sexta-feira, 20 de abril de 2012

Beautiful Days, Anna Godbersen

I'm submitting this book to the 2012 YA Historical Fiction Challenge hosted by YA Bliss.


Review: Once again, Anna Godbersen tells us a tale of frivolous and rich girls in the Roaring Twenties. Yet, I don't enjoy this series as I did The Luxe series. In those books, girls were idle and did nothing but go to parties and stab each other in their backs, but at the same time some serious situations happen to them. In here, girls go to parties and drink and dance, but nothing really important ever happens to them, at least for 90% of the book.

I don't know, I guess this way of life just bugs me - I don't really relate to it. The girls fluctuate between a state of "hot and cold", with no consequences, with no life lessons, without growing up. Astrid (the character I most despise) is the poster girl for this - she gets mad at some perceived offence, then delighted at some random small happiness about ten seconds later. She does this especially with Charlie, but the poor guy never realizes that this happens. Such a ground for a solid relationship, huh? Since Astrid has nothing going on for her but Charlie, story-wise, her chapters are the most annoying for me.

Letty is a little weak-characterized for me as well, though at the same time I somewhat like her character for being such a naïve, pathetic character. In Beautiful Days, she indulges in the Cordelia and Astrid's rich lifestyle without even fighting for her dream, as she tried in the first book. When something big happens in the end, it is lessened for her lack of trying - it seems all is handed out to her without even trying.

Cordelia ends up as my favorite character. She is almost the prototype of "self-made man", except she's a girl woman. She at first enjoys the good life, but then realizes she must achieve something, and work hard for it. I love the storyline about "The Vault", and I wish we could have seen more of the setting up of the club. I am really curious about Max Darby, and I'm rooting for him and Cordelia.

It sounds like I hated it, but it's not like that - it just wasn't that great, and I missed the Gossip Girlness that The Luxe had. But the setting is quite interesting - the city and the country, the fashion and the riches, the clubs and the all-nighters - which is ironic, given I dislike this era's hedonism, at least how it is portrayed in this book. I'm still hopeful that the third book will be much better, maybe even end with a bang - specially when one keeps in mind what was mentioned in the prologue in the first book (one of the girls would be famous, one would be married, one would be dead... I certainly have my predictions and hopes) - sounds exciting!

Pages: 368

Publisher: Harper (HarperCollins)

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