Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen (Published by HarperTeen, October 12, 2010)
Cordelia and Letty, best friends who grew up in the small, boring town of Union, Ohio, both want to escape to the big city for different reasons. Letty dreams of becoming a famous actress, while Cordelia wants to find her long-lost father. After Cordelia is pressured into an unwanted marriage, the two girls decide to escape, with Letty believing Cordelia chose the destination of New York City in order to help her become a famous actress. The third main character is Astrid Donal, a wealthy flapper whose life is not as perfect as it seems.
Shortly after arriving in New York, Cordelia and Letty, inexperienced in the ways of the big city, run into trouble. When Letty learns Cordelia’s real reasons for traveling to New York, the two girls have an argument and go their separate ways. When Cordelia goes in search of her father, the notorious bootlegger Darius Grey, she is befriended by Astrid, who seems to have the perfect life - she is beautiful, wealthy, and is dating Cordelia’s newfound older brother, Charlie.
I don’t want to give away more of the plot which has a lot of twists and turns, but as a fan of Anna Godbersen’s Luxe series, I am happy to say I enjoyed the first book in her new series, Bright Young Things, just as much. All three of the girls, Letty, Cordelia, and Astrid, were unique, realistic, and well-developed characters. Although this is a book with a very interesting and well-researched historical setting (1929 New York), I think readers who don’t usually read historical fiction could enjoy it as well, as the problems the main characters face are just as relevant to young adults today. I really enjoyed this book, and can’t wait for the release of book two, Beautiful Days.
Disclosure: Review copy provided by publisher.