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You are here: Home » Series: Flappers

Diva by Jillian LarkinDIVA by Jillian Larkin Book Review
Series: Flappers, #3
Publication Date: July 10th 2012 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Rating: – Acceptable |

Book Summary: If you love The Great Gatsby, you’ll want to read the Flappers series.

Joy and tragedy collide in DIVA, the riveting conclusion to the Flappers series, set in the dazzling Roaring Twenties. Parties, bad boys, speakeasies—life in Manhattan has become a woozy blur for Clara Knowles. If Marcus Eastman truly loved her, how could he have fallen for another girl so quickly? Their romance mustn’t have been as magical as Clara thought. And if she has to be unhappy, she’s going to drag everyone else down to the depths of despair right along with her.

Being a Barnard girl is the stuff of Lorraine Dyer’s dreams. Finding out that Marcus is marrying a gold digger who may or may not be named Anastasia? A nightmare. The old Lorraine would have sat by and let the chips fall where they may, but she’s grown up a lot these past few months. She can’t bear to see Marcus lose a chance for true love. But will anyone listen to her?

Now that the charges against her have been dropped, Gloria Carmody is spending the last dizzying days of summer on Long Island, yachting on the sound and palling around with socialites at Forrest Hamilton’s swanky villa. Beneath her smile, though, Gloria’s keeping a secret. One that could have deadly consequences . . .

Book Review Overview:

  • Watch out for an homage to The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald in one of the storylines!
  • Characters have definitely grown since the first book and I just wanted them all to have a happy ending
  • Not the best conclusion to a series, but I was still satisfied
I continued to enjoy the different perspectives in Diva by Jillian Larkin because I loved seeing how the storylines would intersect. Diva continues through the perspectives of Gloria, Clara, and Lorraine in the 1920’s Prohibition in New York City. I was a little sad at first that Vera was no longer in the picture but it seemed like she already had her happily ever after.
Basically, the theme for this book is redemption. Lorraine wants her friends back, Clara wants Marcus back, and Gloria just wants her life back with Jerome. Jillian Larkin manages to keep me engaged into the different plots with various surprises along the way.
However, Gloria’s subplot to uncover the mystery behind the rich Forrest Hamilton became a little predictable. The Flappers series is pitched for fans of The Great Gatsby, and it became a little too clear by the time I finished the book: Gloria’s subplot mimics the storyline of F. Scott Fitsgerald’s famous novel. If it were any other novel, I probably would have been aghast. But since The Flappers is  a fun series, I looked at it as a nice homage to the author that inspired the books.
For the most part, I read Diva to hope for my happily ever afters. After reading Ingenue, I wasn’t satisfied with the ending, so I just had to finish up the series to get my fix of romance.
It was also a treat to travel back to the 1920’s. I think that Jillian Larkin captures the best in her series is the music. I really get a lot of the setting’s mood and atmosphere through the different types of music that we are exposed to as a reader. I actually wished that there was a playlist that I could listen to while I read Diva. It made me crave for jazz and a little bit of showtunes. I also would have loved to hear Gloria sing!
What makes Diva a little different from the other books in the series is that there is a lot less emphasis on the nightlife in the Prohibition era. The characters in the first two novels were so involved in speakeasies and gin joints. But in Diva, there are only mentions of these places. A lot has to do with the fact that the characters have grown since the last book: Gloria has been arrested, Lorraine has finally matured, and Clara has lost her one true love. For the most part, their partying days are behind them.
Instead, Diva focuses on the life of the young and the rich in the 1920’s. Lorraine is a Barnard girl, Clara is a successful writer for a popular magazine, and Gloria is hanging out with the rich in Long Island. It was a nice change of pace, and it prevented Diva from being too similar from Ingenue, the previous book.

Diva is not the best conclusion to a series that I’ve ever read, but it was good enough. I got my fix of romance and history.



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Permalink Permalink Category Book Review, Three Stars, Uncategorized - , , , , , , , | Words 983 words



You are here: Home » Series: Flappers

Ingenue by Jillian LarkinINGENUE by Jillian Larkin Book Review
Series: Flappers, #2
Publication Date: August 9th 2011 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Rating: – Exceeds Expectations |

Book Summary: Power . . . love . . . scandal . . .
There’s never enough to go around.

In the city that never sleeps, Lorraine Dyer is wide awake. Ever since she exposed Clara Knowles for the tramp she was—and lost her closest confidante in the process—Lorraine has spent every second scheming to make her selfish, lovesick ex–best friend pay for what she did. No one crosses Lorraine. Not even Gloria.

True love conquers everything—or so Gloria Carmody crazily believed. She and Jerome Johnson can barely scrape together cash for their rent, let alone have a moment to whisper sweet nothings in the dark. And if they thought escaping Chicago meant they’d get away with murder . . . they were dead wrong.

Clara was sure that once handsome, charming Marcus Eastman discovered her shameful secret, he’d drop her like a bad habit. Instead, he swept her off her feet and whisked her away to New York. Being with Marcus is a breath of fresh air—and a chance for Clara to leave her wild flapper ways firmly in the past. Except the dazzling parties and bright lights won’t stop whispering her name. . . .

INGENUE is the second novel in the sexy, dangerous, and ridiculously romantic Flappers series set in the Roaring Twenties . . . where revenge is a dish best served cold.

Ingenue by Jillian Larkin Book Review Overview:

  • Much to my surprise, I ended up enjoying Ingenue even more than I enjoyed the first book
  • More intense drama and romance made Ingenue by Jillian Larkin a page-turner!
  • Ingenue lacked a sense of place – but overall it was still an enjoyable read

Lately, I’ve been a sucker for books set in the Flapper era. So when I was craving a historical read, I knew I just had to pick up Ingenue by Jillian Larkin and continue with the Flappers series. Much to my surprise, I ended up enjoying the sequel even more than I enjoyed the first book, Vixen.

Ingenue is told in alternating perspectives between four main characters: Gloria, Clara, Lorraine and Vera. Each story line continues from the previous book, Vixen. What I enjoyed about Ingenue is the fact that each girl has an interesting story. None of their chapters ever felt like filler, so I never felt like skimming over someone’s chapter to find out what happened next in someone else’s story. I loved the way that their stories overlapped at some point.

To be honest, part of the appeal of Ingenue by Jillian Larkin is all the intense drama between the characters. I just can’t get enough. The drama escalates in Ingenue and I found myself immensely liking the book even more than the first book – which rarely happens. Ingenue is a page-turner and I couldn’t put the book down. The romance is also just as exciting in Ingenue. Gloria and Jerome continue to be a power couple in Ingenue even if things are not going smoothly as planned.

I think that what Ingenue by Jillian Larkin really lacked is a sense of place. I didn’t find the setting of Ingenue all that much different from Vixen, the first book of the series – even if the setting changes. The characters of the story travel from Chicago to New York City, but I don’t really notice the difference. New York City was such a vibrant place to live in at the time, and I failed to be able to put myself on the streets of Prohibition New York City.

But overall, Ingenue by Jillian Larkin was a perfect mix of drama and history. I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book, Diva.



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Permalink Permalink Category Book Review, Four Stars - , , , , , , | Words 811 words



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