Friday, March 16, 2012
Review: Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen
Publishing Date: October 12th, 2010
Genre: YA, Historical Fiction
Pages: 389 pgs
Rating: 4 stars
Summary from Goodreads:
The year is 1929. New York is ruled by the Bright Young Things: flappers and socialites seeking thrills and chasing dreams in the anything-goes era of the Roaring Twenties.
Letty Larkspur and Cordelia Grey escaped their small Midwestern town for New York's glittering metropolis. All Letty wants is to see her name in lights, but she quickly discovers Manhattan is filled with pretty girls who will do anything to be a star. . . .
Cordelia is searching for the father she's never known, a man as infamous for his wild parties as he is for his shadowy schemes. Overnight, she enters a world more thrilling and glamorous than she ever could have imagined—and more dangerous. It's a life anyone would kill for . . . and someone will.
The only person Cordelia can trust is Astrid Donal, a flapper who seems to have it all: money, looks, and the love of Cordelia's brother, Charlie. But Astrid's perfect veneer hides a score of family secrets.
Across the vast lawns of Long Island, in the illicit speakeasies of Manhattan, and on the blindingly lit stages of Broadway, the three girls' fortunes will rise and fall—together and apart. From the New York Times bestselling author of The Luxe comes an epic new series set in the dizzying last summer of the Jazz Age.
I have heard so many good things about this novel and I have to say that all those things rang true for this book. I picked this book up at my local library and I have to admit that during the first few pages it took me a little while to get into the book. I think it was just that I went from one writing style to another and I had to get used to the change. Once I was past the 10th page or so I found that I couldn't put this book down.
It is set during the 1920s during the Prohibition and the era of flappers. The focus of the book is two friends who run away from their small town to New York City. Cordelia runs away the night of her wedding with her best friend Letty, who dreams of being a big singing star. Once in New York things begin to get a little crazy.
I don't want to give too much away but I love Letty's character. She is so naive and innocent that she is endearing. I have to admit that I grew up in a small town and then moved to a big city and I was a little like Letty. I was too trusting and while I was never really burned by this it could have easily gotten out of hand.
Cordelia on the other hand, I found to be a little harder to like. First of all, who knowingly goes through with a wedding when you plan on leaving the same night? I guess times were different back then but come on! That is just shameful. I also feel like she drops Letty like she's hot as soon as she finds out who her father is. I don't like that; if you were a good friend you wouldn't let one minor disagreement end your friendship.
My one disappointment is that I think Godberson could have gone into a little more detail on the history of the times. She does a good job of painting a picture of what it is like during the Prohibition but I wished she had gone into a little more detail.
Overall I give this book 4 out of 5 stars and I will be putting a hold on Beautiful Days (book 2 in the series) at the library as soon as possible.