Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Review: Vixen

Vixen by Jillian Larkin (Flappers #1)
Release Date: December 14th 2010
Published by:
Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Pages: Hardcover, 421 pages
Young Adult

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.

Synopsis via Goodreads
My Thoughts:

"Jazz . . . Booze . . . Boys . . . It’s a dangerous combination." The synopsis had it right.

In a time where Flappers were part of an underground community of cool jazz, mobster suits and fringed dresses we were introduced to three girls and their journey into the dangerous and social damaging environment.
Gloria, Clara and Lorraine behold three very strong and different personalities with prominent upbringings which shaped them greatly.

I adored the concept of this book and in most situations it would have had me from the go, but with Vixen, the first of in its series, it seemed to lack a little something. Character development and ability to like those characters was one of the aspects I felt this story lacked. I was given enough of the character's actions to build their personalities with but in the end it just wasn't enough for me. I felt little connection where the girls were concerned and personally would never befriend any of them. In their own right they were all very selfish and slightly screwed up individuals. Clara seemed the most real to me and the most likable but her story, of the three we were told, wasn't the story we were truly reading.  Nevertheless, it may have been my inability to connect with the characters that kept me interested, I kept looking for that common ground.

The lingo that was spoken to us in Vixen was confusing at times. I began to wonder if these girls were just playing pretend or if we were truly back when code words were the only way into these uber-secret, side door, clubs. At times the book sounded accurate and at others it sounded too current.

Beyond my issues with the characters and the lingo, Vixen really was an action packed read. It showed us the racy side, and perhaps a little extreme, behavior of teenagers and their decisions. I didn't feel like Gloria's actions were ever really explained to us beyond her mother's lack of true interest in her heart and only in their name and pocket book, but her journey was an interesting one full of hidden agenda's, a sultry voice, heartbreak and the hope for true love and romance and acceptance.

Jillian Larkin's take on the roaring 20's gives it a glamor that no one can resist.  Vixen is well written and has all the makings of a great read-  coming of age, the losing of innocence, heartbreak, action, romance and truth paired with the dark world of speakeasys.

Ingenue, Flappers #2, comes out in August 2011.

Overall: Photobucket


  1. O.o Great review and thanks for the heads up! I've been looking forward to reading Vixen (love the book trailer!) but I'll have to show some caution and curb my expectations a bit. I don't like it when I can't find common ground with the characters either. :(

  2. I love this time period, so this sounds like something I would love, but it worries me when the wording doesn't match the era, too. Either way, I still look forward to reading this! Great review :)

  3. I'm excited to read this book. I love the 1920s and I always wanted to be a flapper. It always makes me sad when the characters are not developed as much as I'd like. Thanks for the warning.


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