5 star rating
Dollface: A Novel of the Roaring Twenties
By Renee Rosen
Author’s Website:

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Valerie


America in the 1920s was a country alive with the wild fun of jazz, speakeasies, and a new kind of woman—the flapper.

Vera Abramowitz is determined to leave her gritty childhood behind and live a more exciting life, one that her mother never dreamed of. Bobbing her hair and showing her knees, the lipsticked beauty dazzles, doing the Charleston in nightclubs and earning the nickname “Dollface.”

As the ultimate flapper, Vera captures the attention of two high rollers, a handsome nightclub owner and a sexy gambler. On their arms, she gains entrée into a world filled with bootleg bourbon, wailing jazz, and money to burn. She thinks her biggest problem is choosing between them until the truth comes out. Her two lovers are really mobsters from rival gangs during Chicago’s infamous Beer Wars, a battle Al Capone refuses to lose.

The heady life she’s living is an illusion resting on a bedrock of crime and violence unlike anything the country has ever seen before. When the good times come to an end, Vera becomes entangled in everything from bootlegging to murder. And as men from both gangs fall around her, Vera must put together the pieces of her shattered life, as Chicago hurtles toward one of the most infamous days in its history, the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. (Goodreads)


Dollface might be the title of this book. It might have a lot of significance in the novel. It just might be a fitting title. It’s just not what I would have named it though. I would’ve named Dollface “In Which a Girl realizes that Gangsters are a force to be reckoned with”.

That’s not to say Vera isn’t a force. She’s clever, strong, and proud. She just happens to be in love with materials and two gangsters instead of moral principles. Vera is trying to show she’s grown up. Instead she gets caught up in some nasty business. AKA gangsters and Al Capone. I love the character development in this novel. You have this proud little girl trying to show off that turn into this wise woman trying to make up for her sins.

What I love so much about Dollface is the grittiness and honesty on every page. There’s never a perfect world or a happy ending. Those are just too fake and too unfitting for the story. However, there’s death, betrayal, and love. Mainly death though. I’m not joking. There’s so much blood and hatred and angst in this novel that it just depresses me in the best possible way.

Is that even possible?

Now onto the men. BOYS. GUYS. MEN. We girls just love our love interests. However, since these were gangsters, I was kind of scared of both love interests. We have Shep, a gangster, and Tony, also a gangster. It was kind of sad how much I was creeped out by them both. I mean, sure, they’re both dedicated and in love with Vera, but THEY’RE GANGSTERS.


I hate to admit that this book broke my reading slump. I wanted to stay unwavering in the face of adversity or books, but unfortunately that didn’t turn out to be the case. Oh well.

On the plus side, at least Dollface is a freaking amazing novel. Lessons, tragedy, love, flappers. Life can’t get much better.