Book Review: Beautiful Days by Anna Godbersen

BEAUTIFUL DAYS by Anna Godbersen
Series: Bright Young Things, #2
Publication Date: September 20th 2011 by HarperCollins
Rating: |

Summary: For the bright young things of 1929, the beautiful days seem endless, filled with romance and heartbreak, adventure and intrigue, friendship and rivalry.

After a month in New York, Cordelia Grey and Letty Larkspur are small-town girls no longer. They spend their afternoons with Astrid Donal at the Greys’ lush Long Island estate and their nights in Manhattan’s bustling metropolis. But Letty’s not content to be a mere socialite. She is ready at last to chase her Broadway dreams—no matter the cost.

Cordelia is still reeling from the death of her father at the hands of Thom Hale, the man she thought she loved. Now she is set to honor Darius Grey’s legacy . . . and take her revenge.

Promised to Cordelia’s half brother, Astrid is caught up in a world of dazzling jewels and glittering nights—and the sparkle is blinding. Charlie Grey is a gangster playing a dangerous game; and for Astrid, Cordelia, and Letty, the stakes could be deadly.

Review Overview:

  • A little disappointing since not much has happened
  • Calm before the storm; not as exciting as the previous book
  • Letty’s story intrigues me the most out of the three, and she would probably be the character I will be most looking forward to in the next book

BEAUTIFUL DAYS will take you back in time to the exciting era of the flappers and the Prohibition era. Sequel to Bright Young Things, BEAUTIFUL DAYS picks up in the summer after the death of Cordelia’s father.

Godbersen is such a descriptive writer and the words paint a vivid image in my head. I love the descriptions of the various settings, outfits, and even the mannerisms of the girls. Godbersen has the ability to send me back in time from the comfort of my favorite reading nook. It was so much fun to read about this time period. I can just imagine the magnificent silk dresses that Astrid, Cordelia, and Letty got to wear. New York City seems like a whole different world and it was fascinating to read about it. Godbersen’s writing was really the reason why I got through this book.

After the first few chapters, the exhilarating feeling of being sucked into this time period eventually wore off. As much as I loved Godbersen’s writing, the plot just didn’t do it for me. I felt like it was one of those books where nothing really happened. I couldn’t help but compare BEAUTIFUL DAYS to the Luxe series. Where’s the drama? The action? The scandal? The plot wasn’t engaging and I just found myself growing restless. I’m hoping that BEAUTIFUL DAYS is just the calm before the storm and that the action picks up in the following book.

For the most part, I do love the characters of this series, but I just can’t seem to like Astrid. Astrid, unfortunately, still strikes me as fake. Just the way she acts seems insincere. I also wish that Charlie would give the girls some credit. While it’s very chivalrous of him to always come to the rescue, I feel like so much drama could have been avoided if he just told the girls flat out what’s going on with the bootlegging business. A simple conversation explaining why they’re in danger could have prevented a lot of hissy fits. But of course, he had to result to commanding them around. In BEAUTIFUL DAYS, I looked forward to Letty’s parts the most. I love the direction that her character is heading to and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for her in the next book.

Despite the fact that this one didn’t live up to my expectations, BEAUTIFUL DAYS was still a really good book. I recommend this book to those who enjoyed Bright Young Things, and highly recommend the series in general to those who love the Luxe series and historical fiction.


About the Author

Anna Godbersen was born in Berkeley, California, and educated at Barnard College. She currently lives in Brooklyn with her husband.

Find the Author

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  1. Darn! I was hoping Beautiful Days would be just as good as its predecessor. I’ll still read it to get my historical fiction fix, though. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Cialina! :)

  2. The hissyfit drama that could have been avoided sounds just like the Luxe series LOL. Sounds like a filler book, but I’m gonna check it out I want the high of reading about the 20s :)

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