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Review: ‘Great’ by Sara Benincasa

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: ‘Great’ by Sara BenincasaGreat by Sara Benincasa
Published by HarperTeen on April 8th, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Friendship, LGBT, Love & Romance, Retelling
Pages: 272
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
four-stars
In Sara Benincasa's contemporary retelling of The Great Gatsby, a teenage girl becomes entangled in the drama of a Hamptons social circle, only to be implicated in a tragedy that shakes the summer community.

Everyone loves a good scandal.

Naomi Rye usually dreads spending the summer with her socialite mother in East Hampton. This year is no different. She sticks out like a sore thumb among the teenagers who have been summering (a verb only the very rich use) together for years. But Naomi finds herself captivated by her mysterious next-door neighbor, Jacinta. Jacinta has her own reason for drawing close to Naomi-to meet the beautiful and untouchable Delilah Fairweather. But Jacinta's carefully constructed world is hiding something huge, a secret that could undo everything. And Naomi must decide how far she is willing to be pulled into this web of lies and deception before she is unable to escape.

Based on a beloved classic and steeped in Sara Benincasa's darkly comic voice, Great has all the drama, glitz, and romance with a terrific modern (and scandalous) twist to enthrall readers.

The Book DepositoryChapters/IndigoGood Reads


review

Naomi Rye has a famous baker mother and when she ends up spending her summer vacation in East Hampton with the rest of the wealthy affluent children, she realizes that a wealthy lifestyle truly doesn’t make a great person.

This is a wonderful retelling of one of my favourite classic books The Great Gatsby with a modern and LGBT twist. I really enjoyed how Sara included the entire cast of characters and switched them around. Making Gatsby, Jacinta instead. The contemporary setting also worked very well and I thought it still held true to the Roaring Twenties theme because teens do party with elaborate ways too. I thought the pacing was on par even though there were many instances that an explanation for things was deemed unnecessary.

As for the characters know and love they’re all there. Even Naomi who is the main protagonist who sees everything from the sidelines. Who isn’t the same as them all, who haven’t been brought up with such lavish luxuries. You are transported into the lifestyles of the fabulously wealthy. The drama that was evident in Great Gatsby is also touched upon in Great as well. I liked the green light symbolism that was kept in the book too. I really enjoyed reading this take on the classic and I hope others can learn to appreciate the classic as well as the retelling. The lesbian twist was also a wonderful touch and it worked just as well. I also liked how Jacinta is a blogger who made a name for herself.

Overall, a wonderful Great Gatsby retelling set in modern day times.


reading progress

great_sara-benincasa_reading-progress


quotes

You’re the only mother I know who would get pissed that her daughter would choose studying over playing tennis.
Darling, you don’t need to do that. Give the help something to do.
Someone who is nice to you just for the sake of being nice, not because they want something from you.
You’re friendly like a snake is friendly.
He doesn’t understand you. He thinks you’re just a all for him to show off. He doesn’t know how creative you are, or how smart, or how talented.
My father told me once that people don’t change—they just reveal more of who they really are.
It was the first time in my life anyone noticed me for something I did on my own. It changed my life.

rating

4/5

four-stars

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