Review: Beautiful Days (Anna Godbersen)

Product Details:
Reading level: YA
Pages: 358
Publisher: HarperCollins (September 20, 2011)
ISBN 9780061962684
Source: My own personal copy

Beautiful Days (Bright Young Things, #2)For the bright young things of 1929, the beautiful days seem endless, filled with romance and heartbreak, adventure and intrigue, friendship and rivalry.
After 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.
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Luxe comes the second book in an epic series set in the dizzying last summer of the Jazz Age.

My Take:
This one didn't do it for me. I am SO disappointed to say that because I really like this series. I loved The Luxe books, but the second book in the Bright Young Things series falls flat. Now, don't get me wrong. It's still a good book; it just wasn't my favorite.

With the first book in the series I got all moony-eyed right along with Cordelia over Thom Hale. The ending of that book left me emotionally charged and dying to know what was going to happen. With all of the anticipation I had for this book, I'm a little disappointed with how things turned out. I'm not a fan of Max Darby. At all. He annoys me. Granted by the end of the book I felt a little better about him, but that doesn't change the fact I had to suffer through 1/3 of the book with him in my way. Plus, I just know he's going to end up being a bigger jerk than Thom. I just know it. That does not make me happy.

Then there were the subplots. I love how this story is told through alternating points of view. Well, actually, it's still written in a 3rd person point of view more or less, but the focus alternates on the different girls. I like that. I think it's really well written for such a hard task. The story moves along well enough, except that it dragged in parts. I didn't find myself enraptured in the girls' stories like before. I felt like the purpose of this book was to move the overall (and unknown) plot along. I'm sure the remaining books are going to be HUGE! Letty and Astrid came off as whiny and needy, which bothered me. Cordelia seemed so detached that I didn't care for that either. I really have mixed feelings on this one. My favorite parts dealt with Grady, but I am not at all happy about that outcome. 

All of the elements of Anna Godbersen's writing that I adore are evident. It reads like a tabloid article from the 1920s. Her use of descriptive language is great as always. At times, I felt like I was in the story-- like an observer in the spectacles. But other times I read felt like a reader. If you liked the first book, you need to read this one. It serves as a foundational piece to the remainder of the story that is to come. But honestly, I would just read reviews and summaries to find out what happened. Unless you get a copy for free and want something to do.



I love your description of Godbersen's writing as reading like a tabloid article from the 1920's. I haven't read the first one, probably won't. Just doesn't appeal to me, but I'm so sorry this one was a let down for you. I hate waiting for a sequel and have it be a let down. Your reasons are sound though, so I can understand.


October 17, 2011 at 10:42 PM

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