Review: Great by Sara Benincasa

Author: Sara Benincasa
Release Date: April 8, 2014
Publisher: Harper Teen
Source: Edelweiss
Review by: Jenn
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.
2.5 stars out of 5 stars
*I received an eARC of this book from the publisher, but it did not influence this review in any way.*

I haven't read The Great Gatsby (yet) but I have seen the movie, so I was really excited about starting Great. I've been eyeballing the cover because is so eye-catching and it one of the reason why I chose to read it. However, Great wasn't all that great (pun intended). 

Naomi is spending the summer in the Hampton and somehow managed to become a part of popular crowd, partly because of her mother and because Jacinta seeks her out. Jacinta is the new girl in the neighborhood and everyone is curious about her. Jacinta has an air of mysterious clout and it was very interesting seeing it unravel.

As the story progressed, I was curious about some of the characters' motives. I was concerned that they were using Naomi for their own sneaky scheme and that she would get hurt. I was always suspicious of Delilah's, Teddy's and Jeff's real reasoning for hanging out with Naomi. But I did managed to figure out (well partly) Jacinta's motives. And unlike Naomi, I would have checked out of the budding friendship she had with Jeff a lot earlier than she did. Yes he was being charming but the way he defended Teddy when he was being an asshole really rubbed me the wrong way. I understand Teddy is Jeff's best friend but there was always something underlying in his reasoning.

I was a little disappointed that I didn't end up loving the book. I just couldn't click with any of the characters, not even with Naomi. I think I'll read The Great Gatsby and hopefully that will make up for the disappointment of Great.


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