on September 26, 2011
I could say that I rolled by eyes at certain points, and scoffed at some of the situations...because I did. But then I would also have to add that I read this book in three hours in the middle of the night...because I did that too.
Beautiful Days is the second book in the Bright Young Things series by Anna Godberson. I read The Luxe books in junior high and LOVED them. Of course, I was in junior high and the books were aimed at me. Now I'm a senior in high school, and while I still find Godberson's novels to be page turning and exciting, I also think that if her books were written for an older audience that they would be magnificent. Anyways, on with the pros and cons.
-Female interaction: I see the three main characters as having a very superficial relationship. Yeah, we hear that they're great friends but I don't think there interactions show it. I'm perfectly fine with them not even interacting because their stories are all somewhat interesting on their own, but...
-I don't Letty and Astrid: Cordelia is the only one that seems real to me. Letty is tactless and so unlikeable. She just goes around and sings...that's all she does. She has no personality at all. I don't care for the Astrid POV because I don't think she's rational. Cordelia, however, is very relatable to a certain extent.
-Historical context: I'm not saying that there were necassarily historical innacuracies...I just thought that everything was done on such a superficial level. All the information is what is expected or obvious. What I loved about Sophie Kinsella's "Twenties Girl" is that I actually learned interesting things about what the clothes and makeup were like and the real struggle between the conservative girls and the "flappers". because not every girl was a flapper in the twenties...it is known.
-Storyline: again, I wish that Godberson dug a little deeper into the world of the bootlegging. All you ever heard Charlie say was "something happened" or just a sentence about blowing up a warehouse. I want the gritty details, man. I want to know the politics and layers of the story. I just dont think she's up to writing like that.
-Detailed writing. I really think that the authour embodied the feel of the 1920's...or I should say, the Gatsby view. I appluad that because though it may not be truly authentic, she at least gives the right feel that we expect from a story about the 1920's
-Studs. I totally fell for the pilot Max. I thought he was a little different from your average bro in these types of books. I'm somewhat intrigued by where this is going. This was the only thing that really kept me turning the pages. Cordelia and he had some chemistry.
-I know I liked a book when i can't stop thinking about it the next day. I could stop thinking about this book the next day. I wanted to be transported to these girls live's. That's a good story in my opinion, one that takes you away to something and you don't want to leave
I feel like I sounded way to harsh in the cons part. I don't mean to be. I really liked this book, I just think a little tweaking could have made it really good. If Godberson can get past her stale plot (totally doable, make it more intense!) and had depth to her characters and dialouge then this is five star reading.
If you liked all the other books by this author, then YOU WILL LOVE THIS BOOK. It's not a dissapointment at all for those who enjoyed the Luxe and the first book in this series. It's even better, actually. Enjoy!
on September 24, 2011
I'm so fascinated with this time period and really adore this series. In Bright Young Things I loved the way Anna brought the time period to life via the story of three bright young girls, Cordelia, Letty and Astrid. In this sequel, Anna does another fabulous job with keeping the feel of this era live with her richly detailed setting, her well written characters, surprising turn of events, great storyline and realistic character dialogue.
While the ending of the first book left me feeling a bit heart broken for each of the girls, Beautiful Days leaves me feeling both hopeful and cautious for them. There's a turn of events that leads each of the girls down a different path and in essence changes them, not necessary for the better or for worse, but they've each made decisions that I'm afraid will have disastrous consequences for one of them. I really do adore each of the characters. They each add something unique to the storyline.
Cordelia is trying to get over a broken heart, and help her brother run a new family venture, and in the process of all this she's trying to figure out her feelings for Max Darby, the pilot she saves at the end of Bright Young Things. There's of course complication as she's now the latest gossip in every newspaper around town. Not to mention that there's stuff going down between her family and the Hale Family. Did I mention Thom Hale is still in the picture. Anna definitely does a great job at stringing me along as I try to figure out Max and Thom's motives are. There's something about the two of them I can't quite figure out....
Speaking of figuring people out, Cordelia's brother Charlie is turning out to be quite the twisted character. There's definitely something about him that's alluring and a little off setting at the same time. Astrid and Charlie's relationship isn't as peachy as I was hoping it would be. In fact, it's a bit more volatile, which gave me a hint of that rage that seems to be simmering just below his surface. He's not abusive to her, but there's just something about him that puts me on guard.
Letty is the character my heart broke for the most. This poor girl is trying to juggle following her dreams of making it on broadway and her friendships with Cordelia and Astrid. Both girls are so pre-occupied with their own issues that they often times without meaning to brush Letty aside. I felt so bad that things between her and Grady didn't turn out the way I had hoped they would, and I'm really hoping there's more of him in the next book. Letty definitely deserves someone who can treat her right.
