- Age Range: 12 and up
- Grade Level: 7 - 12
- Series: The Flappers (Book 1)
- Hardcover: 432 pages
- Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (December 14, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0385740344
- ISBN-13: 978-0385740340
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.4 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 92 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #943,598 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Vixen (The Flappers) Hardcover – December 14, 2010
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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
Babble.com, "20 Young Adult Books Parents Will Love"
"[A] delicious read."
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Gloria and Lorraine are best friends. They are living the life of luxury where they have everything handed to them, but of course they don't want the perfect life their parents have to offer them. Instead they force themselves into the life of a flapper filled with speakeasies, boys, pixie cuts, and gangs... When Gloria's cousin "Country" Clara shows up, Gloria is less than thrilled to have her holier than thou cousin there to make sure Gloria's high ranked wedding will go according to plan. Clara has a few secrets of her own that are more outrageous than anything Gloria and Lorraine can imagine.
All the drama and controversy sounded like it would be extremely entertaining, which it was, but the girls were just too mean, shallow, envious, and just felt superior to everyone else that I couldn't enjoy the story as much. Lorraine has to be my least favorite of the girls. She is the most jealous, conniving, spoiled brat, and sets out to ruin Gloria, her "best friend". I did feel bad for her at one point when she actually tries to be a friend, but that didn't last long she just went from bad to worst.
Gloria started off similar to Lorraine with feeling superior to everyone, but by the end she actually managed to grow on me and became less self absorbed. I felt sorry for her situation of being forced into marriage when she was falling in love with someone else that her parents or society wouldn't accept.
Clara was my favorite or at least the most enjoyable of the three girls. She was probably the most fake out of all of them, but she was the only who actually had a reason to be. The mysterious notes she was receiving were what kept me interested the most. I did predict the secrets she was trying to leave in the past, but when, how, and by whom it was revealed was definitely worth the wait.
While I didn't enjoy this book one hundred percent, it was still an entertaining book filled with so much drama. I'll be reading the sequel especially since I'm sure the characters have grown up quite a bit and will be more likeable, except for that one which I'm sure will be my Lina Broud (The Luxe) version 2.
Like many others, I really wanted to read this book. I was excited. I love the 1920's. I love 20's flappers and 20's gangsters. It had all the right ingredients to be an exciting book. Unfortunately, it failed completely. I desperately wanted to like this book--so much so that I actually finished it which is saying a lot--but I couldn't.
Firstly, the characters are bad. All of them. Terrible. Not a single redeeming quality. Unlike most other 1 and 2 star reviews here, I hated Clara most of all. She was completely ridiculous. None of these characters made sense. I didn't understand their motivations and I didn't understand what they wanted. For example, Gloria wants to be a flapper? I guess? However, she doesn't really seem to care about it all that much when it comes down to the wire. I don't feel any empathy for her "situation" at all. If she wants to be a flapper so bad, she should just run away and be one BEFORE the last silly chapter. Lorraine is a flapper? I think? How can she be a flapper and a "high society girl" at the same time? From the way her "friends" (bad ones) react to her appearance and behavior throughout the book, she seems to succeed only 25% of the time at being a decent flapper. I don't get it. Clara used to be a flapper? Supposedly? She wants to put it all behind her and be a "good girl" now. Since when? Clara's progression from bad girl-pretending-to-be-good-girl to actual good girl is, perhaps, the most ridiculous and unbelievable aspect of all. None of these characters make sense. They swing from one extreme to the other with no logical reasoning. It's as if the author just got lazy and didn't feel like writing a realistic reason to swing between extremes so just expects the reader to take her word for it. Marcus, Jerome, Sebastian, and Carlito are all silly as well. Each one is a hollow caricature of a stereo-type. So bad. I think Carlito might be the worst of all. Not to mention the "midget" ... really?
Secondly, this book is very poorly researched. I was flummoxed by the language. Half the time the girls are speaking in modern-day teen and the other half is filled with disingenuous 1920's slang--bee's knees, cat's meow, kitten's purr, eel's hips--and so on and so forth. It is so stupid. This 20's slang feels forced down the readers' throat. I hated it. Less is more. The author does not transport the reader to the era. I had to constantly remind myself that I was supposed to be living in the 1920's with these characters. Some proper historical research into the era could have done this book a lot of good.
Thirdly, the girls' behavior and their parents' reactions to such is astronomically ridiculous. In the 20's, 17-year old girls would probably have been living on their own. Especially flapper girls. These girls each carry a flask loaded with booze at all times. They all smoke. They are consistently drunk in front of their parents and smoking. If they were all realistic flappers living on their own, this would be nothing special. However, the parents react by "grounding" them for incredibly poor decisions. This theme runs throughout the whole book and is the worst part of the plot by far.
The racial relations were as hollow and forced as the stupid 1920's slang. Once again, LESS IS MORE. I couldn't help but laugh during the ice-skating scene.
I read Godberson's Bright Young Things series first. In comparison, BYT is above and beyond better. It is gorgeously written, with just the right amount of everything. The three girls of BYT are likeable, believable, and have depth. Read Bright Young Things and Beautiful Days instead. Don't let the flashy cover and deceptive description of Vixen fool you. Vixen is not a good book. I won't be bothering with Ingenue.