Friday, September 30, 2011


I don't know what to read. Everything just sounds so....meh. Like I've read it all before. But it's (almost) a new month and I need a new post and I want to want to read. So. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Verdict, No. 13

(find the judgment here)
Beautiful Days
by Anna Godbersen
Let 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, just happens. And to these girls in the last days of the Roaring happens a lot.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Judgment, No. 13

Beautiful Days
by Anna Godbersen
"For the bright young things of 1929, the beautiful days seem endless"
As anyone who reads any of this blog knows, I have a severe crush on Godbersen and her writing. I've read every book and I've loved every book (well, maybe not Rumors of the Luxe series, but that was her sophomore slump, and so I'll give it to her). In my eyes, she can do no wrong. Even if her stories seem superficial or perhaps melodramatic, she at least is unapologetic in her use of melodrama. It's delicious. And it feels real, mostly because her characters don't fall flat; they don't settle into stereotypes. For YA fiction, they are as complicated and plausible as they can get. From the first book carrying on through the entire series, they never stop making sense--their actions, choices, all feels real. 

Which is exactly why I loved Di slipping away in the last book; 
I would have been furious had she stayed because, 
even if it were happy (and it would have been such a happy moment), 
it would have betrayed the character she built. 
And when so many others forget character in favor of plot, 
I practically shouted for joy when Di walked away.

But that's another story. And I could talk about it forever.

This story, though, is the second in her flappers series. I absolutely loved the first one. To be honest, I was worried that it would be just like Luxe, just in another period. But, no, these characters are just as individualistic, just as complex. These aren't just stock characters; there are no straight-up villains, no cookie cutter heroines. I LOVE IT! Every book of hers is like a breath of fresh air.

I'm sounding a little obsessed. Like stalker-ish. But I'm not, I promise. Just impressed. And I'm eager, excited, enthralled to be impressed again. Only problem? This is the second book. Like Rumors was. So I'm a little nervous, a little worried that it will be...dry, busy fixing up plot lines for the rest of the series. But I have faith. Mostly because, hello, look at that cover.

What's going to go down? It's a little hard to say--as in here. Because 1) I can't spoil the first one for those who haven't read it and 2) I can't say anything about this one without having to talk about the first one.'s quite the conundrum. But let me try:

I really hope someone gets to flirt it up with the pilot someone. But I also hope said someone comes around to loving the original someone again because, come on, we all know he didn't do that some thing. And I hope one of the other someones gets over herself enough to accept the affection of that affable one and, maybe, get a big break too. And the other someone should stop smoking long enough to really take stock of her life and go after that poor but beautiful someone who--come on--is not hooking up with that one someone's mother. And that male someone, maybe he'll wind up wandering over to that middle someone just to stir trouble with the latter someone and put all the someones in quite a tizzy. And maybe the first someones...someone that she left back in somewhere comes looking for her, because that could get awkward. 

What more can I say? I just love all these someones, and I'm quite looking forward to the release of this something. 

Here's to it being good.