THE YEAR IS 1929. NEW YORK IS RULED BY THE BRIGHT YOUNG THINGS: FLAPPERS AND SOCIALITIES SEEKING THRILLS AND CHASING DREAMS IN THE ANYTHING-GOES EAR OF THE ROARING TWENTIES
Letty Larkspur and Cordelia Grey have 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 gilled 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 glamours than she 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 come an epic new series set in the dizzying last summer of the Jazz Age (from publishers site)
When I got this book I was enticed by the cover - it sparkles and looks quite decadent and completely captured my imagination. I thought it looked like a fun and classy read, which *dun dun dun*... it absolutely is.
A Bit About the Girls in the Book
Bright Young Things is told from three POV's, each in third person. The girls intersect in each others lives at different points of the novel.
Letty: Talented and dreaming of making it famous in Broadway with her stunning voice. She finds work in a nightclub and loses a some of her innocence along the way...
Cordelia: She leaves her man on the night of their wedding, runs off to New York in search of the father she's never met - an infamous, madly wealthy bootlegger (whiskey smuggler) who throws decadent parties.
Astrid: A flapper, rich and privileged and completely fun and likeable. She's just come home after boarding school, has a few drama's with her boyfriend, and thinks the boy working in the stables is particularly cute... (Astrid is the girl on the cover)
Some thoughts from me
This book is dazzling. It so perfectly brings to life an era that is a stunning backdrop for the tale of these three girls. It opens with a prologue that tells us about Astrid, Cordelia and Letty: one will end up married, one will be famous and one will be dead. OooOooh :)
I was thinking it would be one of those delicious guilty pleasure reads (which I absolutely crave sometimes). It was delicious, but it didn't feel like a guilty pleasure because it's so fantastically written.
There are two things that really impressed me about this book
1. Godbersen's gift at story telling. She takes three girls in one glamorous era and weaves their stories so effortlessly along. Each story had its own drama's and villains and complications and I love how the girls paths criss-cross together. Godbersen has a flair for capturing your attention and holding it.
2. The richness of the prose so suited to the era. The descriptions and dialogue and setting is all explored with a unique flavour that adds to the authenticity of the time - yet the story is not bogged down in world-building at all. In fact, it raced along so that there was never a blah moment.
As for the characters, despite the glamorous situations the girls are caught up in, at it's core, they are just teen girls dreaming big, wanting adventure, one crushing on the hot forbidden boy, another doubting her boyfriend's faithfulness, and above all, they're searching for their place in the world.
I love some of the ambiguity with a few of the guys - you are never quite sure if they are the good guy or the bad guy or somewhere in between. (Bring on the sequel so I can figure it out!)
One thing niggles at me: the entire novel takes place in just over two weeks, which does seem a little incredulous in hindsight, but didn't bother me while reading it as I was just getting swept along with it all.
Recommended: Godbersen really is a fantastic storyteller and if this premise captures you at all - you will not be disappointed with Bright Young Things. It's atmospheric and daring and fun and the twists and turns are always a little unexpected. 4 stars of delicious indulgence from me :)
Bright Young Things is available now
Bright Young Things is the first in a series. I don't read many series, but I think this one ends just perfectly - on a lovely-(ish) note for the girls, but also - argh... I need to know what is going to happen next. Especially regarding Thom (I'm rooting for him).