In what I hope will become a new awesome trend in YA literature, Bright Young Things is one of two books to be recently released set in the 1920s. Come on, people. Why doesn’t anyone write books set in the ’20s? I’m guessing since Boardwalk Empire is HBO’s hot new thing, the 20’s are just SUPER HOT NOW!! YEAH, PROHIBITION! JAZZ!
Anyway, Bright Young Things tells the story of two teenage girls, Cordelia and Letty, who hop on a train from Ohio to the big bright lights of New York City. These are some girls after my own heart. While I did inform my parents of my plans before I moved to Chicago at the age of 22 (unlike our characters here), I did sorta hop on a plane one day with a couple of suitcases, a cat, and a dream…so I can relate!
Letty wants to be a star ; Cordelia wants to find her long lost daddy, whom she believes is bootlegger Darius Grey. They have a big fight their first night in the city, and split up (good job, girls). Along the way there are boys (good and bad), forbidden romance, lonely socialites, wild parties, a hidden tunnel, and a creepy creepo Broadway producer. Woo hoo!
My only complaint is that the story just sort of ended. Well, I guess my other complaint is that it never really took off, either. I probably spent a week or more on this book (which is a lot for me), and unlike Jennifer Donnely’s Revolution (more on that later), it wasn’t because I didn’t want the book to end. I guess what propelled me through the story was the setting/time — I’ve always been a Gatsby girl, after all.