Bright Young Things (Bright Young Things, #1)
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Bright Young Things (Bright Young Things #1)

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  9,318 ratings  ·  1,231 reviews
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...more
Hardcover, 1st Edition, 389 pages
Published October 12th 2010 by Harper (first published October 1st 2010)
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Bright Young Things by Anna GodbersenRevolution by Jennifer DonnellyAnastasia's Secret by Susanne DunlapVixen by Jillian LarkinA Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
New YA historical fiction in 2010-2011
1st out of 100 books — 425 voters
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra ClareTorment by Lauren KateHalo by Alexandra AdornettoCrescendo by Becca FitzpatrickMockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Best Book Covers for 2010
74th out of 352 books — 3,127 voters


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Community Reviews

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ALPHAreader
On the up and up...

‘Bright Young Things’ is the first book in Anna Godbersen’s new four-book series, set in 1929 Manhattan. The series will revolve around three young women...

Cordelia Grey leaves behind the small town of Union, Ohio and her new husband for the bright lights of New York City and an inkling that her estranged father can be found in the big apple.

Letitia Haubstadt is Cordelia’s best friend, and another Union-native leaving her indifferent family and small-minded town for the bright...more
Carol Storm
Jan 09, 2012 Carol Storm rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Spoiled rich girls, masochists, zombies
It Sucks! It Sucks! My God how this book sucks!!!!

The Twenties are my favorite time period, and F. Scott Fitzgerald is my favorite writer. So I totally get the idea of setting a fast-paced, sexy story in New York City in the Twenties, and focusing on the schemes and dreams of three "flappers" who are each chasing a different desire.

But . . . but . . . you need to have warm, likable characters. And a believable plot. And sexy boys. And you need a setting that's realistic and fascinating and deta...more
Kristi
I've been anticipating this novel, since I first heard the rumors of it's existence. Bright Young Things did not disappoint! I'm a huge fan of Godbersen's Luxe series, but Bright Young Things now tops it.

The story revolves around three young girls. Letty, Cordelia and Astrid. You will love them! One of the things that I loved most about this novel was how very well written each character was. They all had very distinct qualities. Qualities that led them down very differing paths! I would even go...more
Sarah
After tackling a graphic horror novel, I was in the mood for something easily digestible. Combine that with a recent binge at Borders' liquidation sale, & presto -- the perfect chance to start Ms Godbersen's new series.

The plot is fairly straight-forward; in fact, the tidiest summary comes courtesy the cover blurb, so read that if you're still in the dark. :P But for those who are familiar with THE LUXE series, BYT's style & overall flavor are similar. I was hoping for a cameo from some...more
Crystal Starr Light
That is what I want to tell you about: the girls with their short skirts and bright eyes and big-city dreams. The girls of 1929

Cordelia Grey and long-time best friend, Letty "Larkspur", flee their boring, sleepy Ohio town and head to New York City. Their reasons for leaving differ: Cordelia longs to meet the father she never knew and Letty wants to see her name in lights. Meanwhile, Astrid Donal is a sparkling socialite, but not everything in her life is perfect, particularly when it comes to he...more
Ariana
Well, I agonized over giving this 1 or 3 stars, and eventually settled on 2. The book has serious pros and cons. While I wasn't expecting much to begin with, I WAS expecting something compulsively readable, soap opera-ish, glam. Bright Young Things was that, but I was also expecting better heroines.

Expectation: spunky, tough-yet-beautiful, street-smart, forward-thinking flappers

Reality: whiny deluded DUMB AS FUCK teenagers who continually get themselves (and anyone and everyone who is so unfort...more
Gemma
I kind of hate liking Anna Godbersen's books as much as I do.

I mean, they're just not... good. No depth, no substance, no character development. Nothing, really. And yet, somehow I'm drawn into all of them, and can't put them down...

Bright Young Things was written in the same style as the Luxe. Starts out with a forboding prologue, then alternating between several characters who are each screwing up their sparkling, carefree lives in different ways. One of them could be considered 'poor' but she...more
Stacia (out of inspiration)
For most of the book, I was bound and determined to give it 3 stars. I was alright with the story but not overly impressed. The characters were fine, but I'm still partial to Diana and Henry from this author's other series The Luxe.

Then, the last 75 pages hooked me from out of nowhere. I should have known that Godberson was going to pull the rabbit out of the hat. After all, nothing should shock me now after the complete emotional rollercoaster that Luxe took me on.

