Friday, August 17, 2012

Beautiful Days Book Reivew

Anna Godbersen
Beautiful Days: A Bright Young Things Novel
Harper: A imprint of HarperCollins         Date of Publication:         2011
ISBN# 978-0-06-196268-4
Price:  $17.99        Grade Level: J/S (9-12)    Number of Pages: 358
VOYA Rating: 4Q 4P

Highly Recommended

This is the second book in the Bright Young Things series.  The story definitely continues from the 1st book.  I would not advise reading the 2nd book as a stand alone because the characters and story have already been introduced.  Cordelia Grey and Letty Larkspur came to New York City from small town Ohio.  As the story revealed in the first book, Cordelia Grey was the lost daughter of a famous and wealthy bootlegger.  Cordelia’s and Letty’s fortunes changed and they were whisked away from the city by Cordelia’s brother, Charlie, to the family estate.  They had food, money, a place to stay and quickly entered high society.  Cordelia started getting involved in the family business and Letty kept trying to pursue her acting career.  Astrid was one of their new friends who was getting married to Charlie.  All three girls found young men they were interested in which let to summer romance.  Unfortunately, the romance was followed by heartbreak.  There was suspense and betrayal in the bootlegging business.  Money and status came before friendship.  All the girls had to deal with betrayal and disappointment. 
It was a good read overall.  Like the first book, the historical detail of New York City, the clothes, the nightlife, and the roles of women were portrayed quite accurately.  Readers will be learning about prohibition without even realizing it.  The writing flows, the characters are likable, and it’s a good mix of suspense and romance.  There is a 3rd volume that will be released.  I think this is a good book for fun reading in history classes for prohibition or bootlegging topics.  It’s a good purchase for a public or school library.  Not really too much explicit material, but definitely illegal drinking and allusions to sex.  All the girls describe their kisses, with boys, to each other.  Based on the cover art and main characters, this book is targeted towards girls.  It would be a good historical fiction series for a book club, just not as easy as using a stand alone book for book clubs.  Overall, I enjoyed reading it and I look forward to the 3rd book.

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