Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Book Review 3 & 4: Bright Young Things & Beautiful Days

                                                                 Double Review Day


Goodreads synopsis: 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.

My Goodreads reviewSet in the 'Roaring 20's', two friends, Letty and Cordelia, both from a small town in Ohio, take a train and escape to New York City. Letty, who sings, wants to become famous. Cordelia wants to find the father she never knew, who just happens to be a wealthy bootlegger. The two friends go their own ways after a small argument. Cordelia goes off to find her father and is accepted graciously into his fold. Letty finds a job but soon learns that dreams are hard to achieve, no matter how much talent you possess. 

I very much enjoy historical fiction, but this is not the type of historical fiction that I usually read. My interests in history lean more into any era BEFORE the 1900's. The 1920's were a time of short dresses, shorter hair-do's, and tons of ciggarette smoking, which does not quite appeal to me. Despite that the 1920's are not in my particular interests, Anna Godbersen is a good writer and entirely capable of capturing this era in words. Her descriptions and use of dialogue were worth reading and actually gave a strong sense of how people (particularly the rich) lived in that time. In my opinion though, there wasn't much of a plot until the last couple of chapters when things started to roll down hill for all of the characters. If I hadn't of received an ARC of the sequel, I mostly likely wouldn't have finished this book, let alone begin the sequel, Beautiful Days.

BEAUTIFUL DAYS by Anna Godbersen

Goodreads synopsisFor 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.

My Goodreads review:  The well-dressed trio is back in Anna Godbersens 'Beautiful Days'. Cordelia becomes quite the business woman when she and her brother, Charlie, open their very own speakeasy (club). Letty takes a step towards stardom, and Astrids relationship with Charlie takes some wild rollercoaster dives before everything straightens itself out again. 

Anna Godbersen has captured my attention with her flawless writing. I may have thought that the last few chapters were a bit rushed but it was still delightful to read. When I finished the first book in the series, 'Bright Young Things', I wasn't sure if I was going to enjoy the second, but I did and now I can't wait for 'The Lucky Ones' (the third book in the Bright Young Things saga) to hit the shelves. In fact, I enjoyed her writing style so much that I just might read her previous series, The Luxe.


Final Thoughts: I wasn't sure I was going to enjoy either of these books, and I said as much in my reviews, but by the end of the second I found myself hooked on Anna Godbersens beautiful writing and the story of the three female characters. I wasn't thrilled by the books, of course, but I was thoroughly entertained and contented with the time I spent on them. I would recommend them if you enjoy Young Adult, historical fiction, romance, and lots of clothing descriptions.

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