Great by Sara Benincasa
Expected Publication: April 8, 2014
Format: via Edelweiss
Challenges: 2014 NetGalley/Edelweiss
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.
Great is a retelling of sorts of the Great Gatsby. While I’m not one for retellings or remakes, what can I say I love originals, I went into this with an open mind and heart. I’m so glad I took a chance on this cause it’s so worth it! I read this in like a day and a half that's how invested I was, and I hadn't done that in awhile.
Great is the story of Naomi, who in a sense lives two lives, during the school year she lives with her dad who's a high school coach and summers with her mother who is a megastar in the food world and Hampton socialite. Naomi hates everything about her summers but this summer she decides to live a little and try to have a bit of fun. She soon makes friends with the ever popular Delilah and also has a bit of a summer romance with Delilah’s boyfriends friend. She is wrapped up in lavish parties and soon finds herself friends with her new mysterious next door neighbor Jacinta. Jacinta is a fashion blogger who no one has seen but has come to East Hampton for reasons no one knows…yet.
Delilah, Naomi and Jacinta are best friends but Naomi soon feels like the third wheel in this friendship. There is much speculation that Jacinta isn’t who she claims she is. Is Jacinta lying and if so why? Naomi finds herself caught up in a world she may have wished she never entered. One of lies and secrets that only the rich and famous can cover up so elegantly.
Sara Benincasa's tale is beautifully written and paints the perfect picture of lavish parties and Hampton summers. What I loved and enjoyed most was her humor. She injected quite a few laughs that I thought were excellent. I love characters who talk back and who can be a bit of a smartass. I liked that it didn’t end all perfect and wrapped up in a little bow. Some novels just need to have you feeling and thinking after the face… it’s up to you decide what happens after. Great is the perfect summer read, if you like your reads with secrets, laughs and sassy characters. Well played Sara well played!