I've been horribly slacking on writing up reviews, even quickie short ones. But no more! I resolve to stop being lazy (well, sometimes it’s because I’m busy, but usually it’s pure laziness) and at least post my general thoughts and feelings on my reads. Pretty much the sole reason I made this account was so I can go back and remember my opinions on books because I have a horrible memory. I know some people who can give the most specific details about a book they read 10 years ago, but I forget main character names (even in books I absolutely loved) in a couple of months.
So, I’ll start off with a series I started and finished in the month of January – the Bright Young Things trilogy by Anna Godberson. This is a YA historical fiction series following three girls living in New York City in 1929. Books set in the 1920s are my historical fiction weakness. I love everything – the fashion, the flappers, the women’s liberation, prohibition, speakeasies, jazz – all of it. These books really transport you back in time. I felt like I was hanging out in these clubs, drinking sidecars and chain smoking and doing the Charleston. The descriptions are lovely and detailed but not too flowery. I loved that the author described the character’s outfits almost every time they changed – I love fashion through the ages, and it made each scene even more vivid.
The three main characters were all likable, but I didn't absolutely love any of them. Two of the girls ran away from home in Ohio to follow their dream of living in the Big Apple. One hopes to find her birth father, and another hopes to become a star. The third girl is a rich flapper, growing up on an estate, spending lots of money and also spending lots of time with her boyfriend. In true YA fashion, these girls all have problems and insecurities to work through, and sometimes you want to slap the them in the face. But I came to like all the girls and they all had a relatively happy ending, even with one of the main characters dying (not a spoiler – this is mentioned in like the second page of the first book).
I would have preferred a little more intensity with this trilogy. Some things that should have been major events were just brushed over, and most of things just fell into the girls’ laps a little too easily. I love the glitz and glamour of the 20s, but there was a lot of darkness to this time as well –the Wall Street crash, and bootleggers and mobsters, for example –and this series made everything a little too perfect. But I will say that when these girls screwed up (which they did pretty frequently) they did suffer the consequences and learn their lessons, which I appreciated. One thing that frustrates me about YA is the fact that the characters do the STUPIDEST things over and over and never learn from it. Not the case here.
If you like books set in the 1920s, Godberson’s “Luxe” series, or just books with pretty girls in pretty dresses on the cover, check these out.