This is a great series. I really enjoy being whisked away into this swinging time period, and feeling like I'm apart of each of these girl's lives. I enjoy the way the character's stories are told. It's not hard to fall in love with them and feel like I'm apart of their lives as they learn to deal with the different turn of events and circumstances that are changing who they are. I'm really exited to read the next installment in this series. I think Anna's going to be throwing a few more curve balls into this series' plot line.
Beautiful Days takes up the lives of Cordelia, Letty, and Astrid--three young women living the glamorous life in the 1920s. Cordelia's brother Charlie has taken over the bootlegging business upon the death of their father, while Astrid, as Charlie's girlfriend, continues with her superficial life of parties and drinking. Letty, meanwhile, has moved in with Cordelia and is still hoping for her big break as a singer. As the story progresses, all three end up far from where they began at the start of this novel, and that's not necessarily a bad thing at all. Along the way, Cordelia and Astrid come to realize just what a dangerous occupation Charlie has, and Letty discovers that her desire to be in the spotlight may trump her newfound feelings for writer Grady. No one is safe from heartbreak and danger.
Beautiful Days started off a little slowly for me; I felt as though I was spinning my wheels, waiting for one of the girls to actually make up her fluffy little mind and get on with her life in a meaningful way. And as far as that goes, it's still a ways into the book before more mature decisions are made. But the emotions are strong, and I especially loved reading about the nightlife of New York during Prohibition. I admit to feeling frustration with Astrid particularly; she seems so shallow, and I'm not sure Godbersen intends for her to gain much depth. The action is good once the story picks up (probably a third of the way in), and the very unexpected complication in the relationship between Max and Cordelia is going to be fun to explore. Godbersen's writing is descriptive and detailed; occasionally I got tired of reading what everyone was wearing but in general I felt as though I was smack in the middle of the Roaring Twenties. Good characterization and an engaging storyline makes this a winner of a sequel and has me ready for the next book. Recommended.
on March 13, 2015
This book twists moments of joy and life's complications into a somewhat innocent and romantic read. A book to read when you are tired of serious and burdened events of today. A little more detail would keep the reader from feeling like they missed something.
In the summer of 1929, Cordelia Grey is still suffering from grief over the loss of her recently re-discovered father, and the guilt on her inadvertent role in his death. She's eager to prove that she has what it takes to be a Grey to her brother Charlie. Letty Larkspur is reunited with her best friend, but dreams of the stage still entertain her thoughts, and she's not sure her long-time friend really values her anymore now that she has found her family. And there is nothing Astrid Donal would like more than to become Mrs. Grey, even if that doesn't seem to be what Charlie wants. Is she really ready to settle down and become mistress of Dogwood? Will each girl have the strength and courage to pull through and get what they really want as the Greys and Hales are preparing for war?
Like the prequel, Bright Young Things, and the books from her previous Luxe series, Godbersen has crafted yet another fast-paced book with alternating narratives, strong, interesting characters, and the most intriguing drama. Cordelia is so bent on proving herself and seeming like a strong, capable woman in front of her new love interest, Max Darby, that she pushes Letty away. Letty is feeling naive and out of place, but rejection only makes her more determined to succeed--no matter what the cost, at the risk of losing her friends. And Astrid has always appeared to be carefree and self-assured, but her relationship issues with Charlie confuse her, and in reality, she isn't really sure what she wants. All of these issues, nestled between the politics of the bootlegging business and the conflict between Cordelia's family and the family that killed her father, make for an intriguing, dangerous read. At time the girls' consciences do prickle a little, but they are easy to ignore in favor of the tantalizing pull of romance and glamour--something that will surely come back to haunt them later on. Beautiful Days is an entertaining, glittering read in which the stakes are raised, and the ending leaves you hanging with the certainty that something big is bound to happen in the third book, Lucky Ones.
on November 1, 2011
Anna Godbersen is officially Queen of period novels and my book loving heart! That's all thanks to Beautiful Days, the second novel in the Bright Young Things series.
Now, I am usually a pretty fast reader, but I really enjoyed taking my time with this book. I completely immersed myself in the world of speakeasies, bootleggers and flappers. Side note: I may or may not have started addressing people with "Yes, darling."
Don't judge me. It's not my fault Godbersen does a fantastic job of taking readers to these far away places and making them feel like they're actually there. Not to mention the twists and turns throughout the book that will leave you thrilled, breathless, and anxious all at once.
