Rated Reads

Bright Young Things

by Anna Godbersen

Rated: Moderate

For Letty and Cordelia, two friends in rural Ohio, New York City is a dream full of possibilities in the last glitzy years of the Jazz Age. What they find when they get there, of course, is the shock of reality: speakeasies and bootleggers, and everyone has an angle. Soon they both begin to search for what they wish for most: a place on the stage for Letty and a glimpse of the father Cordelia’s never known.

Along with a flapper named Astrid, with her own story, Bright Young Things is a story of opportunities lost and found — where three girls on the brink of adulthood make some seriously misguided choices, takes some crazy chances and sometimes succeed, sometimes fail.

I liked the time period and I think that part was well done — that era is pretty fascinating, with alcohol being illegal but everywhere, and with women really beginning to drop all the old conventions of behavior and dress. I even thought the general plot was engaging. I think my problem lies in the fact that it waxed melodramatic too much for my taste, like it wanted to be gritty but fell a little short. The dialogue and circumstances felt somewhat clichéd, and while it was certainly romantic, it just wasn’t as rollicking of a ride as I’d hoped. I liked the characters enough to want to find out what happens next, but I think that instead of reading the sequel, I’ll probably just try to find a review with spoilers.

Rating: Moderate. While the language is quite clean, there are two scenes of teenage sex — one more descriptive than the other (a mild for adult and older teenage readers)

— Reviewed by Corinne Edwards

Corinne Edwards is always happiest when a book is in her hand. If her current read needs to be closed for a short time, either in her backpack while she leads her three rambunctious children on adventures, or on her nightstand while she sleeps, that's okay too. Her book thoughts and reviews land at her bookish blog, The Book Nest.

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  • Bright Young Things
  • by Anna Godbersen
  • Rated: Moderate
  • Genre: Young adult
  • Reviewer: