Bright Young Things

Written by Anna Godbersen

At first, I was excited about reading Bright Young Things; the 1920s New York setting seemed to promise glamour and class. However, despite the book’s fast pace, it took at least seven chapters to grab my interest. I found the speed of events unrealistic, which may have been why it didn’t engage me at the start. After that, the plot got a lot better and was quite exciting.

Godbersen explores the city of New York from the perspective of girls from different classes, which gave me a broad image of the city and how fantastic or punishing it can be. I felt she could have built up some of the characters more, for example, Cordelia’s father, Darius Grey; we didn’t get to know him enough and this took away from the impact of later events.

After a generally enjoyable read, I found the ending disappointing. There was no real climax. Astrid’s behaviour did not reflect her ‘independent girl’ persona, and the plot didn’t feel complete. However, this did make room for a possible sequel. I would recommend the book for teenagers age 13-16.