Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Life Update & Book Review: Bright Young Things


I recently got back from a short-ish trip to the UK, with the primary aim to visit as many universities in the west country as was humanely possible in a short space of time. The whole process of figuring out what I want to do with my life is something that's crept up on me all too soon, and suddenly I'm being inundated with questions and possibilities and the need for decisions to be made, whether in terms of the specificities of the course I want to study or the location of the university itself. However, although I'm not entirely clear on the latter, I'm entirely positive that I want to study Human Geography, though due to the relative scarcity of such courses in UK universities I will no doubt end up applying for a few straight Geography BAs as well. Cardiff is currently top of my list as of right now, because of its ideal course, great location about 5 minutes walk from the city, and the city itself, which I fell ever so slightly in love with during my short stay there and thanks to a city tour offered by the university open day.

Life update over - onto the actual blog post! So I've been wanting to do a good old book review for a while now, but what with exams limiting my own personal reading time (oh, the joys of taking an advanced English course as well as the main one) I haven't got round to reviewing anything in the right kind of time frame. Today I've decided to simply take one of the most recent series I've read: the Bright Young Things trilogy by Anna Godbersen. 

Bright Young Things (and sequels) by Anna Godbersen

I first discovered this series after reading the The Luxe series by the same author, and being completely drawn into the opulent world of New York in the turn of the 20th century. I immediately searched Amazon to find out if the author had written anything else and found this trilogy, also set in New York City but this time in 1929, just before the Wall Street Crash of the autumn of that year.

The story follows three girls from very different backgrounds: best friends Letty Larkspur and Cordelia Grey are escaping their small Midwestern town for very different reasons, while Astrid Donal has it all: money, reputation and the perfect boyfriend. The story switches back and forth between the three girls' viewpoints, and while we see Letty and Cordelia's journey to New York from two sides for the first few chapters, they soon part ways, only to be reunited later on in the book.

There was so much I liked about this trilogy, it's difficult to know where to start. Being slightly obsessed with the Roaring Twenties and having recently written an extended essay on the The Great Gatsby and its film adaptations, I loved the setting - there is little to rival the exuberant atmosphere of the Jazz Age, where unrestrained materialism set the tone of society, and the conservatism and tired values of the previous decade were discarded as money, opulence, and exuberance became the order of the day. The constant switching between storylines, albeit ones which eventually converged in a variety of ways, meant that I never got bored of any of the characters, which in themselves were all so different and although fairly two-dimensional at the beginning of the books, developed a lot as the plot unfolded.

This book probably isn't for everyone - there's a good deal of gossip and what seems like a fairly trivial plot, but for those who like to indulge in some historical fiction chick lit every now and again, it's ideal.

Rating: 8.5/10

Hope you enjoyed this quick review - I've got a clothes haul post coming soon!



  1. have you read The Diviners? It's also set in the 1920s :)

    1. I haven't, but I just looked it up and it looks brill! I love that there seems to be a mystery/fantasy element to the story, I'm definitely going to have to read it. I also loved Libba Bray's trilogy A Great and Terrible Beauty, so hopefully I'll love this too! Thanks for the recommendation :)

  2. no problem :)