Beautiful Days by Anna Godbersen Review

Beautiful Days (Bright Young Things, #2)

Beautiful Days by Anna Godbersen (Bright Young Things #2)

Published HarperCollins 2011

Genre: Young Adult Historical Fiction

Format: Hardback from the library

b38bc-coollogo_com-221351400For 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.

029c6-coollogo_com-9181998This book suffered greatly from ‘sequel syndrome.’ While the first book had a constant action and excitement to it, Beautiful Days fell flat from the fun feeling of Bright Young Things.

Most of this book focuses on Astrid. Her relationship with Cordelia’s brother becomes the main focus of this book, as well as Cordelia’s opening of her brand new bar. Letty fell more to the side as she continued to deal with some of the fall out from her relationships in the first book. All of the characters got a little bit more grounded in this book, which I was hoping for when I went into it. One of my main problems with Bright Young Things was that the characters were so naive the entire time. While I understood it because they just arrived in New York, it did get a little exhausting. They are much more capable of handling their situations this time around and really understand more of the business of the Gray family. There is a lot of politics that happen within maintaining this business, so I do wish we got more of that instead of just relationship drama between the three girls.

This book also moved very slowly. It didn’t seem to get anywhere very quickly, and while the first one had a great 20s, Gatsby-esque tone to it, this one was not as strong. There were some great moments, but there were also long periods of time between these moments. The ending really picked up the pace and started to get exciting, just as it was building up for the third book. However, I felt like this should have started much earlier within the book. It didn’t pack a huge punch because there was no anticipation for the plot twist to happen. I did end up liking the twist, but I wish it didn’t take me until the end of the book to finally get to it.

Overall, I wasn’t too happy with this book. It dragged in both plot and character development. My problems with the first book were mostly fixed, but this one took on some more from being the middle book in a trilogy. I’m still very excited to pick up the last book in this series and see what happens next!

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