely charming, and I noticed myself admiring her at certain points. I think it's that audacious, daring side of her that makes me like her. But, what really had me submersed in her story was the reckless and captivating romance with a very sexy jazz musician by the name of Jerome. The minute Gloria laid eyes on him, I fell flat on my face over a cliff in luff.

And Lorraine, though I couldn't completely sympathize with her, I did pity her somewhat. I mean, having a gorgeous, have-it-all best friend, a lack of self-esteem, being spurned and overlooked by the boy you've been crushing on for the longest, and bested by someone you underestimated cannot be easy. The fact that she made so many ridiculous and embarrassing attempts to get attention, made her not only appear pathetic, but all the more pitiable.Though, after putting this book down, and seeing her potential to do harm, to play the bad guy, I think she'd make a rather deadly enemy.

Reading about this trio of girls was a fast-paced, intense, and unpredictable journey, that has me wondering what Larkin is cooking up for the sequel. And because this was such a spectacular start to the series, I am more than ready to take on INGENUE.

"Forget about Lorraine. I like you, Clara. I'm smitten by you."
He touched her cheek then, and Clara leaned into his palm. She wanted so much to lose herself in his embrace...
"You have to stop thinking about me like that, Marcus. For your own good..." She went to the door, opened it, and gestured for him to leave. "I'll only cause you trouble."
He walked to her. Clara thought for a second that he was going to kiss her. But he stopped mere inches before her. "You already have." (215) *melts*
"I don't want another teacher!" She went to him. If she didn't say it now, she never would. "I want you. That is what I want. That is what I came over here to tell you."
Jerome's eyes blazed as Gloria touched his shoulder. He stroked her hair gently, tilted her face up to his. "You can't know that yet. You can't know what that means."
"Then show me," she said, pulling closer. "Show me." (291) *double melt*


Chel said...

I'm in love with the cover of Vixen. Truly gorgeous! I've been meaning to buy this but the premise always puts me off. I only like historical when its combined with steampunk/fantasy. But oh, those quotes surely are swoon-worthy!

Marathon said...

Chel - Right? It's breathtaking. It's actually really intense. And because I was already studying the time period, I knew what to expect. The Roaring Twenties was when the gangsters and the mofia really began to emerge, so it gets a little nerve-wracking and dangerous toward the second half. Trust me, this book is not just a pretty face. Give it a try.

Logan E. Turner said...

Very cool. I've been on the fence with this one, but I think the setting sounds so interesting. There aren't a whole lot of books I've read set in the '20s. The girls sound really interesting the way you describe them, so I'll have to give it a shot.

Marathon said...

Logan - Yes, pick it up. There are so many ridiculously amazing things about the twenties, and the girls suited the time period so well - or rather the other way around. I enjoyed it a lot, and I hope you do, too!

akh said...

would this be appropriete for a 7th grader?? im that kid, and i heard about you... i don't remember where, but this book sounds good... just wondering if i can read it...

akh said...

oh wait sorry!! nevermind, i guess... hehe

Marathon said...

Well, it doesn't have anything explicit in it. There are a few intense kissing scenes, and such. But there's isn't anything really sexual. Any sex scenes are implied, not detailed.

It's up to you. Personally, I don't think it's exactly inappropriate. If you get uncomfortable while reading it, at any point, just stop.

What you might find interesting - and definitely age-appropriate - is the Heist Society by Ally Carter. A priceless art collection gone missing, thieves attempting to catch a thief, gangsters... You might want to try it. ;)