Thursday, April 3, 2014

Review: Great by Sara Benincasa


Author: Sara Benincasa
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Harper Teen
Genre: YA Retellings/Contemporary
Format: ebook
Release Date: April 8, 2014
Source: eARC received from publisher via Edelweiss
Rating: 4 Stars
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***I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This has in no way changed my opinion of the book. The review below is my open and honest opinion.***   
Synopsis from Goodreads:

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.

My Review:

Confession time: I haven’t read Great Gatsby nor have I seen the movie (any of them). But if it’s anything like this book, I will totally be reading it soon. So I’m just going to tell you how I felt about this book, not how it compares to Great Gatsby.

I loved this book. All the characters were so interesting. Each one brought something different to the story. The main character was a bit judgmental, but also kind. She was intelligent and I loved reading from her perspective. Her best friend, Skags, was amazing. She was honest and funny. I was super sad that we didn’t get to see more of her since the whole book she was back in Chicago while Naomi was in the Hamptons. But the real star of the story was Jacinta, the mysterious girl renting the house next door to Naomi’s mother. There was something so complex and elaborate about her. She seemed so sad and lonely. I wanted to know more.

This book had a Gossip Girl feel to it. (All you people who have read Great Gatsby are probably laughing at me right now…) But that’s what made me love it. I love the whole outsider getting a glimpse of the elite inner circle. The fabulous parties, the scandal, it sucked me in and had me completely consumed in this book. In fact, I read this entire book in one sitting because I couldn’t put it down.

If you like Gossip Girl, you will love this book. I can’t say whether you’ll like it if you’re a huge Gatsby fan, but I have read a couple of other reviews that have been very positive from people who have actually read the original. If you’re looking for a quick, drama filled read with an interesting cast of characters this book is for you. Happy reading all!

Have you read this one? What did you think? Have you also read The Great Gatsby? How does this one compare?


  1. I also like books where you have the outsider getting a glimpse of the elite inner circle so I may have to try this book. I read Great Gatsby a long time ago, so I barely remember it (and I think I had to read it for school). I have the movie DVRd (the one with Leo) so I need to read this book and then watch the movie. Ooh…this could be a book club book, with also reading Great Gatsby and comparing. I may suggest that. Great review, glad you enjoyed it! ~Pam

    1. That would be a great idea! How fun. I want to go read Great Gatsby really bad now so I can see how closely they align. From what I've heard from other people the storyline is pretty close.

  2. Woah a Gatsby retelling! How rare!
    I'm definitely adding this one to my TBR- I actually haven't watched Gossip Girl, but I do like reading the occasional drama filled read :)
    And haha I do have to admit the original Gatsby probably doesn't quite have the same Gossip Girl feel to it :P

    1. You should totally watch Gossip Girl. It's addictive. Lol, probably not. That's why I said you guys were all going to laugh at me.

  3. I haven't seen any reviews of this book yet but thanks for yours. I definitely want to read this!

  4. I read The Gatsby, and I really didn't think it was all that great. It probably didn't resonate with me like it did with some others. So I've been a bit hesitant to read GREAT simply because it's a Gatsby retelling. However, I did like Gossip Girl. So maybe I'll enjoy this one more? Maybe I'll give it a try.

    1. I can't really say since I haven't read Gatsy, but I have read some reviews from people who have read Gatsby. They say that it follows the Gatsby storyline pretty closely. You'll have to let me know if you end up trying it!


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