Bright Young Things (Bright Young Things Series #1)

Bright Young Things (Bright Young Things Series #1)

by Anna Godbersen

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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061962677
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 08/02/2011
Series: Bright Young Things Series , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 794,668
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Anna Godbersen is the author of the New York Times bestselling Luxe series. She was born in Berkeley, California, and educated at Barnard College. She currently lives in Brooklyn.

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!”

Customer Reviews

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Bright Young Things 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 198 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.
alana_leigh on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Anna Godbersen sets her latest series at the end of the roaring twenties, a time of prohibition and loosening morals when everyone who wanted to be anyone flocked to New York City. Cordelia and Letty are no different -- two girls from Ohio convinced that they're bigger than their small town. Cordelia is practically forced into marrying her high school sweetheart after being caught doing things with him that no good girl would do before marriage, spurring her decision that it's time for the girls to leave. They skip the reception to hop on the only train that goes direct to New York City and so begin their epic adventure. Letty (who ditches her last name and re-christens herself "Letty Larkspur") has stage aspirations and while she might be naive, she has the vocal talent that just might make her dreams come true. Cordelia, meanwhile, simply appears to be supportive of Letty's plans and doesn't confide in her friend that she believes she has figured out the identity of her father: the notorious bootlegger Darius Grey. After a night on the town and a loud fight, the girls get kicked out of their hotel for unmarried women on their very first night and go their separate ways. Letty is taken under the wing of a cigarette girl who invites her to live in a small apartment with her and two others, and even manages to secure Letty a steady job while Letty circles newspaper audition ads that she hasn't the courage to go to. Cordelia shows up at Dogwood, Darius Grey's estate, on the night that he's throwing himself a birthday party... and after tricking her way in, is welcomed with open arms by the father who always missed her (even if her new half-brother isn't exactly thrilled with her appearance). Cordelia befriends Astrid, her new brother's girlfriend, and Astrid proves to be a young woman who has grown up privileged, though the situation has always been somewhat precarious as her mother goes through husbands rather quickly. Bright Young Things entwines the stories of these three young women, destined to play a role in each other's lives, and sure to live quite an adventure before "one would be famous, one would be married, and one would be dead."I'll admit that since I haven't read The Luxe and its series, I wasn't quite sure what to expect -- yet Bright Young Things exceeded whatever those expectations were. Godbersen's ability to create a historically sound atmosphere makes for a charming read, as what New Yorker hasn't imagined the bygone days of the 1920s? It's full of jazz and illegal liquor, of course we've imagined it (even before Boardwalk Empire helped us with the details.) As a result, it's a great time period for a series, particularly one that doesn't seem fixated on just providing the point-of-view of the wealthy. Letty's storyline is a touch more realistic (including the struggle to make ends meet and naive notions dashed in dramatic ways), whereas Cordelia is whisked off to luxury and a Montague/Capulet family feud, realized a bit too late for her romantic nature. Astrid, meanwhile, deals with the many sides of both wealth and romance -- which makes her come off a bit one-note in the beginning and she develops depth as we go. Astrid's presence is a little surprising at the start -- though one assumes she'll be folded into the main story and come to know Letty and Cordelia. Her position as girlfriend of Cordelia's new half-brother and Cordelia's new best friend is an interesting role, particularly as her friendship with Cordelia seems very situational. As a result, she remains a bit of an outsider, allowed her closeness with the absence of Letty, and so the next books will likely play upon her tenuous bond. The three girls are all unique in situation and attitude, though I hope we don't lose the perspective that's placed on the less-than-upper-crust scene. The glitz and glamour might be with the high society types, but the peek at how the rest of us might have lived is quit
fabricatedtruth on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In my opinion, the prologue was the best part of the book. It is so effervescent you feel like you've been taken back to that glorious time - the roaring twenties! The description in the prologue leaves you wanting more, more, more! The rest of the book definitely doesn't have such an effect, but it's still a very satisfying read. The alternating points of view, both standing alone and intertwining into the same problems, provide an interesting storyline. The book definitely leaves me wishing I had the next book right this second! As the mysterious plot line goes - One will be married, one will be famous, and one will be dead. Can't wait to see which girl matches these, and with just one figured out in the first book, the mystery continues!
ReadingWithMartinis on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this novel but I didn¿t love this novel. I enjoyed the characters, though I found Letty to be a bit annoying. I liked reading about life in the roaring `20s. That time period is very interesting to me. Godbersen¿s writing style was very easy and flowed well. I can¿t really pin down a reason I didn¿t love this novel. Overall, it just didn¿t have much impact. I would recommend this novel to someone looking for a change in their reading cycle. It was definitely a good break from all the urban fantasy I had been reading.
lost.in.stories on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
