Friday, February 17, 2012

Review: Bright Young Things

Bright Young Things (Bright Young Things, book 1)
By Anna Godbersen, read by Emily Bauer
Published 2010 by HarperChildren's Audio

It's 1929 and New York City is flush with Bright Young Things: flappers hoping to be famous, up-and-coming young gangsters, and socialites seeking wrong-side-of-the-track thrills. Enter Letty and Cordelia into this scenery: small-town Midwestern girls, each with her own big city mission. Throw in socialite Astrid and soon you have a recipe for intrigue, scandal and murder.

I'm a big fan of historical fiction and something about this era is endlessly appealing (and not just to me, I'm sure). Additionally, Godbersen's other series (The Luxe) was popular and seemed to be well-received, so I thought I'd give this one a shot. This book was sort of a mixed bag for me. There were times when I was listening that I totally zoned out and didn't really absorb what was happening. But, after finishing it, I definitely want to read the next one to find out what happens. I spent the majority of the time I listened trying to guess which girl was going to end up being murdered - and it was actually quite the guessing game. I think Godbersen does a wonderful job creating her atmosphere - the descriptions are lush and evocative without being overwhelming or purple-y. There were times while reading that I wanted to bash the girls over the head for being so naive but then I realized that that's how it was for a lot of young girls trying to make it big in those days. Like I said, I find myself compelled to read the next book and find out what fate awaits these young women, but it's definitely not the best book I've read this year.

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