Review: Bright Young Things

May 5, 2013 Review 9

Review: Bright Young Things
Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: HarperCollins
Source: Trade
Pages: 389
Release Date: October 12th 2010
Series: Bright Young Things #1
Genres: Historical
The year is 1929. New York is ruled by the Bright Young Things: Flappers and socialites seeking thrills and chasing dreams in the anything-goes era of the Roaring Twenties.

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.

What can I say about BRIGHT YOUNG THINGS…

I guess I should start with the fact that it isn’t horrible, per se. There just isn’t any substance, nothing to keep you interested or nothing to make you really care.

It is, like Godbersen’s other books, fluffy and light, holding no real purpose or moral of the story. It is unlike her other novels in the fact that these characters had no souls. Not literally, because this is historical fiction-not fantasy-but I mean soulless in the way they were one-dimensional, shallow husks of characters. I hated every single one of them, even the ones that weren’t spoiled rich girls. I actually cared about the characters in THE LUXE, I wanted them to be happy and achieve their dreams. This this book I kind of wish one of them would die, like we are promised in the beginning:

“…One Will Be Married, One Will Be Famous, and One Will Be Dead.”

Which, by the way, brings me to my point where this tells us how all the characters are going to end up so why read the series? It is literally written out for you on who’s future is going to be whose so unless you are completely unable to put two and two together, this entire series is kind of a waste of time.

Maybe I had too high of hopes for this one because I liked her other novels and was really excited about the time period. Who doesn’t love the twenties? But it failed miserably at trying to capture the essence of “The Jazz Age.” Because even though it was 1929 and the times were “winding down” or whatever, there is so much potential here.

The prologue was my favorite part, it made me genuinely excited for the book:

“It is easy to forget now, how effervescent and free we all felt that summer. Everything fades: the shimmer of gold over White Cove; the laughter in the night air; the lavender early morning light on the faces of skyscrapers, which had suddenly become so heroically tall. Every dawn seemed to promise fresh miracles, among other joys that are in short supply these days. And so I will try to tell you, while I still remember, how it was then, before everything changed-that final season of the era that roared.”

Where is this book? I want to read this book!

So overall: terrible characters, squandered potential from the time period, predictable plot, but a fluffy read that somehow, some way, keeps you reading until the end.

9 Responses to “Review: Bright Young Things”

  1. Danielle

    I’ve had this sitting on my shelf for years and have never had the inclination to pick it up, it did seem a bit vapid and clearly it was. I’m a sucker for anything 1920’s so they saw me coming lol. Pity it was disappointing.

  2. lilybloombooks

    I honestly haven’t heard of this until recently. Sorry you didn’t enjoy it. I will take your word for it and steer clear.

    Great Review. ;)

  3. Renae M.

    How disappointing! In spite of their soap-operaness, I really did enjoy the Luxe series, and I’ve been meaning to pick up these ones. I’m so sorry you didn’t connect to these characters at all; I definitely agree that the characters were the big factor that kept me coming back to the Luxe books. And I don’t like how the author basically tells you what’s going to happen at the end of the series right up front—it’s like spoiling your own book, isn’t it?

    • Alise (Readers In Wonderland)

      I liked the Luxe, definitely! The characters in those at least made you care. Took the words right out of my mouth, it would have been okay if it wasn’t spelled out for you on who would die.

  4. rivie bleu

    Oh, that’s too bad. And she’s a bestselling author. I have not heard about her or this book. But I guess, that is not necessarilly the author, the one that makes a bad book. Sometimes, things just don’t work out.

    • rivie bleu

      Oh yeah, is this on the book? “…One Will Be Married, One Will Be Famous, and One Will Be Dead.” In the summary? I wonder why she decided to write it

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