Open up the pages of Anna Godbersen's Beautiful Days and all of a sudden, you'll find yourself pulled into the roaring '20s, living life vicariously through three bright young things: Cordelia, Letty, and Astrid... Gorgeous, rich, and soon-to-be-famous, these are three girls you're going to love reading about!
Following on from the first book in the Bright Young Things series, Beautiful Days picks up a month after the dramatic ending of the last book, and the reader is again absorbed from the get-go, drawn immediately into a world of speakeasies, dancing and drinking til dawn, and suave gangsters,a setting that just screams late 1920s. Seriously, what I wouldn't give to be able to live in that time!
Through Godbersen's book, I was able to do just that.
We begin Beautiful Days still reeling from the loss of a major player at the end of the last book. Cordelia is angry about the betrayal she suffered in Bright Young Things and is desperate for revenge, Letty has all but given up on her dream of becoming a singer, and Astrid is still reveling in her romance with one of the city's best known gangsters.
Even though I adored The Luxe, and fell totally in love with Bright Young Things, I left reading the rest of the series until now (crazy, right?!). It had been well over a year since I read the first book of the series, but when I began reading this one it was as though no time had passed at all. I was still just as in love with the setting and the characters (all except that prissy princess Cordelia, damn her!) and I finished the book in less than a day.
It was such fun seeing each of the female characters grow and mature in the second book, and work towards their individual goals while still maintaining a close friendship. In a lot of young adult books I've read, the leads either don't have much ambition themselves, or they end up leaving their friends behind in the process of getting their dream job (or man). The friendship between Cordelia, Letty, and Astrid is my favourite thing about these books, and I would love to see more scenes with all three together in the next book!
One thing that I'm liking about the series so far is that there has been an intense feeling that something major is going to happen from the very start. I don't really know how to explain it other that saying that while the books are slower paced at the beginning, you immediately know everything is building towards something big, and without wanting to give anything away, Godbersen definitely hasn't disappointed me at the end of either book, and I can't wait to see what she has in store for me next.
Bursting with drama, romance, gangland warfare, late night soirees, and whole lotta money, Beautiful Days, and the Bright Young Things series as a whole, is the perfect introduction to historical fiction for any teenage girl. Beautiful Days is an absorbing follow up to the first novel, and finished on a cliff-hanger that has me desperate to read The Lucky Ones, ASAP!