In this contemporary retelling of The Great Gatsby, by comedian Sara Benincasa, a teenage girl becomes entangled in the romance and drama of a Hamptons social circle and is implicated in a scandal that shakes the summer community.
When Naomi Rye arrives in the Hamptons to spend the summer with her socialite mother, she fully expects to be miserable mingling with the sons and daughters of her mother's mega-rich friends. Yet Naomi finds herself unexpectedly drawn to her mysterious and beautiful next-door neighbor, Jacinta, a Hamptons "It" girl who throws wild, lavish parties that are the talk of the town. But Jacinta is hiding something big, and events unfold with tragic consequences.
Adult author and comedian Benincasa (Agorafabulous!) gives The Great Gatsby a biting, genderbent twist in her first book for teens. Standing in for narrator Nick Carraway is Naomi Rye (get it?), a quick-witted 17-year-old who is begrudgingly spending another summer in the Hamptons with her social-climbing, Food Network star mother. Naomi is more comfortable in combat boots than Ferragamo, but she's quickly drawn into a glamorous world of parties and drama when she's befriended by neighbor Jacinta Trimalchio, the enigmatic teenage founder of TheWanted.com, the fashion blog every girl wants to be seen on. While Naomi learns to enjoy the newfound attention, it becomes clear that Jacinta needs her to get to up-and-coming model Delilah Fairweather, the novel's Daisy stand-in. In many ways, this is a very faithful retelling, and any readers who have completed ninth-grade English (or caught the recent Baz Luhrmann film) will have as much fun picking out the parallels and allusions as Benincasa clearly did creating them. And, yes, there's even a green light on a dock the charging dock for Jacinta's laptop. Ages 14 up.