Monday, July 30, 2012

Review: Beautiful Days

Beautiful Days (Bright Young Things, book 2)
By Anna Godbersen, read by Caitlin Davies
Published 2011 by Harper Audio

To see my review of book one, go here.

It's hard to believe that Cordelia and Letty have only been in New York a month; so much has happened to both girls that it seems like much longer. Now, Cordelia and Letty, along with new friend Astrid, are busy navigating the waters of high society in the city, while trying to achieve their dreams. And maybe looking for love while they're at it...

As I mentioned in my review of the first book, I didn't think it was awesome or amazing, but I felt compelled to read the next book and find out what fate awaits these characters. So, when I saw the second audiobook available for download, I snatched it up. I definitely felt more interested in this one, perhaps because the plot is developing further and drawing closer to solving the mystery set up in book one - which is that one of these girls will be dead by 1930. I found myself zoning out less while listening to this one, which is definitely a good thing. I liked the slightly more complicated storylines developing and found myself more invested in the characters. I'm eager to see how things continue in the third book. Now, that's not to say that this is a perfect series - as with most young adult chick lit sort of books (which this is, just taking place in a different time period), the girls are not necessarily the strong young women one always hopes to encounter. Generally, these girls are valued because they're pretty and this book is no exception. Additionally, I sometimes have a hard time keeping them straight because they all seem to be described as looking exactly the same. It would be excellent if this book, and others like it, introduced some characters of color or some queer characters (the scene with Billie and Astrid not being a suitable substitute), but I think that's hoping for much more than I'm going to get. It would be fascinating to read a series set among an African-American community during this same time period. I may just have to seek one out. Though I find some elements of this series problematic, I also don't find those same elements that unusual. That being said, I still find myself enjoying the mystery of the series and wanting to know what happens next. I'm sure I'll be back for book three.

One additional note: I don't know why, but the narrator for this book is different than the narrator for book one and I must admit, I didn't enjoy this one as much. The narrator for book one, Emily Bauer, was bubbly with a sweet voice that suited the characters and the story. This narrator, Caitlin Davies, sounded very dreary and stoic for the majority of the time and it just didn't work for me. I wish they hadn't switched narrators.

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