Saturday, October 23, 2010

Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen

Bright Young Things
Author: Anna Godbersen
Publisher: HarperTeen (an imprint of HarperCollins)
Published: 10/12/2010
Edition: Hardcover
* Purchased on my own.

Summary from GoodReads: 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 Times bestselling author of The Luxe comes an epic new series set in the dizzying last summer of the Jazz Age.

My Thoughts:

How do I begin? To be honest, the prologue in its own right has a huge spoiler in it and said spoiler will leave you wondering what fate will belong to what girl. However! The spoiler is likely to pertain to the series as a whole rather than the first book as the only event similar to any of the three fates that will befall the girls is an engagement (and this, I feel I can safely say without giving way just who is getting engaged). The three main characters in Bright Young Things are Astrid Donal (whose mother is currently Mrs. Marsh, although she goes through men rather speedily), Cordelia Grey (whom goes to New York to find her father and succeeds), and Letty Haubstadt (whom goes by Letty Larkspur in New York and aims to become a shining star). Each girl is certainly an individual and the story does follow them both when they're together and when they're apart--which I thought was rather nice because you don't have to hear the character spin her tale for one of the others later on in explanation of what happened to her.

With that said, I do feel that the beginning of the story is rather slow and once all three of the girls have been introduced, things do pick up (thankfully). From there you get to see 1929 from two different sides really; you have the working girl trying to make it big in the city and become a star (as well as the difficulties that she'll face) and then there's the wealthy and privileged whom often have their own issues--and by issues, I do mean scandals and various degrees of drama. So yes, you could say that this is rather like The Great Gatsby meets Gossip Girl. There are speakeasies with glittering goblets of alcohol (alas, more like fluted glasses, but I believe you get the point), boys that are more trouble than they happen to be worth, and a healthy helping of fashion.

Although I could not have asked for a larger event--for indeed, that was a huge event for the girls--I must confess that I hope that the conflict in the next novel will be something even better. If you fear that the slang or phrases that were typical from the 1920's will be difficult to understand, worry not, for it is simple enough to understand (I think) as long as you view the context in which it was used.

Overall Rating:  ★★★★

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