Monday, November 1, 2010

Book Review: Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen

Pages: 400
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Pub. Date: October 12, 2010
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "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 Timesbestselling author of The Luxe comes an epic new series set in the dizzying last summer of the Jazz Age.

Cordelia and Letty are best friends who are leaving it all behind for the promise of New York City. It's the summer of 1929 and these two small town girls are going to try and make it big in the city that doesn't sleep.  Letty has her sights set on becoming a famous singer and Cordelia is looking for her father who left her at a young age.  He just so happens to be a well known and very rich bootlegger.  Cordelia, while in the process of finding her father, encounters Astrid Donal, a rich socialite who proves to be a good friend to her, but harbors many secrets.  As the three girls search for many things, whether it be love, wealth, or fame, they all come to realize that what goes up always comes down in New York City and your a person's fortune can change with the shifting breeze.  Anna Godbersen's Bright Young Things is the perfect mind candy and escape to what is the start of a dazzling series.

If you've read my reviews before, you know how much I enjoyed the Luxe series.  Godbersen truly knows how to keep you occupied and take you to another world.  She doesn't disappoint with Bright Young Things as I felt like I was taking part in the many adventures right along with the girls.  She makes the Jazz Age come to life in true Godbersen fashion. I've always been intrigued by this Roaring Twenties and Godbersen makes it feel authentic.

In comparison to Luxe series, I felt it was missing that something special, which is why I didn't give it 5 out of 5 stars.  If you read the Luxe series, Godbersen puts different ads or sayings from the time period between each chapters. For historical fiction, I felt like that was a really nice touch and one that sadly wasn't continued with this series.  I also wasn't invested in the characters as much as the characters from Luxe.  They seemed a little bit flat to me.  But don't get me wrong....I still enjoyed this novel and thoroughly enjoyed being transported to a different time, which Godbersen does so effortlessly. 


  1. Ooh, glad to see that you enjoyed it so much! I adored the Luxe series too, so I'm sure I'll enjoy this one. Awesome review =)

  2. I keep meaning to read Godbersen -- I think someone described her Luxe books (in a complimentary way) as Edith Wharton as a teen. I'm a sucker for the Jazz Age so I might pick up this one first -- and that way, I might not be disappointed! ;)

  3. Great review. I'm so looking forward to reading this one when it's released over here. I haven't read The Luxe series (always meant to, still haven't gotten to it!), so I won't be able to make that comparison.

  4. Great review! I have 40 pages left to read. I feel the same way as you about the book. It's definitely missing a special something, but it's still really entertaining.

  5. Lea- Thanks!! I hope you do too!

    Audra- Edith Wharton as a teen is a perfect description! I hope you do get to pick this one up.

    Leanna- You must read the Luxe series- it's even better than BYT!

    Adriana- It's nice to hear you share my point of view..I was wondering if it was just me! I look forward to your review!

  6. This is the second review I've read today that gave it 5 stars :) Very cool!


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