*I received this book for free through Goodreads Giveaways*
I remember reading Tolstoy's Anna Karenina
in high school and writing an important paper on it but other than the
bare bones of the story, which is about a woman and the tragic
consequences of her affair, I honestly can't tell you anything else
about the book.
For that reason alone, I admire Jenny Lee's
efforts in writing a book inspired by that Russian classic and setting
it in today's modern times.
However, while I could appreciate the
efforts that went into placing these characters in high school, showing
their actions and mistakes with the use of technology and what not, I
also feel like the scope of the tragedy does not translate well inside
of a high school setting. The whole plotline of Anna K. and her being
stuck between Alexander and Vronsky just did not resonate with me at
What I did truly enjoy were the side characters. I wanted to
know more about Dustin, Kimmie, Lolly and even Anna's brother Stephen. I
think the storyline with Dustin and his family life and how it
intersected with Stephen and Anna made for a more compelling plot. I
didn't care for Kimmie in Part One but as the book continued, I found
myself waiting for the story to return to where she was and how she was
growing as a character. I wanted these characters to get a happy ending.
I do like the biggest change that Lee used in her book. Part of
me thought it was pointless, maybe even didn't have to happen, but I
was touched by the appearance of a character in the epilogue that put,
maybe not a "nice spin", but at least a different perspective on the
events of the novel that I truly believe makes it worth reading.
In the end, I did like the book and I believe it did a truly admirable job of bringing a classic to a new audience.
Rating on my Blog Scale: 8.5 Stars.
So apparently there will be a second book in this series, currently scheduled for release April 27, 2021. I don't feel right posting the title here because of SPOILERS, but hey, I'm in for book 2. Definitely on my list of books to keep an eye out for.