Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Book Review: Bright Young Things, by Anna Godberson

Bright Young Things provides and exciting look into the fashion and fun of the roaring twenties through the eyes of three young women.

Letty and Cordelia excape from their small Ohio town to seek fame and fortune in the big city of New York. The year is 1929, and things are changing, especially for young women. There are more freedoms, but also possibly more dangers. To set the scene, we are still in prohibition, but mostly the violators are ignored, and it seems everyone drinks whatever and whenever they want. This is the time of the speakeasy, and Letty ends up getting a job as a cigarette girl at one of these establishments. It seems all is going well, Letty is going to get to sing for some really important men in the business—and then everything falls apart.

Unbeknownst to Letty, Cordelia has come to New York to seek her long, lost father, a man who is heavily involved in bootlegging of alcohol, is very rich, and has all the big parties and a lavish home to prove it. It seems all is going well for Cordelia, until she becomes attracted to the wrong man, the family’s rival.  Thanks goodness for her new best friend Astrid, who is the girlfriend of Cordelia’s new brother.

These characters really came alive for me. I could picture the settings – the smoky speakeasy, the extravagant dresses, the beautiful homes. Godberson is really good at this.

I must admit a little disappointment, though. First, you need to know that The Luxe is one of my favorite series ever, and I can’t help but compare. Bright Young Things just didn’t grab me like The Luxe. I didn’t feel as much tension or excitement, or swoon-worthy romance as I did when reading The Luxe.

I really liked this book, and I will certainly pick up the next one, Beautiful Days. It just didn’t surpass my absolute adoration of The Luxe series. I would recommend this to teens who enjoyed The Luxe and any girl who likes her romance with a little historical detail.

Published by HarperCollins, 2010
Copy obtained FREE for my Kindle
400 pages (qualifies for my 350 Page Book Challenge!)

Rating: 4/5

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  1. I had a really hard time reading this one. I thought the pacing was a bit off due to the extreme description and the characters didn't have the same spark as they did with the Luxe. My library has the second book already but I think I'll wait to read that one. Great review!

  2. I got this free for my kindle too. I don't usually read this kind of book but I love the 1920s, so fingers crossed I enjoy it when I get round to it. Thanks for the review.

  3. Such an interesting time period -- this is one I can actually see living in! Well, as long as my family had money (which we didn't. I'd have been stuck in the Irish section of town in some crappy tenement/slum. Oh, well.). Still, I really liked The Luxe series and look forward to reading this one, which is hanging out on my TBR pile.

  4. I had this great comment and then it timed out on me...LOL. But, I'm going to run over to amazon and see if this is still free. I've always had a particular fondness for the era.


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