(find the judgment here)
by Anna GodbersenLet me just say, this will not be a purely objective review. My Godbersen-love-affair naturally makes me a little bias. I mean, I was already smiling from the get-go. I got home, ripped it out of the package, and fell on my bed with a little giggle. And I stayed lost in it for something close to four hours. I couldn't put it down. Not because it was some tense page turner or because it had something important to say; more because it was that last breath of summer air and I was just basking in it. Honestly, I'm infatuated: I'm so caught up in how she writes, I really don't mind at all what she writes.
I sound like such a pathetic fan girl right now, but Godbersen is the only writer to never disappoint me. And we all know how easily I'm disappointed (pretty much...every book here). But I just get giddy reading Godbersen (how's that for alliteration?). And this book really was such a beautiful read. There were moments that literally took my breath away--as in completely, purely, literally: I would stop breathing just to finish without distraction.
Um, the closing scene? Beautiful.
Still, I'll try to be professional about this. Because my cynical self naturally noticed flaws (I just happened to enjoy them, wrapped up with such pretty bows). For one, you could feel the "middle book" moments--where Godbersen was introducing plot elements for a later book. I mean, I had to roll my eyes at the way....someone suddenly started to care about that...someone she left back home (Mosquito netting? Really? That set you off?). Plus there seemed to be a lot of inconsistencies--pieces of the last book that she didn't seem to care about bringing up in this one, but instead went on and introduced new side possibilities until we're all confuddled about who to cheer for and what can possibly happen next.
Clearly, the hot body guard has a thing for his friend's new wife, and said new wife isn't really up to being a wife, plus she randomly noticed the pretty boy who was featured so readily in the last book only to be mentioned once here. And there was that whole awkward, random "kiss your own reflection" moment with...someone. What? But the one other someone did finally get her break, after once again ruining that affable one with her naivety and simultaneous selfishness. Now there's some hot actor to mess with her--married, sure, but drama shall ensue because the climb to the top isn't all that easy. And the sexy pilot suddenly seemed very different. Maybe it was just me, but in the first one he seemed very confident and charming and bold; now, he's...something else--still good looking and all-intriguing (that closing scene, I'm tellin' ya) with that something-twist that gets you going all "whaaat?". But then there's still the original someone who's still so much better for that someone who's now with the pilot-someone, and she's gone all BA with this speakeasy-something which is why she'll probably be the one to die.
Drama, drama, drama.
And I kept expecting something to go wrong; it wrapped up too nicely, too happily. There was a wedding, a kiss, a....scene. Everyone got some pretty bow on their story. Which just makes me so nervous for the next one. Plus, it's almost the depression and there's a sense of foreboding with how Godbersen writes: you know it won't end pretty, this age of boundless gluttony. It's all bound to implode in some tragic, heart-wrenching way that will most definitely leave me breathless. Literally.
It all sounds so silly, I know. But Godbersen pulls it off. I mean, these are things that just wouldn't fly in real life with normal people, but Godbersen makes it work. She pulls us into the moment till we're tipsy with the characters, starry-eyed and excited by the secretive nightlife hidden behind the city lights. We believe the characters because, even for their outlandish adventures, their reactions feel real. Godbersen doesn't blindly put two characters together just for the sake of action; she doesn't spell out everything or explain everything either, but, I mean, sometimes...life just happens. And to these girls in the last days of the Roaring 20s...life happens a lot.