Monday, June 9, 2014

Recently Read: Great

I have been really eager to read Great by Sara Benincasa since its release. This is a modern retelling of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. I love Gatsby, just as almost every literature nut does, and have read the novel multiple times, and was thus excited by the prospect of a modern reworking of the story but at the same time I was nervous and a little apprehensive to trust someone else with this story.

Our narrator is Naomi who goes to the Hamptons over the summer to stay with her tv chef mother. There she meets and is charmed by her next door neighbor Jacinta, a famous but elusive blogger.

I really enjoyed seeing all of the characters unfold and seeing the connections between Gatsby and this novel as well as the differences. I thought the plot line was adapted to a modern setting very well. It was interesting to see this story unfold between teenagers and to see Naomi loose herself within the richness of the Hamptons as Nick looses himself in the mess of Daisy and Tom.

I really enjoyed this book, the differences are large enough between this book and the original that I was able to enjoy it as a whole new story. I will say that finishing it left me with a longing to reread the original Gatsby, and watch the 1970's film adaptation. Even if you have not read Gatsby, I would recommend this book, and of course if you have not read The Great Gatsby please read it right away! This is Benincasa's first young adult novel, and I am eager to see what else she writes in the future.

I'm on the look out for more retellings so leave me your suggestions.  

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