Bright Young Things (Bright Young Things Series #1)

Bright Young Things (Bright Young Things Series #1)

4.2 185
by Anna Godbersen
     
 

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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

Overview

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 pretty girls who will do anything to be a star. . . .

Cordelia is searching for the father she's never known, a man as infamous for his wild parties as he is for his shadowy schemes. Overnight, she enters a world more thrilling and glamorous than she ever could have imagined—and more dangerous. It's a life anyone would kill for . . . and someone will.

The only person Cordelia can trust is ­Astrid Donal, a flapper who seems to have it all: money, looks, and the love of Cordelia's brother, Charlie. But Astrid's perfect veneer hides a score of family secrets.

Across the vast lawns of Long Island, in the ­illicit speakeasies of Manhattan, and on the blindingly lit stages of Broadway, the three girls' fortunes will rise and fall—together and apart. From the New York Times bestselling author of The Luxe comes an epic new series set in the dizzying last summer of the Jazz Age.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Godbersen (the Luxe series) proves that some things--namely the allure of cities, fame, and a good time--never change, melding drama and a lush historical setting in this series launch, set in 1929. Cordelia and Letty were meant for more than Union, Ohio, will ever offer, so they run away to Manhattan--just hours after Cordelia's wedding. Cordelia hopes to reunite with her famous and wealthy father, bootlegger Darius Grey, and Letty dreams of stardom. Shortly after arriving, the two best friends have a falling out; Letty becomes a cigarette girl at a famed Manhattan speakeasy, while Cordelia finds her way to her father's mansion, where she meets society girl Astrid, who is dating Cordelia's half-brother, Charlie. Handsome men and romantic intrigue abound as these flappers party their way through society, even as inevitable falls loom ahead. Godbersen excels at dialogue--especially Cordelia, Letty, and Astrid's coyly flirtatious responses to suitors--and in capturing the mixture of exhilaration, innocence, and guts that propels them into their new lives. Ages 14–up. (Oct.)
ALA Booklist
Praise for the Luxe series:“Characters are vividly sketched, and the suspenseful story is propelled by interwoven scandals and well–supported plot twists. A compulsively readable romance about young women who strain against societal conventions.”
Cecily von Ziegesar
“Mystery, romance, jealousy, betrayal, humor, and gorgeous, historically accurate details. I couldn’t put The Luxe down!”
Children's Literature - Susan Curry
At speakeasies and elegant parties in Manhattan, three young women find love and heartache. It all begins in 1929 Ohio where friends Cordelia and Letty, both eighteen years old, want glamour and excitement so they run away to Manhattan. Letty has dreams about being a Broadway star. Cordelia hopes to find the wealthy father she never met. When she does find him she moves into his mansion and learns about his life as a bootlegger. Astrid, who lives in a nearby mansion, befriends Cordelia. Astrid makes her into a flapper taking her to speakeasies and lavish parties. Letty finds a job as a cigarette girl and singer at a speakeasy. Her youth and naivety prevent her from understanding a theatrical agent's motive when he wants her to sing for several producers. She soon learns that the agent, and the male producers, expects more from her as a female. This is a novel that readers will not want to put down. The plot is engaging and fast paced. Dialogue is realistic and helps move the plot along. The characters and setting make the reader feel part of the lawn parties and speakeasies. The novel is full of handsome males. Letty and Cordelia become adept at flirting their way through the story. This is a novel about more than just love. It is also about friendship, jealousy, betrayal, tragedy, intrigue, and mystery. This is the first of a trilogy. "The Bright Young Things" by the author of "The Luxe" series. Reviewer: Susan Curry

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062023919
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/12/2010
Series:
Bright Young Things Series , #1
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
416
Sales rank:
315,150
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

What People are saying about this

Cecily von Ziegesar
“Mystery, romance, jealousy, betrayal, humor, and gorgeous, historically accurate details. I couldn’t put The Luxe down!”

Meet the Author

Anna Godbersen was born in Berkeley, California, and educated at Barnard College. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she is at work on the sequel to The Lucky Ones.