It's interesting, after what seemed to be a never ending set of trials and tribulations, these girls managed to grow up right before my eyes, which I loved. By the end of the novel, I also came to the realization that I have a deep admiration for Cordelia Grey. Her flaws, bravery, and unapologetic nature make her my absolute favorite character in the series.
If it wasn't obvious, I absolutely ADORED this book! I can't wait to see what's next for these gorgeous ladies and the guys after their hearts in The Lucky Ones (2012).
on December 7, 2011
I bought this book the minute I finished reading Bright Young Things and I'm sorry to report that I am disappointed. After Godbersen had artfully built Cordelia's, Letty's and Astrid's character in Bright Young Things, She had destroyed them in Beautiful Days. In this book, the three young women are portrayed as vain and empty. The relationships are also conveyed in the same shallow way. Things happen with no explanation and the plot seemed rushed or too slow. I must admit that I was also disappointed that a book set in 1929, in NYC..., did not touch upon the great financial fall.
Having said that, I hope there is a third book planned for this series that will have some redeeming value and will up my star rating to 5 again. [i.e. will touch upon the great depression]. As in the beginning of Bright Young Things one would be married, one would be famous and one would die - I remain hopeful. = and won't tell you which of the three hasn't happened yet. No spoilers.
on July 13, 2013
What a treat! I loved Beautiful Days just as much as Bright Young Things, the first in the series. There is something about Anna Godbersen's writing. Maybe it's the historical element to her books, or the way she describes everything so that you feel like you're actually there, but her books are so engrossing. I think a big part of the appeal of Godbersen's writing is how she makes me care about characters whom I don't really like. I have never been a big fan of Astrid--she seems vapid. Spoiled rotten. Careless. But, I started to really care about her and hoped for the best for her. I really think it was because of the way Godbersen wrote her story.
I liked Cordelia just as much as I did in the first book. Letty too. I liked that they were small-town girls who came to New York to follow their dreams. I liked that they don't exactly get everything they want, but they learn to make their own happiness.
I thought that Beautiful Days was a little bit of a slow starter, but about halfway through the book I got so into the story that I could not put it down. I enjoyed it even more than Bright Young Things, and recommend this series to anyone. I have yet to read any "duds" from Anna Godbersen!
on June 28, 2016
This is the second book in the Bright Young Things trilogy. In the wake of the tragic events and betrayal at the end of the first book, the three young women are making strides in their lives. Cordelia has been tasked by her brother to set up a nightclub as a showcase for their bootlegging business, Astrid has become engaged to Charlie, and Letty is still dreaming of a singing career. When Letty is disappointed by Cordelia regarding the club and when she experiences an embarrassing situation regarding her new beau, she decides to make her own way, starting out from the bottom and auditions for what is essentially a chorus girl position. Cordelia is struggling with her own feelings for pilot Max Darby whose life views are antithetical to her wild lifestyle and her anger against her former love who betrayed her and her family. By the end, there is a kidnapping, volatility at the club, and one young woman comes to the rescue of another and begins to chart her own destiny. It will be interesting to see how the third volume completes the prediction from the first book of one married, one famous, and one dead.
on November 10, 2011
Bright Young Things was a good start to this series and I was looking forward to reading more. I was a bit scared, having read The Luxe series and being extremely disappointed with the ending, I was afraid that this one would turn out the same way. But I figure I would give this author another try.
Anna has a talent for description and detail. Her settings make the story come alive. Her story lines are also pretty good in the beginning and the story moves along well and flows.
But she has trouble creating likeable characters. When I first started reading, I really liked Letty and I hoped she would have a happy ending. By the end of this book, I hope she is the one that drops dead. Anna turned her into a selfish, snobby child who is just milling about the book waiting for things to happen to her. The way she treats her boyfriend is deplorable and she expects to be treated like some sort of queen back. The way she reacted to being told she couldn't open a club with her singing was painfully immature. She was told she can sing at a club on any night, just not opening night and she goes around drinking and treating everyone around her like trash.
Cordelia is semi-likeable. She at least has some personality, even though some of her parts can be kind of dull. I am also really irritated by how badly her crush treats her and how she just stands by and giggles. The best of her comes out in her interactions with Charlie when she is level headed.
Astrid seems like she is stumbling through life. At first, I was kind of annoyed by her but now I think she is ok. She really has so little perspective and acts childish 98% of the time. Her "poor little rich girl" sulking can get annoying. She sulks about now being engaged and then sulks about not being single. By the end, she finally grew up a little and I hope she stays that way.
I am torn whether to read whatever else Anna will come out with next. I don't know if her next book will follow her pattern of a promising start coupled with disappointment. I hope it gets better.