Bright Young Things, Beautiful Days, The Lucky Ones by Anna Godbersen (The Bright Young Things trilogy)
Published HarperTeen 2010, 2011, 2012
Genre: Young Adult Historical Fiction
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.
I really love this series. Everything you love about 1920s – from bootlegging to flappers to the glamour of New York – is here! It’s very much in the style of The Great Gatsby and I would suggest this series to fans of historical fiction and this time period.
Cordelia, Astrid, and Letty are such fun characters! I can never pick a favorite, which is good because I liked them all equally. Cordelia is much more down to earth than the other two girls. She has some cute romances along the way and some interactions with her father. I think that she was my least favorite overall though. Astrid was the huge party girl and she reminds me a lot of the famous Daisy quote in Gatsby (“I hope she’ll be a fool. That’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful, little fool”). She’s the girly-girl of the group who is into parties and flirting. Because of her high class life, I love reading about her. Over time, she grows into her own and by the end of the series, she has gone through an amazing character development. Letty is also really fun to watch grow up in New York as she peruses her dreams of becoming a star. She has so many ups and downs over her career, which I enjoyed, and I also liked seeing the world of 1920s film and media.
The plot of these books are very slow moving and more poetic, but by the end, something really crazy will happen and everything will pick up. I found the last book to be the most engaging as all the plots were tying up and all the girls had a lot of drama to deal with at the climax of their story. But I was surprised to see how much I cared about these characters when I had to close the last book (and cried a lot at the epilogue). They were really well developed.
If you like historical fiction, I think you would love this series. It’s not my favorite, overall, but it’s great fun. I loved connecting with these characters and I’m sad to see them go, but I’m glad for the time I got to read about them.
Bright Young Things
The Lucky Ones