Thursday, August 7, 2014

Bright Young Things - YA Bingo

Completed on: August 5th
# of Pages: 389
Bingo Category: A Book Set In The Past
After thinking so much about other works by Anna Godbersen that I'd read when I noticed a number of similarities to Melissa De La Cruz's The Ring & The Crown, I decided that I was in the mood to pick up another one of her books, this one belonging to an entirely different series.

To fit the bill of this particular bingo square, this book takes place early in the summer of 1929. The chapters follow three very different girls: Letty, who runs off to New York City in the hopes of becoming famous and having her name in lights; Cordelia, who goes with Letty on the train out of their hometown in Ohio, leaving her newlywed husband in the hopes of finding her long lost father in the Big Apple; and Astrid, a beautiful flapper that is already hip to all of New York's ways, whose full-time application is being adoring to and then annoyed by her boyfriend Charlie.

After reading The Luxe books by Godbersen I was already familiar with her style of writing and how characters will interchange at the end or even halfway through chapters when it suits the moment in the story. I easily fell in love with a number of her characters in that book series, even when I was feeling so disappointed when the books came to an end. I can say for certain that there is definitely something about Godbersen's three female protagonists in this book that has left an even longer lasting impression on my mind. All three women, while pursuing different goals, are found to have similarities between them that the characters themselves aren't always wise to.

Perhaps one of the things I enjoyed the most about this book was the unpredictability existent in many of the characters' plots. Not everything was unpredictable of course, but there were enough surprise that the author dealt out to always keep me guessing and always eager to flip to the next page.

Entering the spoiler zone! If I was forced to pick which of the three heroines in Bright Young Things was my favorite, I would be pressed to go with Cordelia, because as often as books will have one or more of their characters in pursuit of their biological parents as a plot device, I've yet to come across a work where the character succeeds in finding their parent semi-early on in the book and then is greeted as a member of the family by said parent with open arms. I kept waiting for her father to become suspicious and end up throwing her out after some non-event took place, but it didn't happen. It took a while for her half-brother Charlie to warm up to the idea of Cordelia as a sister, but quickly enough it does happen. This was one of the biggest and earliest surprises of the book that kept me guessing throughout the rest of Cordelia's chapters. Okay, spoilers are over.

For the many surprises that this book has in store alone, I suggest picking up a copy of Bright Young Things for yourself. While we're typically taught to believe that books involving the Boleyn family or the servants in Jane Austen's books are what is considered historical fiction, this book provides detailed and intriguing glimpses into the last supper of the flapper era, from the construction of the Chrysler building to the ins and outs of the unique settings where speak easy's are often situated. For these and many more reasons, go and see how these three young women in the roaring 20's make a go of it from each of their unique vantage points.

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