Sunday, December 4, 2011

Bright Young Things

Historical fiction for the young adult set?  That could be tricky, right?  Well, I truly believe that Anna Godberson could make living in a cave sound glamorous.  It's true.  In Bright Young Things (read a sample here), the Roaring Twenties seem so glamorous and mysterious that I found myself wishing I could go be a cigarette girl in a speakeasy.  Oddly enough, when I read the Luxe Series, Godberson had me wishing I could travel back to 1900.  I suppose that as long as two things are involved, I could completely uproot myself from the present and venture into the past.  Those things would have to be New York City and Anna Godberson!

Bright Young Things, the first in Godberson's second series, follows three girls with very different lives as their stories lead them away from each other and then back again.  Cordelia and Letty grew up in a sleepy little town in Ohio.  Both knew they were destined for more than becoming the average Ohio girl.  So, they boarded a train to New York and never looked back.  These two had been the best of friends; Letty, the shy but amazing singer, and Cordelia, the strong confident one.  But, when Letty finds out that Cordelia has come to New York to follow a dream of her own instead of being there to solely support her signing career, Letty doubts she really knew Cordelia after all.

Cordellia has come to New York to unite with the father she has never known.  However, her father is none other than the notorious bootlegger, Darius Grey.  That's right.  To the best of my overactive imagination, Darius Grey lives in Jay Gatsby's house and has Jay Gatsby style parties.  How could he not, really?  With this new found father comes a new set of rules, friends, and even a brother.

Cordelia's brother Charlie, well, he's...kind of a pain.  But, he has managed to snag the wonderful Astrid Donnal.  Astrid, too, seems to be trapped in her circumstances and wants more.  Despite having lived in the lap of luxury for most of her life, much of Astrid's unhappiness begins with her mother, the Third Mrs. Marsh.  Mrs. Marsh marries for sport.  Astrid has lived in many fine homes as her mother cycles through wealthy husbands.  As one could imagine, this has made Astrid distrustful of her mother and of anything that is supposed to be permanent.

Obviously, the lives of these three girls become entwined in a beautiful story.  The opulence of the era and the possibility that rests in each girl is absolutely beautiful.  I am excited to read the next book, Beautiful Days (watch the trailer here).  So, as possibly a challenge, I would like to see Godberson focus on a really unglamourous time, like the Great Depression.  I am sure she could make the Dust Bowl seem like a small annoyance that gave reason for some fantastic costume to keep the dust from one's eyes.  She could do it.  She's just that awesome!

Be sure to visit the site this site,   You can take quizzes to see which character you most resemble or play a few games.  There's fun stuff with Bright Young Things and The Luxe.

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