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Exiled to the East Hamptons to spend the summer with her mother, Naomi Rye is dreading what awaits her. But when she meets reclusive blogger Jacinta Trimalchio at a lavish party, Naomi is swept up by all the pomp and drama of the young Hamptons social scene. Naomi even arranges a meeting between Jacinta and aspiring model Delilah Fairweather, unknowingly triggering a chain of events no one could’ve expected.

Great is a rarity, not only capturing the spirit and substance of The Great Gatsby, but adding to it in an organic way. The classism and social politics of The Great Gatsby are complicated and sharpened by Benincasa’s inclusion of strong LGBTQ elements, which merge seamlessly with the plot and characterizations of the original. (Amidst the many references, great and small, to the original, the green light is easily my favorite, and a particularly deft and subtle one.)

This fusion of modern and classic components is bolstered by our narrator Naomi, who proves charming, flawed, and funny in equal measure. Trapped between two worlds herself, she is the perfect ambassador for the reader. Great is not just a brilliant companion piece to the original, it’s a wonderful novel in its own right.

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Star Count 4.5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 272 pages
Publisher HarperTeen 
Publish Date 2014-Apr-08
ISBN 9780062222695 Buy this Book
Issue September 2014
Category Young Adult


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