Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Book Review: Vixen by Jillian Larkin

I have wanted to read Vixen by Jillian Larkin FOREVER!

As soon as I heard about it (a few months before it was released by my fabulous publisher, Random House/Delacorte Press), I was just dying to read it. I love the 1920s, and I’m thrilled that this decade is being represented in YA fiction. My first experience with 1920s YA was with Anna Godbersen’s Bright Young Things (check a previous blog post for my review!) and I enjoyed that one so much that I couldn’t wait to dive into Vixen.

The novel was published back in December, but I’ve been so busy with my own novel’s publication and working on my second book that I just didn’t have the time to get my hands on Vixen! Luckily, I was able to carve out some time to buy and read the novel earlier this week.

Well, first of all, I adore the cover. Absolutely gorgeous! I also love the art deco style of the design on the back, and the alluring tagline:

It’s 1923, and…
anything goes.

“Anything goes” is the motto of the three main characters in this entertaining story: Clara Knowles, Gloria Carmody, and Lorraine Dyer. What?! My name in a novel? That so rarely happens, and it's evidence that Jillian Larkin did her research because “Lorraine” was popular during the 1920s and 1930s...when all things French were en vogue.

Larkin’s research is also obvious throughout the story in regard to the cultural and social standards and the slang of the time period. It's so interesting to read about flappers being viewed as "bad girl" rebels. It's also fascinating to note the male-female relations during that era. It's clear that many of the male characters are quite sexist, and the women are trying to break out of the roles previously imposed upon them. For example, it's such a big deal when one of the characters "bobs" her hair!

Vixen is the first book in a series, and we’re set up for lots of intrigue to come. This novel has mystery, action, romance, and many shady characters. I particularly enjoyed the “pretty boy” Marcus and his budding relationship with Clara, and I also enjoyed the banter and sexual tension between Lorraine and the sinister, deceitful Sebastian Grey, who is engaged to Gloria as a matter of financial convenience. Sebastian is one of the sexist characters, which is obvious throughout the story and especially when he says "Even women have needs..."

EVEN women? Yes, he's quite a cad, but an interesting one who will keep you reading!

The story is very well-written, and it was fun to be transported back to the days of flappers and gangsters. I recommend this novel, and I’m looking forward to Ingenue, the next book in the series!

I also love the trailer for Vixen, which is below…