Review: Beautiful Days by Anna Godbersen

Beautiful Days (Bright Young Things #2) by Anna Godbersen

How did I get it: HarperTeen was kind enough to send me an ARC. Thank you! 

Why did I read it: I really enjoyed Bright Young Things, and I’ve been pining for its sequel ever since.

How I would rate it: 4 out of 5 stars.


 For the bright young things of 1929, the beautiful days seem endless, filled with romance and heartbreak, adventure and intrigue, friendship and rivalry.After a month in New York, Cordelia Grey and Letty Larkspur are small-town girls no longer. They spend their afternoons with Astrid Donal at the Greys’ lush Long Island estate and their nights in Manhattan’s bustling metropolis. But Letty’s not content to be a mere socialite. She is ready at last to chase her Broadway dreams—no matter the cost.

Cordelia is still reeling from the death of her father at the hands of Thom Hale, the man she thought she loved. Now she is set to honor Darius Grey’s legacy . . . and take her revenge.

Promised to Cordelia’s half brother, Astrid is caught up in a world of dazzling jewels and glittering nights—and the sparkle is blinding. Charlie Grey is a gangster playing a dangerous game; and for Astrid, Cordelia, and Letty, the stakes could be deadly.

Review: I think what I like best about Historical Fiction is that it is usually the most daydream-y and dark chocolate-y of genres for me. I seek these books out regularly more for a source of indulgent fun than anything else, but even then I require the details, descriptions, and attitudes to be done right. So as you can imagine, I really love everything and anything by Anna Godbersen. I enjoy the melodramatic flair given in ample amounts to both storyline just as much as I do her rich, historical detail which always reads as virtually effortless but clearly involved a lot of work. Godbersen’s characters always make no small amount of bad decisions (oftentimes sans apologies). They are always careless with their hearts as well as that of others, but it always makes for a marvelous read. 

Beautiful Days was no exception and I fell even more in love with all three leading ladies. My favorite remains Cordelia, who struggles with being true to herself and finding love with an aviator who seems to be her polar opposite. I cannot remember the last time I was filled with nail-biting concern for two teenagers with feelings for one another, but oh my goodness was I worried about Cordelia and Max. I also liked Astrid’s struggles with rather silly nonsense relating to Charlie both before and after things took a turn for the serious. She always teeters on the edge of being annoying, but remains so earnest in spite of her dopeiness that she’s impossible not to like. Letty was often upstaged, but her drive become a star instead of her best friend’s shadow was very endearing. The way her spirits get crushed and dashed so often broke my heart. Thankfully the book ends at just the right place for all three girls. 

Overall, Godbersen continues to strike just the right balance of immature uncertainty and independent determination in all of her characters as they figure out who they want to be as adults and parents provide little outside of money and half-hearted support. In that respect, she really used the time period to her advantage and I love that in addition to their own nonsense, all of the girls and the people in their lives are grappling with issues of some substance.

In conclusion, throughly captivating and terrific. If you love Historical Fiction, you owe it to yourself to lounge about and read some Anna Godbersen ASAP.

About April

I'm a librarian, reader, and writer whose main goal in life is to be able to swim in books the way Scrooge McDuck swims in money. Although my reading choices will always be wildly eclectic and I never plan on leaving any genre unexplored, my favorite reads tend to be Fantasy, Young Adult, Science Fiction, Gay Romance, or Historical Fiction. You can e-mail me at inspector[dot]librarian[at]gmail[dot]com.
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2 Responses to Review: Beautiful Days by Anna Godbersen

  1. Pingback: Reader’s Progress #37 | CSI: Librarian

  2. Pingback: Best Reads of 2011 – Teen Books | CSI: Librarian

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