A classic retold as if it was basically Gossip Girl? How did I not know about this book earlier? I was super excited to see that Anna K (aka a 21st century Anna Karenina) was a March BOTM pick, but I ended up trading for an ARC of it and really enjoying it!
Anna Kis a half-Korean rich girl in the NYC/Greenwich circle who is dating perfect, Harvard boy Alexander W. Her brother, Steven’s, got his own things going on with his girlfriend Lolly, and there’s Lolly sister, Kimmie, and the boy who likes her, Dustin. Told in quick chapters that mimic the Russian novel and focus on different characters, this book tracks the group as the solve their own relationship issues, with Anna K’s blooming attraction to Vronsky at its core. Is she willing to give up Greenwich OG Alexander W for him? And what about the girls he has hurt in the past? And as the story goes from NYC to Greenwich to Arizona and to Coachella the drama just keeps unwinding until its dramatic end–but warning: its a bit different than what Tolstoy wrote.
A few things about this book: the writing style is…very Russian, in a way. It’s a lot of telling instead of showing, and at first I thought I was going to complain about that, but it somehow works for this book and helps it feel “true” to the source material, but it’s also not like the book is asking to be the next Russian classic–it’s fun, it’s kind of silly, there’s drugs and sex but it’s not as “OMG scandalous” as some of the posts in a BOTM FB group made me think, haha. Maybe I’m immune to that kind of stuff..or maybe everyone else is a prude. I haven’t read Anna Karenina in a few years, but I remember it being too long, and I ultimately think this was a fun way to make it contemporary, mix it up a bit, bring diversity into the classics, and maybe it will inspire people to go back and read Tolstoy.
As I mentioned in my January wrap-up, one of my goals this year is to read a classic I never read (or never finished) each month, and at some point this year, I’m going to finally finish War and Peace. Hold me to that, alright?
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