“Bright Young Things” by Anna Godbersen


This is a DNF (Did Not Finish) review.  As such, it will not be graded traditionally and not have a star rating.  I’m just going to share my thoughts on the first couple hours of the book and let you know why I decided to put it down.


Bright Young Things

by Anna Godbersen

Narrated by Emily Bauer

⊗ DNF ⊗

Series: Bright Young Things (1)
Genres: Historical, Young Adult, Romance, Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Chick Lit, Teen, Historical Romance, New York, Young Adult Historical Fiction
Published By: HarperAudio in 2010
Original Publication: Harper in 2010 (Original US Hardcover Edition)
Format: Audiobook (9 hours, 58 minutes)

goodreads librarything publisher author


The year is 1929. New York is ruled by the Bright Young Things: Flappers and socialites seeking thrills and chasing dreams in the anything-goes era of the Roaring Twenties.

Letty Larkspur and Cordelia Grey escaped their small Midwestern town for New York’s glittering metropolis. All Letty wants is to see her name in lights, but she quickly discovers Manhattan is filled with pretty girls who will do anything to be a star….

Cordelia is searching for the father she’s never known, a man as infamous for his wild parties as he is for his shadowy schemes. Overnight, she enters a world more thrilling and glamorous than she ever could have imagined — and more dangerous. It’s a life anyone would kill for…and someone will.

The only person Cordelia can trust is ­Astrid Donal, a flapper who seems to have it all: money, looks, and the love of Cordelia’s brother, Charlie. But Astrid’s perfect veneer hides a score of family secrets.

Across the vast lawns of Long Island, in the ­illicit speakeasies of Manhattan, and on the blindingly lit stages of Broadway, the three girls’ fortunes will rise and fall — together and apart. From the New York Times bestselling author of THE LUXE comes an epic new series set in the dizzying last summer of the Jazz Age.


I detest quitting a book, but I’ve just got to face the facts… there are too many books in this world to spend time suffering through one I dislike.  So, in list format, here’s why I decided not to continue this book:

  • The introductory scene just seemed cruel to me.  Of all the starting places to pick, getting married then immediately running away for no reason related to getting married just seems silly.
  • I suppose the description of the book should have warned me, but what I read of this was one giant cliche.
  • All the characters are way too nice to each other.  There’s a little discussion about how one of the girls has a mean, discontented family, but it’s mostly to illustrate a bit where she’s remembering something and her feelings were hurt.
  • I just couldn’t stand the narrator’s voice, or her depiction of all the characters.  There wasn’t a lot of variety in her tones, and everything sounded way too pink and poofy for my tastes.
  • Set in the 1920s, the only hint of time period I had was a mention of prohibition.
  • All in all, I think it’s written too young for my current tastes.

I think that someone looking for an adorable romance and really simple writing may be able to continue, but if you’re looking for Zelda Fitzgerald-esque glamour and pizzazz, you won’t find it here.


I borrowed this through Overdrive!  For those unfamiliar, this is my new favorite thing.  If your local library participates, you can search the local online catalog and borrow eBooks and audiobooks digitally.  For someone who commutes as much as I do and has as big a TBR as me, this is an awesome service.

amazon barnesandnoble indiebound audible


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