Tiny Pants's Reviews > Beautiful Days

Beautiful Days by Anna Godbersen
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Jan 23, 2012

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bookshelves: borrowed-library, series, fiction, young-adult

This was really more of like a 3.5 for me -- I teetered back and forth, but eventually went with the lower number of stars (even though I read this, as I did the Bright Young Things, in two sittings). It had been so long since I read the first book I had to go back and read my review of it to try to jog my memory... then read the book's jacket copy... then the first several pages... wow, I had almost no memory of it (basic plot elements, the characters' names, etc. I did remember it was set in 1929, so there's that).

Regardless, this one sucked me in fast, and soon I remembered what was going on well enough (though I had kind of forgotten the whole thing with Thom and was confused why Cordelia didn't like him, and also the whole thing with the pilot). Still, it was good, but not great. Why is Bright Young Things just not doing it for me the way The Luxe did? Well, as I've noted before, there's the time period. But I think more of it is that despite their page-turning qualities, not a lot happens, and the dialogue is brutal (approximately half of it is "Darling!" or some approximation thereof).

I will say I find Letty and Cordelia very appealing, and I really enjoy the friendship elements of the plot (though surprisingly, I like the bootlegging family rivalry stuff even more). But when I re-read the prologue to Bright Young Things and hit the "one would be famous, one would be married, one would be dead" bit -- well, I pretty much spent this entire book hoping Astrid would be the dead one. Her catty and turbulent relationship with her mother (who is described as if she were like, Bette Davis in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? or Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard even though she's 39) really kept her character interesting in the first book. In this one though, yikes, she comes off as a spoiled shrieker. Yeah, I want her to be the dead one, and I don't even care who does her in -- Astrid's antics supplied virtually every character in this book with a motive.

I really wish the third book were coming out sooner than in the fall... they are spacing these out way too far, and I'll surely have forgotten what happened in this book by the time I get to that one.
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Alyssa Calloway I haven't read Beautiful Days yet (it's next on my to-read list), but I agree with you about Astrid. I didn't necessarily dislike her at all in BYT, but I definitely liked her least so I am secretly hoping she is the one that dies. Is that bad? IDK I feel like Anna Godbersen could take these series two ways. One way is the completely predictable way. Letty is a star, Astrid is married, Cordelia dies - maybe at the hands of Thom Hale or some other ganster. The other way is completely different. Letty's not a star. Maybe she's married or dead. Cordelia could be a star, married or dead. Same with Astrid. I definitely prefer the second scenario because I don't want it to be predictable, but at the same time I don't want Letty or Cordelia to die. It's just too stressful! Also, I hope this series has at least four books as well.


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