Who is Thom? Is he good or bad...more
Jen
Wow. WoW. WOW.

I want to be a flapper. Right now. With the fringe and the headbands and the pearls and the feathers. I want to smoke (candy) cigarettes out of impossibly long holders and attend late night parties with jazz bands and not wake up 'til 2pm.

That would be an awesome life. But it's not mine, so I'll opt to live vicariously through three fictitious beauties--Cordelia, Astrid, and Letty.

I adored this book. I've not read Godbersen's Luxe series, but you're darn straight that I'm gonna...more
Courtney
OK, so I've gotta be totally honest here. I didn't really like this nearly as much as I thought I would. Not that it was bad, but I've been loving on the Luxe series, so I had high hopes for this one, set at the peak of the roaring '20s. All the detail is there: the speakeasies, the drinking, the dancing, the music, the naivete, the ennui, the glamour, the grime, and...did I mention the drinking? Yeah, there's a lot of drinking. And sleeping til the wee hours of the afternoon. So that's all fine...more
Reynje
Expectations: I thought this would be an entertaining read. A consuming piece of escapism. I like historical fiction and I was really looking forward to Godbersen’s take on the 1920s.

Vs.

Reality: Honestly, I struggled with the writing in this book. The idea was fine, I just don’t feel like it was executed as well as it could have been. I frequently found myself stumbling over awkward turns of phrase and clunky descriptions, to the point where I would stop reading to think, “Wait, what?” and have...more
Carolyn (Book Chick City)
Reviewed by Jo for Book Chick City.

Having read and absolutely adored Anna Godbersen's 'The Luxe' series, I was looking forward to reading her new series, set in 1920's New York. I was not disappointed at all.

'Bright Young Things' revolves around three young women. Cordelia and Letty are childhood friends from a small town and they both share a need to escape to New York for something bigger. Astrid lives a pampered life in Long Island, but has the same need for something more.

I really love Anna...more
Wendy Darling
FREE for Kindle right now as a pre-order, with bonus materials that include (hah!) flapper fashion tips. Looks like the deal is over.

Visit my blog for the link to the free download. :)
Katya
I'm sincerely perplexed by all the stellar reviews this book is getting... perhaps some people need to read Fitzgerald for comparison. Once again I'm glad that I get new books from the library and don't just snap up every novel that gets a little buzz. I'd have been angry if I'd spent any money on this book.

The idea isn't bad. It's The Great Gatsby for 21st century YA readers. Unfortunately, it's been watered down for modern palates, rendering the luscious Jazz Age tinny and cheap. Cordelia and...more
Kristy
From the moment I started this, I could 100% tell it was written by the same author as the luxe series. I'm not saying that is a bad thing, anna godberson knows her niche. I would have liked to see her write a book from just one point of view. This book along with the luxe novels have too many similialarities. i.e. 2-3 young society girls telling the story, a ton of the story revolves around a boy, her writing style, the lack of emotional depth, etc. I know it sounds like I hated the book, I rea...more
Janssen
Nowhere NEAR as good as The Luxe. This book made me want to strangle someone. Preferably all the willfully stupid female characters ("What's that Dad? Don't date the son of your most dangerous business enemy? But he's nice. Also, there can't be any harm in showing him our very secret tunnel out of the mansion.")
Laurie
SOOOOOO excited to find out that Anna is releasing a new series. I LOVE reading about the past and times before me!!! Im sure this series will be just as great as The Luxe series.. hopefully with a better ending this time.
Katherine
description
"The parties were bigger. The pace was faster, the shows were broader, the buildings were higher, the morals were looser and the liquor was cheaper."- F. Scott Fitzgerald

Setting:Union, Ohio and New York City, New York; 1929

Coverly Love?:Yes! The whole "girl wearing a pretty dress" cover has been a bit overdone, but I absolutely love this dress. And I also like the fact that I know who the character is (it's Astrid!).

Plot:Desperate to get out of their sleepy, dull hometown of Union, Ohio, Cordel...more
Page (One Book At A Time)
I was super excited for this one. I really liked The Luxe series, so was hoping this would have the same appeal. While, there are some similarities with the stories, I felt this one didn't have quite the same draw to it.

