Saturday, September 29, 2012

Thoughts on Bright Young Things and Beautiful Days by Anna Godbersen

It's the roaring twenties and best friends Letty Larkspur and Cordelia Grey decide to leave their small town of Defiance, Ohio for the bright lights and bigger opportunities of New York City. While Letty longs to be a star, Cordelia secretly plots to find her long-lost father, bootlegger Darius Grey. Seemingly overnight, Cordelia is swept into a new world of money, influence, and danger.

After a falling out with Cordelia, Letty soon finds herself on her own in a city that will eat her alive if she's not careful. Will Letty's quest for stardom result in a one-way ticket back to Ohio? Will Cordelia's dream of finding her influential long-lost family turn out to be a nightmare?

Author of the guilty-pleasure series, The Luxe, Anna Godbersen chooses a new historical era to focus on in her Bright Young Things series, but no less indulgent. Taking place in the Prohibition era, the glitz, the glamor, and the lawlessness keep readers turning the page and clamoring for more.

Anna Godbersen writes descriptive, lush prose and I enjoy reading and listening to her beautiful, fluid sentences. However, my problem with so much description is that sometimes the plot feels like it's not moving forward. A lot happens in the first two books, but with so much description, the stories tend to feel like everything is standing still. This is not always a bad thing. The writing is beautiful after all, but it could be an issue for people who need action-packed plots to keep turning the page.

Two examples of my favorite descriptive passages from Bright Young Things:

We did whatever we liked and dressed in whatever we thought smart and broke rules for the sport of it -- diving into public fountains, mixing social classes as casually as we mixed cocktails.

The fading day had cast the grass the color of straw, and the guests were trailed by their own long shadows as they ascended toward the vast white tent.

I'm definitely looking forward to the third book, The Lucky Ones, which comes out on November 27th.

Bright Young Things and Beautiful Days by Anna Godbersen
Published: October 12, 2010 and September 20, 2011
Publisher: Harper Collins
Pages: 389 and 368
Genre: Historical Fiction
Audience: Young Adult
Disclosure: First book purchased, second book received for review (in audiobook form)

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