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Bright Young Things 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 185 reviews.
Savi More than 1 year ago
This book is a great read! Its got a little mystery and a great Prologue into the book that keeps you thinking throughout the whole book! I would recommend this to anyone and everyone who likes a little mystery, a little romance, and true life all in one! The author did a great job in relating it to the readers and in portraying real life for these girls. An amazing read!
shmy More than 1 year ago
Before anything else I need to say that while I read Godbersen's Luxe series, I was not a fan. I enjoyed it, but it simply wasn't a favorite of mine. Historical fiction is, however, a favorite of mine, so I had to check out this series too. I liked it. A lot more than I anticipated and a lot more than Godbersen's previous series. The setting of the end of the 1920s decade allows, I suppose for a faster pacing. We follow Cordelia and Letty accustomed themselves to New York after leaving Union, Ohio and we get to know Astrid and her boyfriend Charlie. Cordelia, for the most part I did not like Cordelia. I did like that she would sacrifice anything to get what she wanted. Throughout the book we see her get rid of John, sacrifice Letty's trust in her and Charlie's trust in her. Darius Grey even commends her on this character trait. Of course by the end of the book we see how this backfires. I was sad about how it happened, but Cordelia truly had it coming. How could she possibly chose Thom before the family she had wanted all her life? How? Also I think she is the only reason I'm giving this book four instead of five stars, but at the very, very end she was okay. Letty is so naïve. She is talented and she can sing and hopes to make it and becomes a star. I think her innocence is endearing, but her crying sometimes is a bit too much. For being the most naïve and fragile of the three girls she certain has it the toughest throughout the book. Through her we learn more of the night life in the 1929s, after parting ways with Cordelia, she's the one that gets employed as a cigarette girl, struggles to make it as a singer only to have it blow up in her face. Astrid, I must confess she is my favorite. Her character is probably shallow in many ways and she won't be the poster girl for feminism any time soon but for being a socialite I think her character traits are quite accurate. Astrid is the poor rich girl, yet she's a true friend once she decided to be. Her whole earring confusion with Charlie had me laughing so hard. Astrid and Charlie, I liked this couple, while Charlie is not always likeable I think Astrid is his soft spot. I do hope the next book in the series brings good things for this couple. I'd recc'd this book for the Luxe series lovers, and those who enjoyed Vixen by Jillian Larkin. While the books are set on the same era and follow three different girls the similarities end there. Bright Young Things is an enjoyable YA historical novel, the pacing is just right and the characters are lovable just enough. Godbersen is great at painting the picture of the era around her characters and the pacing is great because she switched the focus on the three girls effortlessly. I do wish John would come back into Cordelia's life in the next book, but that's just me being a romantic.
mrdarcy3 More than 1 year ago
Right after the wedding she never wanted, Cordelia and Letty decide to leave small-town life in Ohio for the dazzling city life of New York City. They've been best friends forever. Once in the city, they find a boarding house and go out on the town. In a speakeasy, Cordelia meets a boy. They have a moment. In that moment, she tells him the truth about why she really came to New York. She wants to find her father. Unfortunately, Letty overhears. The two girls end up fighting and homeless. Cordelia comes to find her father. He welcomes her with open arms. His lifestyle isn't what she's used to - as he runs an illicit business. He also lives in high glamor. When he discovers the identity of the boy Cordelia dates, he forbids her to see him again. Cordelia doesn't want to go against her new family, but she can't stay away from Thom. At one of her father's infamous parties, she meets Astrid. Astrid dates her brother Charlie. She's ultra glamorous, but her relationship with Charlie is on the rocks. Astrid isn't sure she can trust him, but she loves Cordelia. Meanwhile, Letty tries to make it as a star. She's got an amazing voice and a new job at a speakeasy. There she meets a man who could propel her on the fast track to stardom. Will the three girls find romance and the answer to their huge dreams within New York City? I've been waiting to read this book since BEA. When it arrived in the library, there *might* have been squealing and a happy dance. The author of the Luxe series strikes again! I loved the fashion of the Twenties, the romance, the luxury, and seeing New York City from an architectural standpoint. I love how the three girls lives mingled together - even though they weren't always friends. I can't wait to find out what happens next.
Goldenfurproductions More than 1 year ago