Oddly I had a harder time getting to know the characters. I liked Cordelia in the beginning, although I think that she should have left before and not after the wedding. But once they reached the NYC, it seemed her whole personality changed. I was shocked that she could drop Lett...more
YA Reads Book Reviews
Originally featured on yareads.com

Rated 4.5

If there was ever a book to make you feel glamorous just by reading it, then Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen is it.

Set in New York in 1929 during the last summer of the Roaring 20s, the story follows the trials and tribulations of Letty Larkspur, Astrid Donal and Cordelia Grey. Godbersen wastes no time in hooking our attention by stating in the first three pages that by the end of the summer one girl will be married, one will be a star and one wil...more
Kelly Aley
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sab H.  (YA Bliss)
This was a delightful story to read. Anna Godbersen's writing is poetic and rich, letting the story flow from different perspectives in a carefully descriptive, dreamy way. Set in 1929, during Prohibition, this story will illustrate vividly a historical period marked by parties and glamour. The writing was incredibly atmospheric, I felt myself transported back in time, becoming a part of Cordelia and Letty's adventure.

I did feel sometimes that the story was heavy in details, letting the pace slo...more
Amna
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lisa
Originally posted at Read Me Bookmark Me Love Me

With an air of sophistication and grandeur, a mysterious narrator firstly prepares readers for a tale about three young girls. Each have a different dream: one wishes to become famous, one wishes to be married and one wishes to find her family. In the lush 1920's, the roles of women were changing and Bright Young Things is a magnificent telling of the difficult journey three friends take to make something of themselves in the real world.

On the nigh...more
Kristen "Kirby"
I've always been interested in the 1920s. The speakeasies, the flappers, the liquor-smuggling gangsters...it all sounds so mysterious, so intriguing. So no surprise: Bright Young Things was a must read for me..especially because I adored Anna Godbersen's Luxe series. However, I didn't love this as much as I had hoped...

Bright Young Things was less about the Flapper lifestyle than I had expected. It was more about girls trying to make it in NYC, and they attended a few speakeasies along the way....more
Michele
I received this copy of Bright Young Things for free from goodreads. I am glad that I won this book because I probably would not have read it otherwise. I did not know that it was a "teen" book when I chose it in the contest. I chose it because I love historical fiction, and New York in the 20's is a fascinating time in history.This novel was fun to read and has interesting characters and storylines. I loved the speakeasies and parties, and the descriptions of the clothes and mansions were my fa...more
Erin
I knew that I wouldn't love this, but I was hoping it would be a silly three-star read with a fun, guilty pleasure feel. It definitely had potential to fulfill that expectation, but it wasn't quite there.

The beginning chapters captured my interest, though, as narrating a story from several perspectives is always a winning move in my book. I'm not going to pretend that I remember the character's names anymore, so I will call them Naive Starlet, Pouty Blonde, and Legendary Idiot. There is a piece...more
Ashley
Aug 22, 2010 Ashley marked it as to-read
I was lucky enough to win a sneak-peek of this upcoming new book, in which I got a glimpse of the first chapters.

Let me start by saying that after the Prologue alone I was hooked. It sets the stage for the rest of the book and draws you into the story so you can't put it down.

I wasn't actually sure I would want this book once it came out, since generally its not the type of YA I read. I had no interest in the author's Luxe series, or the Gossip Girls series that I heard them being compared to s...more
A.C. Gaughen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jessica (Jess Hearts Books)
"It’s 1929 and Letty Larkspur and Cordelia Grey have escaped their small Midwestern town to chase big dreams and even bigger secrets. Amongst the glittering metropolis of New York City, they meet Astrid Donal, a flapper who has everything she could ever want, except for the one thing Letty and Cordelia have to offer—true friendship. Set in the dizzying summer before the market crash, against the vast lawns of the glamorous Long Island mansions and on the blindingly lit stages of Broadway, three...more
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Free for Kindle! 1 28 Sep 25, 2011 11:47PM  
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Anna Godbersen was born in Berkeley, California, and educated at Barnard College. She currently lives in Brooklyn with her husband.
More about Anna Godbersen...
The Luxe (Luxe, #1) Rumors (Luxe, #2) Envy (Luxe, #3) Splendor (Luxe, #4) Beautiful Days (Bright Young Things, #2)

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“Love is all right, as things go, but lovers can be a terrible waste of a girl's time.” 124 likes
“It is easy to forget now, how effervescent and free we all felt that summer.” 61 likes
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