Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Review: Beautiful Days by Anna Godbersen

Published: HarperTeen (September 20, 2011)
Pages: 358
Format: Hardcover
Series: Book 2
Source: ARC from publisher
GoodReads Summary: For the bright young things of 1929, the beautiful days seem endless, filled with romance and heartbreak, adventure and intrigue, friendship and rivalry.

After a month in New York, Cordelia Grey and Letty Larkspur are small-town girls no longer. They spend their afternoons with Astrid Donal at the Greys’ lush Long Island estate and their nights in Manhattan’s bustling metropolis. But Letty’s not content to be a mere socialite. She is ready at last to chase her Broadway dreams—no matter the cost.

Cordelia is still reeling from the death of her father at the hands of Thom Hale, the man she thought she loved. Now she is set to honor Darius Grey’s legacy . . . and take her revenge.

Promised to Cordelia’s half brother, Astrid is caught up in a world of dazzling jewels and glittering nights—and the sparkle is blinding. Charlie Grey is a gangster playing a dangerous game; and for Astrid, Cordelia, and Letty, the stakes could be deadly.

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Luxe comes the second book in an epic series set in the dizzying last summer of the Jazz Age.

Disclaimer: Potential spoilers for Bright Young Things.

My Thoughts: Honestly? Longest wait EVER for this book. I know it wasn't even a year, but after that crazy ending that Bright Young Things had? I could've had Beautiful Days in my hand right after finishing BYT and I still wouldn't have been able to read it soon enough. Straight up: I am ENAMORED with this world. Sure, it was almost 100 years ago, but take away my iPhone, my computer, my car. I just want to wear flapper dresses and sing in a smoky speakeasy and wake up at 4pm with a hangover just to do it again. With the high expectations I had from BYT, Beautiful Days did not disappoint.

Cordelia seriously comes into her own in this book. She's kind of a boss. I guess that's expected, being a bootlegger's daughter and all. I expected to see all sorts of Thom Hale after BYT (and I kind of missed him, despite what happened. I don't believe sweet Thom Hale had anything to do with THE TRAGEDY.) But there's a new face: Max Darby, resident flyboy. He's a total d-bag here and there, but did he grow on me? ABSOLUTELY. There was a moment or two when I felt like someone had released 400 butterflies in my stomach, like he was my first crush or something. Dude's got attitude. And OH, there are walls he's built that Cord must break. I LOVE A CHALLENGE. Do I love Max enough to take the place of Thom Hale? That remains to be seen.

Astrid? She got on my nerves. What a selfish, spoiled girl she is. Really. That's all I have to say about her. I loved her in BYT, but she has a LOT of redeeming herself to do in book 3. Which brings me to Letty, who is MY FAVORITE. Girlfriend has been dealt a difficult hand. Her BFF is constantly in the spotlight and all the girl wants is to sing in snazzy clubs. The entire time, I just wanted to buy her a drink or 7 and force her to do karaoke, just so she can get the limelight she deserves. Letty gets what she deserves in Beautiful Days and I have high hopes for her in book(s) to come.

I'm convinced Godbersen must be immortal and actually lived through the 20s. Her writing flows beautifully and is 100% authentic. I was hoping for a bit more swoony moments and romance thrown into the mix, but what Beautiful Days lacked in flat out romance, it made up with the drama llama. There is slightly less of a cliffhanger in this book, thank goodness. Still, I NEED book 3. This is a fabulous series, you guys. Please do yourself a favor and pick up the first two books as soon as humanly possible. FLAPPERS FO LIFE.


  1. Hehe. We share so many of the same opinions on this book! Letty is such an angel. My favourite as well! My review is coming out in a couple days but until then, I'll just gush about the book on other peoples' reviews. ;) Astrid. Man, it's like she grew down like 5 years. She acts like such a child, and the glamorous side of her that I remember in BRIGHT YOUNG THINGS is just not here in BEAUTIFUL DAYS. You're right - she's got lots of redeeming to do.

    I still can't forgive Thom Hale for what he did, so Max Darby wins out for me. Also I just love the development of his r/ship with Cordelia. It's more fired up that Thom Hale, in my opinion. I'd have to re-read BYT to be sure though.

    What do you suppose the next book's title will be?

  2. Just finished Bright Young Things, and you've made my anticipation of this one even worse! I'm not sure how I really feel about any of the girls yet -- I like the story, but they all have reasons to like and dislike them (and that's a good thing, I think!) Thanks for this!