Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Review: Beautiful Days - Anna Godbersen

Title: Beautiful Days
Author: Anna Godbersen
Format: Paperback
Pages: 358
Genre: Historical Fiction, Young Adult
Published: 1st September 2011 (Razorbill)

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.

Cordelia and Letty have settled nicely into their new lives in New York, spending their days with new friend Astrid, lounging around in the afternoons and partying at night. Soon though, the girls realise they want more. Cordelia is keen to be part of her late father's business, helping her half-brother Charlie in opening a Speakeasy; Letty is pushing to start her on stage career and Astrid just wants a ring on her finger.

I really enjoyed the first book of this series and this one certainly lived up to it. One of the things I like best - apart from it's set in the 1920's and has gangsters, which is awesome enough in it's own right - is that each of the girl characters has their own. Too often in books with groups of friends, they all act exactly the same but in Bright Young Things series each of them is very different. And as such, they have their own individual problems and responses. My favourite of the three is definitely Cordelia; she's a strong young woman, very determined and independent for the era the story is set in.

It wouldn't be a YA book if there wasn't some kind of love interest and fortunately there's plenty. Each of the girls has a guy she likes and the share of problems come with it. Of the boys, I really liked Charlie because he appeals to my bad boy thing. I particularly loved the part where he gets all angry with Astrid because she put herself in danger.

I recommend this book even if you're not usually a fan of historical fiction because while the setting is an important part of the story, it's the characters that make it so good.

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