There is a reason the 1920s is known as the roaring 20s and Godbersen manages to capture the fun, the frivolity and the decadence the 20s was renowned for in an entertaining, engrossing and realistic read.The year is 1929 and best friends Cordelia Gray and Letitia Haubstadt have dreamed of the day they¿ll leave their small town for the bright lights of New York City where all the Bright Young Things are. Their chance comes sooner than expected when Cordelia makes the decision to escape to New York on the day of her marriage - a marriage which she never wanted - seeing this as her last opportunity of ever making it there. Letty persuaded by Cordelia¿s assertion of ¿you¿ll never be a star if you stay here¿ join¿s her. Whilst on their journey to New York Letty decides to change her name to Letty Larkspur, a name which she believes encapsulates her soon to be new ¿shiny and worthy of notice¿ life. However once in New York the girls soon find out that perhaps New York is not all it¿s cracked up to be after Cordelia¿s deception towards Letty regarding her true reasons for coming to New York is revealed and the girls go their separate ways.Whilst separated Cordelia tracks down her long lost father - which happened to be her whole reason for coming to New York - and is suddenly introduced into a whole new world where wealth is flaunted and loving the wrong man can be dangerous. It is in this glittering setting where Cordelia meets Astrid Donal, a wealthy flapper in love with Cordelia¿s brother, Charlie, who decides to take Cordelia under her protective wing. Meanwhile Letty is making it by as a cigarette girl in one of Manhattan¿s numerous speakeasies attracting the attention of several men, some more respectable than others, soon discovering that it¿s not just her singing talents many are interested in.I have a confession I haven¿t really read many historical novels before (oh I have read a lot of the classics just not much of the newer historical fiction), I just haven¿t found many that have interested me but if all historical novels are as absorbing and as realistically written as Bright Young Things I¿ll definitely be giving more a try. I found the realistic writing to be one of the main strengths of this book as I believe for a historical novel to sound convincing it needs a realistic tone and dialogue that is in keeping with the era it¿s written in and Godbersen manages to pull this off effortlessly taking the reader back to a time where everyone seemed a lot more polite and genteel.I also loved the setting, before reading this book I couldn¿t even begin to envision what New York was like in the 20s but with Anna¿s exquisite and descriptive imagery of the isle of Manhattan as well as the fabulous fashions of the time I was taken on a journey back into 1920s New York a place which I wouldn¿t mind visiting.From the moment I read the prologue I was hooked, it definitely draws you in especially the ominous sentence describing the fate of three girls where ¿one would be famous, one would be married and one would be dead¿, how can you not want to read on after a revelation like that?As is evident from my blurb there¿s a lot happening in this book as we follow all three girls - Letty, Cordelia and Astrid - through their highs and lows yet it¿s never confusing and always flows together. Of course there is a romance aspect to the book but it¿s not the sole aspect of the novel, the friendships these girls make and loose are just as important.I enjoyed reading about all of the girls as they each were their own woman. Letty may have been naïve yet she showed an amazing strength of character, Cordelia was always so sure of herself, underneath however she was dealing with her own demons from her past and Astrid was the socialite with the seemingly perfect life but beneath it all she was just as insecure as many young girls are. Whilst these girls seemed so different from one another there was one common thread that connected them which was th
jenreidreads on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Luxe series by this same author was like frosting in book form - you know it isn't the best for you, but it's so decadent and delicious you just can't help it. Sadly, Bright Young Things isn't quite as tasty. Godbersen is great at writing girls in historical fiction - the descriptions sparkle - but there was very little plot in this novel. It's the first in the series, so I suppose we can view it as a foundation, but it isn't terribly sturdy. I like her writing style, though, so I'll read the rest when they come out.
Monkeypats on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The 1920s shine under Godberson's skillful storytelling abilities in Bright Young Things. I enjoyed following all three characters through this tale, coming to care for each of them. I read it in less than two days - a testament to my inability to put it down. The only negative I found was that the storyline became very predictable at times, with Godberson providing perhaps a little too obvious a build up (bad guys are bad, obviously stupid decisions lead to horrible results, and the girls from Ohio are at times unbelievably naive). In spite of those flaws, I found it a wonderful read and I look forward to the next in the series. For those who have read her Luxe series, I recommend giving this a shot. For those who have not read her Luxe series - I recommend reading those first!
bookwormygirl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Set in 1929 Manhattan... that alone should have you sighing. What a wonderful time frame for a novel to take place within. Ms. Godbersen does a phenomenal job of bringing the 20's glitz and glamor to life in the pages of Bright Young Things. Cordelia and Letty depart their small Ohio town in the hopes of leaving their mark on New York City but both are seeking two very different things. While Letty dreams of being a star and seeing her name in bright lights, Cordelia is on the search for her long lost father. She meets socialite Astrid and a friendship quickly ensues. Their three stories interlock and interweave and are full of scandal, intrigue, and romance. With rarely a dull moment you'll find yourself whisked away to glamorous Long Island mansions and to the bright stages of Broadway. The writing is very detailed - you'll almost feel as if you are watching a movie. I could perfectly envision the girls, the clothes, the socialites, the parties. I also loved how true to the time the way the characters expressions and sayings are. This is the first book in what will be a four-part series so don't expect all loose ends to be wrapped up by the story's closure. But don't let that stop you - the girls, their dreams, their struggles will grab you from the start and will not let you go till you are done with it. I was very impressed and cannot wait for the next installment in the series. Plus, can you really resist a book that has a prologue that says: "One would be famous, one would be married, and one would be dead." Yea, I didn't think so.