It is a beautiful day here! The weather has been cool like fall and it actually rained a little. So this is the perfect time to review Anna Godbersen's Beautiful Days.
As the cover says, this is the second in the Bright Young Things series, which is very similar to Luxe, which is kinda similiar to Gossip Girl, in that you are reading about several beautiful, charming, lucky young women, in lovely clothes and with exciting lives, but these girls are living in the roaring twenties. Now, Bright Young Things is set in New York, but everyone knows the place to be in the twenties was Chicago (I say as a proud Illinoisian, Illinoian, Illini fan? whatever), but the Flappers series by Jillian Larkin lacks some of the drama and intrigue that Godbersen is so skilled at writing. Maybe I'll pick up the others in the Flappers series later, because I love some good book candy.
On to the book! To summarize, Cornelia has already traveled from Ohio to find her long lost father, only to have him killed supposedly by her love-interest's bootlegging family. Letty has found herself swindled by a fast talking Casanova and has found that getting to the top might take more of her dignity than she's willing to give. And Astrid is striking a balance between her old money family and her fiance, the bootlegger's son.
Now, the girls must move forward. Cornelia becomes obsessed with Max Darby, the flyboy she saved in book one, but he's a clean-cut guy and wants nothing to do with her and her bootlegging family. She is simultaneously trying to recover from her father's death, open a speakeasy, have fun with the girls, and win Max's affections. Letty is having a terrible time with Grady, her old-money flame, and she's trying to make it on Broadway, despite being unceremoniously cut from Cordelia's night club's opening night. Although Astrid is now engaged to Charlie, she is still trying to be her independent self, which gets her in a world of trouble when the Hale's come for revenge.
All in all, this is one great candy coated historical fiction novel. Godbersen has a real talent for making an intriguing time period absolutely irresistible. Her characters are charming but flawed and provide just the right amount of drama and excitement. I was thoroughly sucked into this volume, and this is one of those books that is YA but more than YA. It's a quick, flighty romance without all the bodice ripping (Astrid is actually quite concerned about her wedding night). It's not prudish, it's just not total smut. A little smut, but come now, it's the roaring twenties.
The next installment of Bright Young Things is due this fall, and you can bet that I'll stayed tuned.