Book Review: The Lucky Ones (Bright Young Things #3) by Anna Godbersen

Author: Anna Godbersen

Publisher: Harper Teen

Release date: November 27, 2012

Rating: 5 stars – LOVED THIS TO PIECES!

Purchase from Amazon | Barnes & Noble


In 1929, the Bright Young Things escape Manhattan’s heat for the lush lawns and sparkling bays of White Cove, looking for leisure, love, and luck.

New York City’s latest It Girl, Cordelia Grey, is flying high with celebrity pilot Max Darby. But Max is a private person with a reputation to uphold—and a secret to hide. A public romance with a bootlegger’s daughter could cost him more than just his good name. . . .

Aspiring triple threat Letty Larkspur has finally gotten her big break, but will her talent—and special bond with the married silver-screen star Valentine O’Dell—make her a target in the cutthroat world of Hollywood? Perhaps the ingenue knows how to play the leading lady after all.

Newly married to her longtime sweetheart, socialite Astrid Donal finds herself spending more time with one of her husband’s henchmen than with him. With so many secrets between man and wife, is the honeymoon already coming to an end?

As summer reaches its hottest peak, these sun-kissed girls will find out if their luck can last . . . or if dark surprises are on the horizon.


I honestly don’t even know what to say. Finishing the breathtaking and heart-pounding conclusion to Anna Godbersen’s Bright Young Things trilogy was bittersweet. It’s been days since I read the last sentence of the novel which left it’s unique mark on me. I couldn’t imagine a better, full-filling ending to one of my favorite historical fiction series’.

With that said, it’s very hard to be non-spoilery when this is the final book in the series, but I will try.

The Lucky Ones begins where Beautiful Days left off – with only a few weeks gap. Astrid and Charlie have just returned from their honeymoon, Letty is moving out of Dogwood to stay with Valentine O’Dell and Sophia Ray (two of the silver screen’s stars!), and Cordelia is having a world-wind romance with celebrity pilot, Max Darby. At first, things are new, thrilling, and exciting for our 3 lovely protagonists, but it too soon becomes dark and comes crashing down.

Astrid is realizing a darker side to Charlie as he delves deeper into his bootlegging business. She begins to see that marriage isn’t what she always thought it would be. After witnessing Charlie murder a man, her feelings for him start crumbling. Cue in Victor-I-Don’t-Recall-Last-Name. He is one of Charlie’s bodyguards who has been assigned to look after Astrid and her well being. Sparks begin to ignite between the two, while Victor harbors a secret of his own. The secret was something that I suspected but didn’t really know if I was right. There weren’t many clues as to who he really was until the raid. I was very happy who Astrid chose at the end. I would have done the same if I was torn between Charlie or Victor.

Moving on to Cordelia. Her relationship with Max Darby completely jeopardizes his good name and reputation. We learned in Beautiful Days that Max is a negro (not my words). His mother is black, while his father was a white man – there is not history of this or what happened to his father. Anyways, that sole reason could jeopardize what he’s built with his career. And it does. Oh, boy it does. You really got to see the bad side of people concerning this topic. People who loved Max Darby for who he was as a pilot turned on him. And it was all Cordelia’s fault. Why? She’s famous. She’s the long, lost daughter of the recently deceased Darius Gray. He was a renowned bootlegger in the city. Being known comes at a price with photographers and reporters in the darkest of corners just to take a picture of her. That’s how Max’s secret became known to the public.

Ah. Finally, there is sweet and naive Letty. Though, I’m just as naive. When Valentine O’Dell signs on to teach Letty the valuable assets it takes to make it in the movie business, Letty falls for the mega-silver screen actor. It’s not one-sided as Valentine also returns Letty’s feelings. But…well, things aren’t what they seem. I thought that Valentine O’Dell’s love for Letty was real. But I was wrong. He plays her. PLAYS HER. I just wanted to hit him with a shoe. And you know how Letty finds out? From Sophia Ray – Valentine’s wife! Yep. Although, I have mixed feelings about Valentine’s intentions…I honestly believe that his belief in Letty’s talent was real. He genuinely seemed captivated by her singing, dancing, and acting. She is a star as her friends and strangers have said. My only regret is that I wish that I could be able to see Letty perform because it just seems magical; the way that Godbersen describes those scenes – it’s like I’m there.

Oh! And if your wondering about Grady (since things between him and Letty didn’t end on a good note in Beautiful Days) you will be happy to know that he makes appearances and….*sigh* It ends on a good note! One that will leave your heart bursting with glee!

If it isn’t already obvious, I’m a huge fan of Anna Godbersen’s work. I loved her Luxe series, which I read a few years ago. When I found out she was writing another historical fiction series I immediately researched and jumped on board the journey. I don’t regret one bit of the time I spent reading and getting to know Astrid, Cordelia, and Letty, following them on their adventures in the dazzling city of New York in the last summer of the Jazz Age.

Godbersen’s writing is brilliantly poetic and it’s one of the reasons why I love her work so very much! Her use of metaphors and similes are to die for! Also, her novels have a little bit of everything for everyone. It’s submerged in romance while history takes a vital part in her world. There is also jaw-dropping drama, suspense, and mystery. Plus, I think that Anna Godbersen is a master crafter of points-of-views. No girl’s perspective is the same as the other, and it’s something she does very well. Plus, she writes vividly to the time her novels takes place and stays true to it.

If you haven’t read the concluding novel to The Bright Young Things series I say, What are you waiting for? Go grab yourself a copy! I assure you that the ending is fulfilling. The only part that’s bittersweet is that it’s OVER. DONE. FINITO. But I loved it nonetheless and I’m very sad to let all the characters go. I will be patiently awaiting for Godbersen’s next project and hopefully be re-reading The Luxe which takes place in New York, 1899.

P.S. In Bright Young Things, there is a very ominous first person perspective in the prologue:

They were all marching toward their own secret fates, and long before the next decade rolled around, each would escape in her own way – one would be famous, one would be married, and one would be dead.

In the end to The Lucky Ones we find out who that person was and each of the girl’s fate at the end of summer.

Wow! Don’t I sound ominous?

Until next time! Stay lovely, darlings!

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