The Flappers: Vixen
Author: Jillian Larkin
Publisher: Delacorte Press for Young Readers/Random House, Inc.
Publication Date: Dec. 14, 2010
Ages: 14 and up
Vixen, the first novel of the new Delecorte series, The Flappers, is also the first novel for debut author Jillian Larkin. It is set in 1923, in the Jazz Age of Chicago, otherwise known as The Flapper Era. The story revolves around several characters in Chicago society, in particular three young girls: Gloria, Clara and Lorraine.
Young Gloria Carmody is a seventeen-year-old socialite, engaged and ready to marry the most eligible bachelor in town. But, what she really wants to be is a flapper—one of the bob-haired, cigarette-smoking, gin-guzzling girls who fill the underground watering holes night after night. And, when she meets Jerome Johnson and lands a gig singing at one of those very clubs, she knows she can never go back to society life.
Gloria’s cousin, Clara Knowles, a hayseed from Pennsylvania, is visiting Chicago, to help make sure the wedding goes off with no problems. However, if Gloria only knew about her cousin—if she just knew that the embodiment of the flapper was living right under her nose! But, we all have skeletons in the closet—how well-hidden are Clara’s?
Lorraine—or, better, “Raine”—is Gloria’s best friend. She and Gloria have shared everything since childhood. But, since Gloria found her soon-to-be husband, they have been spending less and less time together. What is worse, the absolute love of Raine’s life is Gloria’s best male friend, Marcus, and he cannot see Raine because of his adoration of Gloria–at least, that’s Raine’s take on it. Isn’t it enough that Gloria has the man of the Chicago social scene? Does she really need to take Marcus, too? Jealousy can be an ugly thing—and it is even uglier when that green-eyed monster turns its wrath on one’s best friend.
Vixen was everything I hoped it would be—fun, flirty, sexy, naughty and full of surprises. It is not for the youngest of the YA spectrum—there is drinking, sex, smoking (smoking was THE thing in the flapper era), and violence. While the press release from Random House, Inc. suggested that the book was for ages 12 and up, I have given it an age range of 14 and up, and that is with the suggestion that it is for the more mature 14-year-old readers; parents, as usual, should make that call.
This is an excellent debut, and readers will be please to know that the follow-up to Vixen, Larkin’s sophomore novel and second of the series, Ingénue, is planned for release in September 2011—a short time for a follow-up novel, but a long time for readers who, no doubt, will hate to turn the last page of Vixen.
Readers can get Vixen at one of the 800+ bookstores in Georgia.