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Released: June 1st 2021
Narrator: Natalie Naudus
Length: 8 hrs and 52 mins
“THE CHOSEN AND THE BEAUTIFUL is a book of subtleties and I think if you love the classic, you’ll probably love this one.”~ Under the Covers
I first fell in love with the cover of this book and then immediately after, the concept. This is a retelling of The Great Gatbsy and I was ready for this book to make me love it! I have a fascination with this time period! In this twist, our main protagonist is Jordan Baker, a queer Vietnamese adoptee with magic and navigating 1920’s American society but never somehow fitting in.
While I found this book interesting at times, it overall fell flat for me. I was expecting the magic element to play a more prominent role and it felt like an afterthought. Jordan was certainly the most interesting character of the lot, this is a story that deals with her struggles with heritage, culture and sexuality. Finding her identity. And those are the parts of this story that I liked. I would’ve liked to see even more of that. But I also enjoyed the atmosphere of the setting that Nghi Vo brought to life quite well. I have a fascination with this time period!
THE CHOSEN AND THE BEAUTIFUL is a book of subtleties and I think if you love the classic, you’ll probably love this one. While it represents the era well and it stays true to the original, I wasn’t captivated by the characters or the story enough to fall in love. Then again, maybe that’s my original feeling on The Great Gatsby as well that plays a role in that.
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