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Vixen (The Flappers) Paperback – August 9, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

It’s the Jazz Age, and 17-year-old Gloria Carmody wants to live it up. But that’s not easy, as she is already engaged to the stuffy Sebastian Grey. Her inner flapper wins out, though, and Gloria is soon hanging out at a boozy Chicago club, attracted to the piano player, Jerome, who just happens to be black. But she is not the only vixen. Cousin Clara has come to keep Gloria company, but no one knows the farm girl has been around the block. Then there’s best friend Lorraine, who envies all that Gloria has and is determined to get some of it for herself. Debut author Larkin crams plenty of delish details of the era into this opening title in the Flappers series and does a good job of switching from one character to another, all the while lacing the stories together. Whether a sheltered girl like Gloria would really have the nerve to hook up with Jerome seems doubtful, and the tale goes over the top at times. But this is fun, and a great cover will draw ’em in. Grades 9-12. --Ilene Cooper --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Babble.com, "20 Young Adult Books Parents Will Love"
"[A] delicious read."


From the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Series: The Flappers (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Ember (August 9, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780385740357
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385740357
  • ASIN: 0385740352
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #527,023 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Bookish Delights on December 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Wow! What an amazing debut by Jillian Larkin. Vixen is now my favorite YA debut book for 2010. It's that special. This is definitely one of those must read books, it's just too wonderful to miss out on. This is the first book that I've read that is set in the 1920's, so I wasn't sure I was going to like it because it was outside of what I like to read. But surprisingly, I loved it! Vixen is the first book in The Flappers series. The second book, Ingenue will be published in 2011 and Diva, the third book, will be published in 2012. I will definitely be continuing the series.

Vixen is a book that you don't want to put down from beginning to end. It is so entertaining and captivating. When I was reading the book, I was immersed in the aura of the 1920's because of the detailed descriptions of the time period, including the flapper lifestyle, clothing, hairstyles, jazz music, prohibition, alcohol, speakeasies, gangsters, etc. The story is told in alternating points of view of three teenage girls, Gloria, Clara, and Lorraine. Gloria is a socialite in Chicago. She is engaged to Sebastian, who comes from a powerful family. Clara is Gloria's cousin who is visiting Gloria to help her with the wedding. Lorraine is Gloria's best friend. Larkin goes in depth with each character's storyline, that you really get to know each of the girls well. Each girl has their own lead role in the book, which I thought was great. I loved each character. The plot was solid throughout the book, no boring spots or weak plot points. It was cleverly done.

While the girls try to find themselves and fit in, so much drama unfolds as the stories of these three girls seamlessly weave in and out of each others lives. I loved the drama!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By nfmgirl on December 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover
These kids are trying to sort out their place in our world-- to figure out their role. And they are trying to play "grown up", and sometimes get themselves into things that they aren't ready for.

Lorraine is just dying to be the center of attention and wants to be Gloria. Clara convincingly plays the role of the "country cad". Gloria finds herself on a path to adulthood that she may not want to be on, and Marcus is living the life of the ladies man.

The 20s were so restrictive, and the Flappers were struggling against those bonds. Women had no freedom. They were ruled by their fathers and their uncles, and husbands and bosses-- heck, even their mothers. The speakeasy gave the girls a sense of freedom. They could shed the restrictive trappings of society and "be free". Even the character Jerome doesn't really seem free. A young black musician of the time, he is ruled by the gangsters and by his skin. Marcus is probably the freest character portrayed in the book. He's a blond, blue-eyed white male. Who could have been "freer" in the 20s?

I found this to be a really enjoyable read. It actually kept me guessing, which doesn't happen very often. It gave me a taste of what it was like to live in the "Roaring Twenties". A time with some kids choosing to grow up quite quickly and opting to live life in the fast lane (not so different from today).

All in all a very good debut novel!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 14, 2011
Format: Paperback
Told in alternating voices, three beautiful seventeen-year-olds navigate the tumultuous world of speakeasies, flappers, gangsters and jazz in 1923 Chicago. Caught in an engagement she's not so sure about, Gloria Carmody can't get the handsome and charismatic piano player from the Green Mill, Chicago's most notorious speakeasy, off her mind. The problem with Jerome, however, is that he's black, and Gloria's upper-crust family, along with the rest of society, would never understand or accept her feelings for him. Lorraine Dyer, Gloria's best friend since childhood, is tired of being an afterthought in Gloria's perfect existence, and especially wishes Gloria's good friend, the dashing Marcus Eastman, would give her a moment's notice. When Gloria's cousin, Clara Knowles, arrives in town, Lorraine is even more concerned that Clara's goody-goody ways will rub off on Gloria, making her even less likely to join Lorraine in Chicago's speakeasy scene. What Gloria and Lorraine don't know is that Clara is far from the virginal and modest girl she pretends to be, and is, in fact, escaping a whirlwind, and at times dangerous, existence as a flapper in New York City. As Gloria, Lorraine and Clara's lives become more entwined, will they be able to survive in the world of gangsters, liquor and jazz?

This first installment in the Flappers series acts as a combination between a historical fiction and romance novel, resulting in a very engaging and pleasing plot and set of characters. It is obvious, as well as stated in her jacket bio, that the author is a very big fan of the 1920s. The attention to detail in describing the setting, clothing, hairstyles, society, and even the slang of the period really stands out.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Narcisse on December 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book brings the 1920's alive: the bobs, the dresses, the mobsters, prohibition, speakeasies. When I received this book, I was expecting it to be a little bit of fluff and drama, with lots of flapper dresses and jazz and sayings like "the cat's meow". And that stuff is in there, but it is also more than that, which became apparent once I had read the prologue.

The characters of Gloria, Clara, and Lorraine are desperately trying to find themselves, to find happiness, to find freedom. The characters in this book are trying to reinvent themselves. They all are concerned with their appearances, especially in relation to the persons that they are trying to become and/or trying to conceal. They all have secrets!

Clara was my favorite character of the three girls, even though the book feels like it is mostly about Gloria. Gloria felt a little bratty to me for a good bit of the book, but she was dynamic and by the end I admired her more than in the beginning. Lorraine is pretty much attention-starved, and there were times when I really felt sorry for her. Clara felt the most down to earth and real. She was flawed, but not as dramatically as Lorraine, and she had some class to her but without being as selfish as Gloria. She felt like the happy medium between the two extremes.

Vixen is glamorous and dangerous and fun and dramatic, and it also deals with some interesting and important stuff: secrets, appearances, identity, freedom, and prejudice.
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