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July 8, 2012

"Bright Young Things" by Anna Godbersen

Title: Bright Young Things (Bright Young Things #1)
Author: Anna Godbersen
Publication: 2010, Harper

Summary: The year is 1929. New York is ruled by the Bright Young Things: flappers and socialites seeking thrills and chasing dreams in the anything-goes era of the Roaring Twenties.

Letty Larkspur and Cordelia Grey escaped their small Midwestern town for New York's glittering metropolis. All Letty wants is to see her name in lights, but she quickly discovers Manhattan is filled with
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Review: "Bright Young Things" is light and sweet for the most part, making it a perfect pick for a lazy rainy-day inside. With a setting all the way back in 1929, Ms. Godbersen once again portrays a nice image of what it is like to be a girl in that particular setting. 

The main characters were quite well done, created with enough depth and potential to keep the readers interested. With a two-tracks story, Cordelia and Letty both keep up to pace with their own unique adventures in New York City, which makes for a refreshing bonus for this book. Neither of the girls' storylines are exactly boring, but they aren't intense in the least either, making them simply enjoyable at most.

While Ms. Godbersen keeps the characters coloured in intriguing hues, the setting itself is a bit understated and gray, in my opinion. We hear much about the people, yet it seems as though these characters are acting on a stage with no proper or outstanding background for that time era, and that decidedly resulted in the book's imagery to be less vivid.

On to a major negative side. I am personally not a fan of Ms. Godbersen's writing. Unlike books where one might enjoy exquisite writing, but suffer from a bad plotline, this is a case where it is the other way around. Firstly, the presented ideas and actions are scattered. There is way too much jumping around and unevenness that before I can get used to one particular character's viewpoint, the author has already skipped onto another character completely, while I am left lost all the time, wondering who is being featured in which paragraph. Due to that, I did a lot of going back and re-reading. Even then, it was unclear. A well written book will reach the extent that without stating which character is saying what, one will be able to recognize a character through their manner of speech. This book is not near that point by far.

Secondly, the use of hyphens is messy and extremely worn out. They are used so often, yet rarely are they used well. The diction between the hyphens are so ridiculously long at times that as the reader, one is lost inside the hyphen, and by the time it ends, one is completely lost as to what the main point of the sentence was. 

Finally, as an overall personal opinion, I thought the writing lacked true refinement (which, to be fair, I understand is hard to ask for nowadays, especially in YA). Yes, at first glance, Ms. Godbersen presents a decent version of the time era's overall tone, yet due to the scattering of ideas/events, some too long, some too short, some cut off way too soon, the diction was altogether lacking a certain tidiness. It was uneven, no matter how amusing and okay the plot was, that was why it didn't hold the poise that one expects when one reads a book based on that time era.

This book was quite enjoyable, but the median through which the story was presented was lacking for me, therefore I found the overall experience to be mediocre at best. 

Rating: ✿✿✿ 3/5 Blossoms

Final Notes:  This wasn't a bad read and I didn't mean for this review to come out quite as harsh. Mind you, it wasn't a fast read either, and I've finally finished reading it after dropping it 2 times before. To be frank, I did enjoy it to the same extent as I did for the Luxe series, so if you liked those, you'll like this one.

(By the way, I typed this review up on the spot, a bit different than my usual write-in-my-notebook-then-type way of doing things, so the final product may have been a bit different. I'd like to switch things up a bit, because I feel that I'm losing depth in my written reviews nowadays..a bit of a writer's obstacle, shall I say. I'd love to hear what you guys thought of this particular review, as I don't do this sort of type-up review often!)
♡ Vivian


  1. I found the Luxe series wasn't for me and I couldn't finish the first book. This one seems to be in a similar vein, I think it's very difficult to write convincing and entertaining YA Historical.

    Sorry you didn't like this one.

  2. Great review Vivian, I'll still give Luxe a go, but if I struggle with the writing I'll know I'm not alone!

  3. I thought you did a great job on this review, Viv! Sorry to hear that you didn't like this one. It certainly doesn't sound like a book I'll enjoy, so I think I'm going to skip this one :) Thanks for your honesty ^^

  4. I really liked this review! If this is what happens when you just sit down and type, then you should definitely do it more often!
    Sorry to hear the book wasn't THAT enjoyable... this was pretty much how the Luxe series made me feel, so I never read this book.
    By the way, I just followed your tumblr and it's so cute!
    Here's mine: http://joie-de-lire.tumblr.com/

  5. Too bad the book was a fail! I love the 1920's era as far as a theme, so that's really disappointing. New delayed FF follower :).

  6. I'm very curious about this one bc I've been seeing it around SO much. Too bad the writing it so disjointed I'm not sure I could really get invested with that writing style (the hyphen thing.. eeep *cringe*), but at lest the characters were alright, right? haha. Great review, muffin! Glad you could still enjoy it. Undecided about this one for sure!

  7. Thanks for the review! I've been seeing this book around a lot the last year, but never bothered to read a review. I might check it out eventually. I just can't stand books with writing issues!

  8. Sucks that this was a disappointment for you, particularly that the writing didn't exactly hit the mark. I can absolutely understand the issues you brought up there. I have a copy of the sequel, so I've been contemplating whether or not to grab a copy of this. I still might, but having read your review, I'll go in with lower expectations so hopefully it won't be too disappointing :)

    And I think you wrote an excellent review!! I honestly don't know what you're worrying about (so shush! :P) - it's detailed, well written, engaging and gives me a very clear idea of what you like/didn't like. And I especially appreciate when a blogger can be honest about what they don't like about a book, but not in a horrible, bashing kind of way.


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