Thursday, November 17, 2011

Book Review: Bright Young Things by Anna Godberson

Bright Young Things by Anna Godberson
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication date: October 2010
ISBN: 9780061962677
Source: Library

Letty and Cordelia have run away from their small town life and found their way to the Big Apple.  Letty is determined to make it big as a singer, to see her name in the lights, but runs into a lot more competition and problems than expected.  Cordelia is searching for her father, a rich and famous man in the town of Manhatten.  But finding her life there is a lot more difficult than she imagines.  She makes an ally in Astrid, her brother's girlfriend, who wants to help Cordelia out, but also hides a number of secrets from her as well.  Will the three girls get all they hoped for or will their dreams be ripped from them?

Things I Liked:
Oh the setting.  It was pitch-perfect and made you feel like you were living in the Jazz Age of New York - flappers and speak-easys and Broadway and huge mansions homes.  Godberson has created another fabulous setting for her rich, twisted, and complicated historical fiction series.  You will fall into the time and place with such ease, you won't ever want to come back out.  And once again, she's created a story that will have you wondering and guessing who is telling the truth and who is hiding more lies.  

Things I Didn't Like:
It definitely didn't have quite the appeal that The Luxe books did.  I'm not sure exactly why that is, but I didn't enjoy it as much.  Other than the setting, I was not as drawn into the story and the characters.  They were not people I cared about or wanted to read more about.  Still, I'll be intrigued to read the next book.

The Luxe books by Anna Godberson

Vixen by Jillian Larkin

s-factor: !@
some throughout

mrg-factor: XX
lots of implied stuff, some off-page action

v-factor: none

Overall rating: ***

I'm a sucker for a 20s setting.  Is there a setting you're drawn to?

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. I haven't read The Luxe series so I have nothing to go on but they and this kinda look like an old fashioned Gossip Girl. Am I WAY off???

  2. Jenny, you are TOTALLY right. Definitely a teen soap opera set in the 20s. The Luxe was the same, set in turn of the century NY. So addicting.

  3. I read the Luxe Series and thought it was good. I have this one sitting on my shelf because many people said they liked this series more than the Luxe novels. Now I feel very torn.

    Although I personally liked the 20s setting in Vixen by Jillian Larkin and it was one of my favorites from last year.

    Thanks for the great review.

  4. I love the 20's, too! I basically enjoy anything from about 1880-1945, actually. I also enjoy books set in the Napoleonic era!

    Anyway, I haven't read the Luxe series but I did read this one, and I enjoyed it a lot. I liked the characters but I WAS annoyed by some of the ways they were described. Like how Letty's petite stature (and big eyes) was apparently equivalent to her being really naive, for instance. Cordelia was taller/less delicate and thus wasn't as naive? I didn't really get that, since they grew up in the same small town with the same hard-hearted kind of people. Shouldn't they BOTH be naive? (And I don't see how Cordelia having sex would have made her less naive about the Big City, too.)

    ANYWAY. :D

  5. Anastasia, ooh Napoleonic era - I've not read much of anything set then, but it sounds interesting. I really wish I remembered more about the characters, but it was a WHILE ago I read it, and I've kind of forgotten it all. But, your points do sound pretty valid. Sounds kind of like she stereotyped her characters according to what image they should have...

  6. I have the Luxe books on my wish list and this one looks good too. Love that time period in NY!

  7. stacy, the Luxe books were kind of like a guilty pleasure for me - like soap operas for readers. I liked them, but also didn't like them :)


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