Thursday, January 13, 2011

REVIEW: Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen

Bright Young Things 
by Anna Godbersen
Pages: 400
Publisher: Razorbill UK
Publication Date: 6th January 2011

It’s 1929 and Letty Larkspur and Cordelia Grey have escaped their small Midwestern town to chase big dreams and even bigger secrets. Amongst the glittering metropolis of New York City, they meet Astrid Donal, a flapper who has everything she could ever want, except for the one thing Letty and Cordelia have to offer—true friendship. Set in the dizzying summer before the market crash, against the vast lawns of the glamorous Long Island mansions and on the blindingly lit stages of Broadway, three girls will find scandal, intrigue, and romance. . .

When I saw the date '1929' in the synopsis, I admit it wasn't something I'd have picked up to read. I said yes to reading and reviewing it because in the past (no pun intended), I haven't read or liked any books that are set in a year before 2000, but this year, I decided to turn a new leaf because some of the books I've read (like Fallen Grace by Mary Hooper) have proved me wrong, and that books set in ye olde times can be good!

The novel centres around three girls; Cordelia, Letty and Astrid. Cordelia's dream is to go to New York, her birthplace, so she can find her long-lost father. It is the night of her wedding and Cordelia runs away, taking along with her her best friend Letty, an aspiring singer who has (for such a small girl), big dreams and big voice.
   Now in New York, Cordelia and Letty find a whole other world that is full of glamour and danger. When a horrible argument causes them to parts ways, Letty finds that she *can* follow her dream although it's a tough job, and Cordelia finds her real father and a new luxurious life with her new friend in Astrid Donal, a glamorously beautiful socialite who's in love with Cordelia's brother.

Although I struggled a bit to get into it (after the first chapter, which I LOVED), I absolutely adored this book. So much more than I originally thought I would! There was just such a brilliant vibe coming off everything, I just wanted to bathe in it..I mean, the parties, the fun, the CLOTHES..bliss.

If there's anybody else out there who isn't keen on historical fiction..I'd tell you to read this. Although the book is set in the 1920's, the novel is pretty much the same as how it would be portrayed today, highlighting issues that teenage girls are facing today. If you haven't read anything historical before, I'd highly recommend you start with this, it's pretty awesome!

One thing that really stood out to me whilst I was reading Bright Young Things was Godbersen's ability to describe everything in such an exquisite way. Her writing is beautiful; there was such a rich, indulgent feeling to the novel that really captivated me, it's enough to get you in the mood for partying in the 20s! The story flowed from the viewpoint of each young of the three young ladies and showed us life in their eyes..Letty's trying to figure out if she did the right thing coming to New York..she wants to shine but is it possible in a city so bright? Cordelia is living the good life with her newfound father and brother and Astrid is struggling in her relationship with Cordelia's brother, Charlie.

Bright Young Things is a fast-paced, intriguing novel that is vividly written. I can't even explain to you how excited I am to find myself getting lost in the pages of Beautiful Days.. this is definitely a series to watch out for!

*I haven't yet read Godbersen's other series, The Luxe, but I'm really tempted to give it a go now!



  1. It sounds awesome! Great review! I have it in my 'to read' pile. I just wish I could get to it.

  2. Sounds pretty cool. I do quite like books set back in time, so this would be right up my street :D


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