A while back Adele, from Persnickety Snark did a post on the marriage of Jo and the professor (surely he had a name, right?) in Little Women. In it, she asked us what elements or events in a certain book are things that we just can't move past. When I first read her post I thought that, for me at least, there wasn't really anything I could think of. Generally, even if I don't agree with how certain characters end up or how a storyline goes in a book, I trust that the author knows what he or she is doing. After all: it's not my story; it's the author's.
And then, when Anna Godberson's new novel Bright Young Things arrived in my mailbox, I remembered. That one book, that one thing that I just can't get over. And I wish the book I cared that much about was a classic like Little Women, but it's not. It's the last book of Godberson's Luxe series -- Splendor.
Let me backtrack.
A couple of years ago I bought the novel Luxe. I don't remember why exactly, because I'm not usually a fan of Gossip-Girl type books or historical, but the cover was so beautiful and it was in paperback at Wal-Mart and I wanted something to read. And to say that I loved it would be an understatement. Luxe completely pulled me into its chaotic, glamorous, gossipy pre-20th-century world. I went out and bought the second book in the series (Rumors) the day after finishing the first book. Incredibly, I loved the second book even more. The characters! The intrigue! The twists and turns! In all honesty, the Luxe series just got better and better...
...and then I got to the fourth and last book, Splendor. And not to spoil anything for those of you who might read it, but do you know what the last couple of chapters did to me? They destroyed me, that's what. Characters I had held my breath for and cheered on since the beginning got endings that I was wholly unprepared for. What went down as one of my favorite YA couples of all time didn't end up together. Can I help it if, in my mind, I still imagine that they wound up together? Even if the ending doesn't support this theory at all? Because that ending? Let's just say IT WAS NOT SMILES TIMES IN THE LAND OF JORDYN. There was much anger. And sadness. And omg I cannot get over it. (Yes, I read the author's explanation of the ending. It did not help how sad it made me and how not-right it seemed.)
Now. Let us think of happier things, shall we? Whoever can tell me where the reference "we are not smiles times" comes from IS THE WINNER. (Of what? Of WINNING, der. Bragging rights.)