Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen (Bright Young Things #1)
Published Harper 2010
Genre: Young Adult Historical Fiction
Format: Hardback from the library
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.
Letty, Cordelia, and Astrid are all really fun to read. I loved all their different journies and personalities. Letty gets separated from the rest of the girls really early on, but I liked how she went through the city trying to find an acting/singing job. I felt like her story was the most realistic, especially as she lived with this random group of girls and had to push through so much in order to get anywhere in the show business. Letty was a little bit frustrating at sometimes as she made some questionable decisions in order to advance her career, but I’m looking forward to seeing how she continues chasing her dream in the next book. Cordelia is also not very good at smart decision making. I can understand this, seeing how it is her first time in the huge city with an important family and people who are interested in her. I really wanted her to sharpen up and listen to her father though, especially about some very important decisions she makes. It led to so many bad consequences that could have easily been avoided. Astrid was probably my favorite of the three, but that was just because I wasn’t as frustrated with her. Astrid is really fun and was a good outlet into the upper class 20s, a little bit more along the lines of the Great Gatsby – fabulous parties, fancy lunches, and a troublesome romance. I feel like this character ranking could easily shake up during the next book in the series though as the other two girls adjust to their new lives in the city.
The theming of this book was great. I was looking for that perfect New York in the 1920s depiction and I got that. It felt real the entire time. I could easily imagine their mansions, the huge parties, the apartment where Letty lived, and the bar where she worked. I loved everything about the world and the time period. After seeing how well she pulled off all the historical aspects of the time period, I’m looking forward to picking up the rest of the books as well as some of her other historical fiction series.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book! While I was frustrated with the characters at some points, the book was good and I can’t wait to see where this story goes throughout the rest of the series.