MY THOUGHTS After reading Rumors, the second book in The Luxe series by the same author, I was worried about this book. What I learned from Rumors was that Anna Godbersen isn't afraid to tear apart your heart. I went ahead and picked it up, knowing what may come, and I actually ended up enjoying this book a little bit more than The Luxe series. This book is from three perspectives: Cordelia, Letty and Astrid. Cordelia and Letty are best friends that  have left their rural town for the big city of New York. Though, for different reasons. Letty wants to make it big and become famous. Cordelia is there to find Darius Grey, a famous gangster that she believe is her father (that left when she was a baby). Astrid, on the other hand, has grown up in New York in luxury. She's currently dating Darius Grey's son and befriends Cordelia. But, of course, shenanigans ensue and everything isn't as simple as it seems. First of all, I love the setting! This book takes place in the 20's and it felt entirely feel. I admit, I enjoy books that take place in the 20's, it's such an interesting era, but I actually felt like I was in the 20's. Everything was very well-detailed, including the big city. Also, I love how Anna Godbersen begins her books. I usually hate Prologues that take place in the future, but hers only vaguely hint at what's to come, making me turn the pages faster to figure things out!  One reason why I might've enjoyed this a teensy bit more than The Luxe is how I didn't hate any of the points of view. In The Luxe, there are some perspectives of, basically, the villains and it makes me so upset when I read from their demented perspectives. I actually liked the girls in this book, I didn't love them and they have their flaws, but none of them are Penelope! Though, I did dislike something Cordelia does at the very very beginning (that poor boy). This book has lots of drama, of course, which generally isn't something I love. This is probably why I can't give this a bigger rating, though, there's less drama in this book than The Luxe. Boy, is that series crazy. Anyway, I still enjoyed this book and the drama, which kind of makes me feel guilty... IN CONCLUSION Overall, this is a great historical fiction for those who enjoy the 20's, drama, and books featuring the elite. I enjoyed this book and plan on continuing the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is definitely a quick read. I love how the author draws you into each character. Can't wait to read #2!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If u read the Luxe series and loved it, than buy this. Every drama loving history lover will need to read this book. Flappers r empowering woman who r intresting charecters. Read this and u feel andbecomea flapper during prohibition. Buy this book, read it, love it.
becsan More than 1 year ago
This book was young and fun and some of the time really drew you in. Hoping for a sequel because there were a lot of loose ends.
Sara74 More than 1 year ago
I love all of the 1920s YA books lately. It's great that YA is branching out into different eras. This one was very well-written and enjoyable. Really liked it a lot.
Kristin Guerisoli More than 1 year ago
one of. the most amazing books i have ever read.you have to read it!
Cassie Edler More than 1 year ago
i kinda hoped it wouldnt end it was just so good. i was a HUGE fan of the luxe series and cant wait for another captivating book from this author. i feel like id read this over and over again
Sara Hess More than 1 year ago
this is a fantastic book. never stop dreaming.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read The Luxe series and fell in love with it, and I was hoping to see more from Goberson. Now, I'm falling over myself with this new novel - it is INCREDIBLE! The storyline is amazing. You can feel what the characters feel, and I don't think you could find someone more interesting to read about than Astrid Donal. I cried at a few parts near the end - I won't ruin it - and I was feeling the characters' emotions the entire time. Amazing read.
Bethany Walters More than 1 year ago
this book was amazing. end of story!
Tara Moses More than 1 year ago
I loved it! The only thing that I was not a fan of was the abrupt ending but aparently it isa series so that made it better. but what i loved about it was that it brought light to the darkness of the 1920s rather than do what many other time period booksdo and create this happy, gay time people have partying about. it is an interesting read if you can handle the sudden cut off ending.
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
With the beginning of the book predicting that of the three females - "one will be famous, one will be married, and one will be dead," how could one not be hooked to the bitter end? The unfortunate thing is this is the first in a series, so I am still unsure which of the leading ladies will end up in each category. Although through this book, I was trying to take a guess at which one would see her life end, hasn't happened yet. I loved going back in time to an era where alcohol was forbidden and an underground operation. Times were hard but exciting. Making it big happened rarely because it took great talent to become a true star. Now don't get me wrong I am a reality tv viewer, but it seemed so earned and precious when few found themselves with their name in lights. I am absolutely hooked and am quietly anticipating book 2 in this series. I would pass this book along to those who don't mind take a walk back in time and to those who love to read of women who are trying to find a place to call home.
Gralin More than 1 year ago
i liked it, it moved alot faster then the luxe series which i was really happy about. the characters are wonderful and the whole roaring 20's thing is awsome!
