Saturday, October 30, 2010

Review: Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen

GoodReads Summary: 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.

My Thoughts: Wow. WoW. WOW.

I want to be a flapper. Right now. With the fringe and the headbands and the pearls and the feathers. I want to smoke (candy) cigarettes out of impossibly long holders and attend late night parties with jazz bands and not wake up 'til 2pm.

That would be an awesome life. But it's not mine, so I'll opt to live vicariously through three fictitious beauties--Cordelia, Astrid, and Letty.

I adored this book. I've not read Godbersen's Luxe series, but you're darn straight that I'm gonna bump it up the TBR. Reading Bright Young Things was a seriously enjoyable experience. Unfortunately I had a bunch of prior obligations to tend to while reading this one, so I didn't get to devour it in a few hours for the optimum experience like I'd preferred. This sounds full of cheese and cliche, but I felt like I was there. I felt like I knew these girls and we were BFFs.

Cordelia's journey was by far my favorite. Watching her search for her long lost father was both heartwrenching and inspiring to me. Heartwrenching because, hello, the chick didn't have a dad. Inspiring because her choice to put her comfort zone aside to pursue what she really wanted out of life took a whole crapload of kahones. And oh! How I loved Thom and all the pretty, pretty things he whispered.

Letty was the most relatable...the shy, insecure but insanely talented girl-who-doesn't-know-she's-beautiful (at least the shy/insecure parts.) I really sympathized with her story. She finally grew a pair and started to make a name for herself... and her story is vastly inconclusive. I'm so excited that this is a series, but GOOD GOD I DON'T WANT TO WAIT.

Astrid reminded me of one of the girls in the Pretty Little Liars series, except infinitely more awesome. Astrid is the kind of person I'm completely fascinated by, because she's always down for a good time, to offer a coy smile while concocting a mischievous scheme, or to flirt her way to the VIP section. I could never do any of those things, so Astrid's type is a sort of anomaly to me. Either way, I loved her and her easy-going demeanor with a hidden depth.

If you like fun, read this book. If you like speakeasies and jargon like "baby" and "darling" (I like to think they pronounce it dahhh-ling, like Cruella DeVille, but not so puppy-skinningly), read this book. If you like pretty covers and judge books upon just that, this book has a fabulous cover as well!

Are you sold?
Are you buying the book right now?


Rating: 5/5 Stars

Series: This is the first book in a series. Book Two, Beautiful Days, will be out in 2011?! (According to GR. This may be a mistake, but I sure hope it's not!)
Source: I purchased this book.
Published: HarperCollins, 400 pages (October 12, 2010)

Learn more about Anna: Website | Myspace


  1. I'm sold!! I want to be a flapper...always have!! I might need to end my friendship with have me adding too many books to my list!

  2. Such a lovely review. This is a book I must get my hands on.

    Following that darn mechnical bunny around. His gears and cogs are wound tight. Hop Hop Hop.

    I do not have a post for this week's hop but I do have a most wonderful new review posted. Stop by and see what I had to say about Stardust.

    Mad Scientist

  3. Oh, and The Mad Scientist is a new follower :)

  4. I want to read this one so bad. I'm actually passing my time reading the Luxe series while I manage to get my hands on a copy of this one :)

  5. I just really love the title of this. It makes me think of The Great Gatsby. I think I'd like to read this.

  6. seriously, WANT! this is all your fault Jen, i am totes coveting this now.

  7. I like fun! And I loved this book! Thus, you are completely correct. Someday, when we all hang out (and let's be honest, I feel this WILL happen) we must sip some Old Fashioneds and have some flapper-esque fun.

  8. Sounds totally brilliant. I've always thought if I could pick any time in history to visit it would be the 20s. The music, the parties, the pre war bliss :)