The Luxe by Anna Godbersen
I first read this book when I was a senior in high school and throughout the following years I ended up reading it two more times. I love history and I had never really been acquainted with New York City in the 1890'2- early 1900's but Godbersen really made that world come alive. I fell in love with it; all the parties, dresses, handsome men, gossip... not that I would ever want to live in that time because everything was chosen for you, however, it all appears very glamorous. The characters were also very real and rebellious. I felt very close to several of them and the others I hated because they were so devious (which is a good thing. If you don't hate the evil people, then the author isn't doing their job). I loved the intrigue and the romance... oh the romance. Will is wonderful and perfect and Henry is the classic bad boy that everyone wants. Two wonderful guys to daydream about. The research Godbersen did with the newspaper and book clippings was wonderful and the writing flowed really well. I had no idea what was coming or how things would end up how they were apparently supposed to (the prologue gives you a small taste of the ending without giving anything away) and I am rarely surprised by endings. While I wasn't a HUGE fan of the ending of the series and a few choices made for characters in later books (a whole other story that I won't dive into here), this first book was wonderful to me and I could re-read this book for forever. I highly recommend people reading this one, though be warned, it will MAKE you want to read the following books which are sadder and pessimistic. So unless you enjoy that type of book, just be prepared for it; I wasn't. Though the saddness does make a lot of sense if you look at the story realistically and from the perspective of the time period... Anyway! LOVED this book. You should read it and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.