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Great Hardcover – April 8, 2014

3.8 out of 5 stars 72 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up—A reimagined, gender-bending The Great Gatsby set in modern times. Narrator Naomi Rye lives in Chicago with her dad but spends every summer with her mother, a Food Network star, in East Hampton. Usually, Naomi's summer social life is limited to a few parties that she attends with her mom. This time, the teen arrives to find that a new neighbor, Jacinta Trimalchio, has moved in by herself next door. Jacinta is known among rich Hamptons denizens as an infamous fashion blogger. She hopes to reconnect with Delilah Fairweather through her new friendship with Naomi. The fashionista hosts fabulous parties and eventually ignites a close relationship with Delilah. This is a story of indulgence, with teenagers consuming alcohol and drugs and driving while under the influence. A car accident in the climax scene closely parallels the original. Lies, gossip, and intrigue figure prominently in the plot. No new ground has been forged in this work, so stick with F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic.—Elizabeth Kahn, Patrick F. Taylor Science & Technology Academy, Jefferson, LA

From Booklist

Great, as in Gatsby, is a teenage rendering of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic American novel, in which the East Hampton setting replaces West Egg. Naomi Rye, who lives with her high-school coach father in Chicago and summers with her Food Network cupcake-star mother, supersedes the midwestern next-door neighbor Nick Carraway. Each Great Gatsby character has its teen counterpart, as does each plot twist, party, and aftermath. Benincasa plays with gender and sexuality but otherwise sticks to the classist story line, with one noteworthy exception. Studies abound regarding the critically important Nick, his veracity and, therefore, his appeal as a narrator, not to mention his ironic tone. Conversely, Benincasa crafts the character of Naomi to read as sincere and good, qualities that are scoffed at as midwestern by the affluent, private-school Hamptons crowd. It is her honest relationships with tragically unbalanced friends that provide the reader with a moral compass for taking this famously raucous summer journey. Grades 9-12. --Gail Bush
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen; 1St Edition edition (April 8, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062222694
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062222695
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #425,681 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Wendy Kitchens on April 14, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I had high hopes for this novel. THE GREAT GATSBY is not my favorite book by any means, but I do enjoy it and the various film interpretations that have been released. I was fascinated by this book from the time I first heard of it and finally decided to purchase it after reading the sample and falling in love. The sample was misleading.

I've always believed that one should never be wholly positive or negative when it comes to a review of a piece of writing. Here's something positive to start out with: the book is a true, close homage to the source. Benincasa did a great job of following the Gatsby plot and carrying it out to the end (even though I personally had some doubt about the Gatsby figure's story in this tale - I never doubted what Jay did for Daisy in the original). The idea to set the story in the Hamptons and use rich teenagers is pretty fantastic as well. The setting was portrayed very nicely.

As for what I did not like:

1) too much product placement (did Marc Jacobs fund this novel?)
2) too many pop culture references that absolutely will not age well - the author references CLUELESS, which is from 1995. It's from before most of the characters in this novel were born. Furthermore, while GOSSIP GIRL just ended in 2012 and was clearly an influence for Benincasa, it remains to be seen whether or not it will survive as a reference point for teenagers in years to come.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In this updated version of "The Great Gatsby," seventeen-year-old Naomi Rye is the "outsider" to the summer teen culture in the East Hamptons. I use quotations because she has, in fact, a trust fund, and her mom's embarrassing meddling in her life consist of things like making her take a private jet there with a couple of family friends, appearing at charity events with ultra rich people, and forcing her to wear $400 Marc Jacobs dresses to parties because (if you can imagine) she wants Naomi to make a good impression. So Naomi's problems are definitely something to which the average middle class reader can relate. When the book opens, Naomi is spending the summer with her mom (her dad's a basketball couch who lives in Chicago), and she isn't real thrilled about it. However, when she receives an invitation to a party that the girl next door (who is renting the house apparently for the summer) invites her to, she is surprised to discover that a) her hostess, Jacinta, is a famous teen fashion blogger, b) a cute guy named Jeff Byron takes an interest in her, and c) that she doesn't feel as much of an outsider as she has in the past. Jacinta, who appears to be an orphan, quickly charms Naomi's acquaintances, especially the beautiful and aptly named Delilah Fairweather. This does not thrill Delilah's boyfriend, Teddy Barrington, since the two girls become inseparable, and eventually, he sets out to uncover the truth about the mysterious new girl. Tragedy ensues and life lessons are learned by the narrator.

Confession: I disliked the narrator, though I liked her hometown friend, Skags, who's beginning a romance of her own with one of popular girls she and Naomi have always mocked.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This may be a teen novel, but it definitely transcends generations! As an adult woman, I couldn't put it down.

The Great Gatsby is one of my all-time favorite stories and this book tremendously ties in the great novel while still keeping you guessing.

Highly recommend.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great was a well-done retelling of The Great Gatsby. I was impressed that Benincasa was able to stay so true to the original in a new setting. I am not a huge fan of the original story, but setting it modern day made the protagonist, Naomi more relatable.

I really enjoyed the gender reversal of main characters since the original is male dominated and the character of Daisy was not a strong female character. That being said, I really like Naomi on her own, to me, she is somewhat reminiscent of some female pop culture characters that I enjoy, young women like Veronica Mars and Buffy. What I did not like was that her seduction by her rich companions, including Jacinta seemed to be sudden and without explanation. She had been visiting her mother for years with no interest in developing the relationships and it was not clear what the mystique was around Jacinta.

I also disagree with a previous reviewer that Benincasa made the story her own. It followed VERY closely to the original. It was not a reinterpretation. I personally enjoyed that, but this story was a cover band that has no experience writing music. They perform well, you love the new voice, but it is still the same song.

Overall, it was a good read. I would recommend it to someone else.
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