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Gold Star Award Winner! Right after the wedding she never wanted, Cordelia and her friend, Letty, decide to leave small-town life in Ohio for the dazzling city life of New York City. They've been best friends forever. Once in the city, they find a boarding house and go out on the town. In a speakeasy, Cordelia meets a boy. They have a moment. In that moment, she tells him the truth about why she really came to New York. She wants to find her father. Unfortunately, Letty overhears. The two girls end up fighting and homeless. Cordelia comes to NYC to find her father. He welcomes her with open arms. His lifestyle isn't what she's used to, as he runs an illicit business. He also lives in high glamor. When he discovers the identity of the boy Cordelia is dating, he forbids her to see him again. Cordelia doesn't want to go against her new family, but she can't stay away from Thom. At one of her father's infamous parties, she meets Astrid. Astrid dates her brother, Charlie. She's ultra-glamorous, but her relationship with Charlie is on the rocks. Astrid isn't sure she can trust him, but she loves Cordelia. Meanwhile, Letty tries to make it as a star. She's got an amazing voice and a new job at a speakeasy. There, she meets a man who could propel her on the fast track to stardom. Will the three girls find romance and the answer to their huge dreams within New York City? I've been waiting to read this book since BEA. When it arrived in the library, there *might* have been squealing and a happy dance. The author of THE LUXE series strikes again! I loved the fashion of the Twenties, the romance, the luxury, and seeing New York City from an architectural standpoint. I also love how the three girls' lives mingled together, even though they weren't always friends. I can't wait to find out what happens next!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was so good!!! I really love musicals and Chicago is one of my favorites. This reminded me so much of it and I love the whole "anything goes" era. All in all, amazing. There's crime, murder, hot men, and the razzle dazzle of the city.
Anonymous 4 months ago
I bought this book when it was on sale. I was excited about reading a historical fiction set in the 1920s but this book was disappointing. I was not invested in any of the characters, the way it was written was boring, and I found myself not even wanting to finish the book (and I still haven't). There wasn't anything exciting or interesting about this book. Everything about it seemed so dull. I can't count how many times I fell asleep while reading this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fine but not riveting.
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
"They were all marching toward their own secret fates, and long before the next decade rolled around, each would escape in her own way--one would be famous, one would be married, and one would be dead." 1929: Cordelia Grey and Letty Larkspur are leaving their stifling Ohio town behind to seek fame and fortune in New York City. With a big voice and hopes to match, Letty knows it's only a matter of time before she hits it big in the biggest city of all. Cordelia is seeking other things--things she can't even tell her best friend Letty without looking like a fool--even if Cordelia knows her future is in New York. Along the way to their dreams the girls will face hardships and separation. They'll meet cads and swells. One of them will even take up with one of New York's elite flappers--a girl named Astrid Donal. Everyone comes to New York expecting big things. But Cordelia and Letty will both have to make hard choices to get everything they want while the Jazz Age is still raging in Bright Young Things (2010) by Anna Godbersen. Bright Young Things is the first book in Godbersen's 1920s series. It is followed by Beautiful Days and The Lucky Ones. (Godbersen is also the author of the bestselling Luxe series.) I love historical fiction. Show me a book set anywhere between 1900 and 1940 and there is a 99% chance that I will want to read it. I especially love the 1920s and flappers. (I even wrote a research paper in high school about 1920s fashion. But that's another story.) My point in sharing all of this? I am pretty well-read when it comes to 1920s--fashion, social mores, history. What does that have to do with Bright Young Things? It's part of why I didn't like it more. I wanted to love this book and I wanted to be excited about the series. But after reading so many other books set in the period the plot and setting started to feel very familiar. Most of the characters in Bright Young Things are privileged; they have money, they have status, they get what they want. They're careless like Tom and Daisy Buchanan. And that is great if you want to re-live the frenzy and decadence of The Great Gatsby. But if you want more nuance or something new, well, that isn't going to be found in Bright Young Things as it treads familiar themes with the decadence of the 1920s, the thrill of speakeasies and the danger of falling for the wrong boy. My favorite parts of the story were when Letty struck out on her own and found work as a cigarette girl--something I never read about--which was fascinating and ended all too soon. Besides Letty the other characters felt painfully vapid and superficial. Godbersen lays all of the groundwork for the series with the sprawling prologue and introduction of characters who will be key later in the story. But I never felt excited enough while reading Bright Young Things to feel any urgency in continuing with the series (if I ever will). This would be a great introductory read for anyone hoping to start reading historical fiction in general or about the 1920s specifically. If you already know about the period and want to move beyond the basics I'd suggest The Diviners by Libba Bray which delves deeper into a variety of areas during the decade albeit in the midst of a supernatural murder investigation.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I picked this book on a whim and was SO glad i did. I finished the trilogy in three days and it instantly became one of my favorites.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Digs even harder and sucks on your boobs. Lets keep going some other day bye babe
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can i have an adopted mother? Im three moons old