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and i need a job, so i want to be a paperback writer

Bright Young Things 12/16/2010

Filed under: Books — kimbolee @ 8:06 AM
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Bright Young Things
Anna Godbersen
389 pages
Harper Collins, 2010

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.

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Will Grayson, Will Grayson 08/12/2010

Filed under: Books — kimbolee @ 7:14 AM
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Will Grayson, Will Grayson
John Green and David Levithan
New York: Dutton, 2009.
310 p.

This book combines two things I love: John Green’s writing and Chicago. (I haven’t read anything by David Levithan but am inspired to grab one of his books right now!) Two dudes with the same name meet each other one night in Chicago. That is what the book is about and it is also not what the book is about. One Will Grayson is a high school loner, content with hanging out with his Big Gay Best Friend, Tiny, and not getting noticed at all. The other Will Grayson is also a loner, content to hang out in his bedroom chatting online with his e-boyfriend all night. And then one night in the city…THEIR WORLDS COLLIDE!!! I love this premise.
I am a fan of books with alternating narrators (Time-Traveler’s Wife, anyone?), and I loved that the book still had a consistent undertone, despite being about two different characters and written by two different authors. And then! Tiny Cooper (Will Grayson #1’s BGBF) enters into Will Grayson #2’s world, and both authors end up writing the same character. And…it works! Wahooo!
I took my time with this one, and I’m not sure if it’s because I didn’t love it love it, or I had been flying through too many books at the time and just wanted to slow down. In any event, I enjoyed this book, mostly because I could close my eyes and imagine exactly where the characters were at any moment. Sooooo….maybe I just really like books set in Chicago. I won’t say that I would have disliked this book had it been set somewhere else, but I will say that I wouldn’t have liked it as much. (I just blew your mind, didn’t I.)
Anyway, this book is about relationships, and high school, and friendships, and Chicago…and I’d like to applaud it for having an unabashed, unapologetic, big gay best friend as a main character. (Begin slow clap…)