This book caught my eye immediately and I knew I had to read it, knew I would adore it. Of course, I’m already a huge fan of Anna Godbersen after devouring her Luxe series and I was eager to read the first installment in her newest series which takes place in the roaring twenties.
By the summer of 1929, when the weather was just getting warm enough that girls could exhibit exactly how high hemlines had risen, Prohibition had been in effect for so long it had ceased to bother anyone much. The city had a speakeasy per every fifty souls, or so the preachers liked to exclaim on Sundays, and sweet-faced girls from the hinterlands were no longer blinded by wood alcohol, for the real stuff had become plenty easy to get. The Eighteenth Amendment had converted us all to grateful outlaws.
-from the prologue of Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen
There were so many things that I loved about this book. It deftly rotates between the stories of the three main characters – Cordelia, Letty and Astrid – and presents each character in an honest light that is neither optimistic nor pessimistic. You find yourself rooting for all three characters regardless of their flaws while daydreaming about olden times. Historic New York is described in such beautiful detail from the gorgeous gowns to the older architecture and way of life.
I also really liked the contrast of life in the 20’s compared to life at the turn of the century in the Luxe novels. Having read both it really allows you to see just how quickly life changed in just twenty short years – all of the new liberties that girls growing up in the 20’s had compared to their mothers and grandmothers. To then think about how much life has changed even since kind of blows my mind. I don’t think the girls from the Luxe series could have even imagined how much life would change in such a short time.
I love historical fiction and have been a fan of a lot of the new young adult novels coming out and this book combines both of those genres brilliantly. I wish I could learn all of world history through Anna Godbersen’s eyes as she is such a talented story teller and really makes these times come alive in her writing. And like her previous books, Bright Young Things boasts all of the same mystery, intrigue and suspense that you’ll come to expect in her books from the beginning to the cliff hanger of an ending. Can’t wait to read book two!
If you loved the Luxe series or are a fan of historical fiction, you won’t want to miss this new series! Bright Young Things was a fantastic, indulgent and addictive read from beginning to end!