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)