(find my judgment here)
The Lucky Ones
by Anna Godbersen
I miss it already.
This was a beautiful read. Godbersen is a master of language and moments. She has a way of spinning words together in such a way that you fall into this sort of dreamlike trance where the real world gets hazy and you find yourself right there with all these characters in the gilded world of the Roaring 20s. And I loved every minute.
The thing about Godbersen is she knows how to give unpredictable twists without them feeling unnatural. There were things towards the end where I was like, "Oh, yeah, duh! I totally saw that coming." But I didn't. In fact, I think I was annoyed that, as the writer in me followed along, I didn't think of it playing out that way. So it wasn't predictable, just...believable. Oh, and beautiful. So very pretty.
The thing is, quite honestly, if she was a bad writer, I would hate these books (like I hate this copycat). Because, let's face it, this is melodramatic melodrama. There is kissing, boozing, cheating, murder. And it's kind of jolting to remember that all this juicy drama happened in one summer. You're lazily flouncing along when someone suddenly says "I'm 18!" or "It's the end of one summer." And then you realize, oh yeah, all this crazy, crazy stuff happened to people barely adults in three short months. For a realist like me, that's a fact that's hard to stomach. I mean, 18 year olds shouldn't be married, shouldn't be screwing around with married men, shouldn't be deciding who they'll soar off into the sunset with. But, quite luckily, Godbersen isn't a bad writer. Au contraire! She is definitely one of the most talented YA writers I've ever read, and...for all the frilly silliness, I love everything she writes. Especially this.
After a sumptuous debut with The Luxe, she has found her footing and finalized her voice. This was the perfect combination of witty melodrama and soft moments; of sins and sinners with heart and honesty; of sweet kisses and steamy mistakes; of final decisions and second chances. More importantly, this was the perfect final installment of bitter and sweet.
Yes, someone dies. Someone's married. Someone's famous. And the epilogue could be one of my favorites ever. Somehow, Godbersen makes this tragic, gilded tale a dreamy one. And then you find yourself lethargic and thoughtful, still sitting, still holding the book open, just staring into space and thinking about it, gauging your feelings until you wish there was just one page more.
At least that's what I did. And then I started over and read all my favorite bits again. Because that's what Godbersen does: she makes me forget reality to slip into a world I never want to leave and never really can. It might sound melodramatic, but it's a dreamy place--the pages of any Godbersen novel. This series is one of my favorites, and this book is the best of them. So read it--but start from the beginning.
It's a very good place to start.