Review of Great

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.
Even though I did not love The Great Gatsby, I definitely was captivated by the story. I was so excited when I hear about Great, a modern day retelling with a gender switch was such a neat idea!

  • I really liked Naomi. I thought she was an interesting character, especially with the background between her mother and father.
  • Naomi’s mother was out-of-control, I loved her character and her desire to be famous and loved. She pushed herself so hard and was at the beck and call to the rich and famous.
  • Jacinta (the Gatsby) character was well done, she was similar but different enough that the story was redundant. There was also a diverse romance that helps modernize the book and give a young adult story that some would feel is lacking (trying not to spoil the whole story).
  • I liked all the side characters, Teddy, Giovanni, Misti, Delilah, ect. The characters really brought the story to life.
  • The Hamptons always fascinate me. I love Revenge and Gossip Girl and the whole concept of the Hamptons. The rich and beautiful fleeing the city to go to the beach and their huge lake houses.

  • The story was good, but not great. Sometimes the writing seems cliche but it was definitely enjoyable and readable, but it won’t be a classic.
  • There were only really two big parties! I wanted more glitz and glamor.

 "That place at the beach with all your mother's fancy friends - it's another world. I'm not saying it's a bad one. It's just different. But whether you're in this world or that one, you still have to live with yourself. Remember that you can't be one person in one place and a totally different person in another place. Right is right and wrong is wrong, no matter where you are."


  1. I haven't actually read (or seen) The Great Gatsby so this one didn't really appeal to me, but love that it's a role reversal and a diverse romance, and side characters you actually like (I usually don't like many of them myself). I love Revenge though.

    Kirsty @ StudioReads

  2. I just read a not-so-kind review of this one. Since The Great Gatsby is not my favorite anyway, I probably won't look into it - but it was great to read another perspective. Thanks, Missie.

  3. oh, it sound so glamorous! i had no idea this book existed, thanks for enlightening me.
    (on the side note, i love the way you do your reviews lately, they are short sweet and informative!) :)
    Boyanna @The Bookmaidens

  4. even if the writing was a little cliche, it sounds like a nice story. I confess that I didn't know this one but it's intriguing.

  5. I haven't seen many Great Gatsby retellings. I'm going to have to check this out. But I may need to reread The Great Gatsby first. It has been a long time since I've read it.

  6. I'm glad you enjoyed this overall, I'm quite keen to read it, despite not being a huge fan of TGG

    Mands @ The Bookish Manicurist

  7. I really have been on the fence about this one but if I can find it at the library I may check it out! Great review! :)

  8. The Great Gatsby is one of my faves. So I was bit skeptical with this one as I've heard it's a total copy just with a female lead. But it does sound like something I'll like.
    Happy reading!
    Brittany @ This is the Story of My(Reading) Life

  9. Ouu, I can't wait to read this one! I have to read it ASAP since I already have it! Amazing review! ^-^


I'd love to hear what you thought of the book or others you think I will like! Please share your thoughts! Thank you for the thought, but I am not participating in awards.