Monday, November 7, 2011

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

Beautiful Days (Bright Young Things #2) by Anna Godbersen
Release Date: 1st September 2011
Penguin Books, Limited

Format: Paperback 
Pages: 358
Rating: 4.5/5.0

Summary from Amazon:
“For the bright young things of 1929, the beautiful days seem endless, filled with romance and heartbreak, adventure and intrigue, friendship and rivalry.
buy the book from The Book Depository, free deliveryAfter 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.”

Anna Godbersen is shaping up to be one of my favourite authors. Beautiful Days is the second novel in the Bright Young Things series, and I am eagerly awaiting the third instalment in this series [hopefully to be released sometime next year]. What I love about this series is that is mixes both what modern girls want in a good novel with the glitz and glamour of New York in the 1920s. It’s a perfect combination that has resulted in a great novel, one that lives up to the expectations I had after reading Bright Young Things last year.

At first I found myself wondering exactly what had happened in the first novel, but Anna cleverly [but not subtlety] interwove details of the first book into the opening chapters, and within the first 30 pages or so I knew all the key elements in the plot to fill in the back-story. I then could continue on reading about the interesting lives of Cordelia, Astrid and Letty, the three best friends on whom the story is centred. And whilst the novel is told from each of the girl’s perspectives, revolving around each of their lives and differing stories, I have always felt that the Bright Young Things series is centred around Cordelia. Maybe she is just my favourite character, but it seemed to me that most of the novel was dedicated to her.

The story has something for almost any reader out there. Romance, history, crime, scandal, even a touch of feminism in how Astrid disobeys her fiance Charlie. At the heart of it, each girl strives to become their own woman, whether it be Cordelia, who strives to become a part of the family business and prove herself; Letty, who works diligently to become a star on Broadway; or Astrid, who just wants to do whatever she wants without being ordered around by a man. This was an amazing and delightful read, but not quite a full 5.0; it seemed that there was something missing from the mixture. I wasn't completely enthralled in the story, but nonetheless, it was an incredible book and I would recommend it in a heartbeat.

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