Godbersen, known for her Luxe series, is a great historical/Gossip Girl writer and she does it again with this YA novel. It's a quick read, and a bit unbelievable, but fluffy YA readers will enjoy it. Real historical fiction readers may not. Letty and Cordelia run away from Ohio to NYC in 1929 (really? just leaving your hubby like that, Cordelia?) to make it big. Things easily work out for Cordelia, whose long lost father (a mafia lord) takes her in, no questions asked. Even Letty finds a job quickly selling cigarettes in the coolest speakeasy in the city. I kept expecting Letty to fall into prostitution, but it never happened. Astrid, a rich girl and Cordelia's step-brother's girlfriend, completes the trio of characters. The sequel, Beautiful Days, comes out Sept. 20, 2011.
Jillian Larkin's The Flappers series takes place in 1923 and also follows the stories of three girls. Gloria is the rich girl yearning to escape her family and become a speakeasy singer. Clara, Gloria's cousin from PA, is pretending to just be a hick girl in town for Gloria's wedding, but really spent months in NYC as the flapper-to-watch. Lorraine, Gloria's so-called best friend, is rich with no ethics--not a good combination. The three girls are restrained by society, but feel like the Roaring Twenties give them options. Gloria can fall in love with a black pianist if she wants to, even if she's engaged to a society man who doesn't love her. Clara can fall in love with a society man who is the catch of the town. Lorraine can cheat and lie with no consequences. All three girls are losing more than morals and the story continues in Ingenue, to be published August 9, 2011.
Which is better? Meh, my vote goes to Godbersen. I feel more attached to her characters. Both books are pretty unbelievable, even though Larkin has more shock-and-awe.