Reviews tagging 'Injury/Injury detail'

Self-Made Boys: A Great Gatsby Remix by Anna-Marie McLemore

3 reviews

kshertz's review

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adventurous mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No


It’s such a cool idea. I love that they are rewriting the classics in such a sweet way where people can connect more to the characters and see themselves. It’s not totally my thing but I find it such a cool idea I love to support it. 

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thewordsdevourer's review against another edition

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emotional reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes


*Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the ARC

I'll put it simply: Self-Made Boys is the best retelling I've ever read. Not only does the book retain the key plot points and themes of the original, it also achieves a rare feat of improving upon a modern classic, where even more complexity and layers are added to the themes and characters.

To be honest, just the premise itself seems to good to be true - a canon Nick & Gatsby where both are trans and gay in a book made gayer and more diverse! - yet the novel still exceeds my expectations. The themes and characters are tackled with aplomb; what I think I know about Fitzgerald's original, McLemore plumbs the depths even further, adding even more nuance and characterization to their main cast in a way that amazingly connects to their own version. There were several times I had to pause upon stumbling upon such an instance, awed at how they shed a completely new light or perspective on a character and/or their actions. It's a marvel, really.

My favorite thing about this book, however, is the themes and how they're explored. There are the original themes further scrutinized through Nicólas' non-white and non-cis lens, in addition to new ones examined like race, gender, queerness. It's a lot, yet McLemore somehow succeeds in their balancing act, exploring all the themes inidividually while also bringing intersectionality into play. This also makes the characters more layered, with the most prominent example perhaps being Daisy who's deliciously complex, at once infuriating yet understandable.

I only wish there were more scenes of Nicólas and Gatsby after they get together, even just them lounging in the pool and talking or something; currently the focus is turned immediately to Daisy afterwards and it feels a little abrupt. The explanation for Gatsby's endless pursuit of Daisy personally feels a little forced as well, reading mildly like a cop-out. I just don't understand why he's in such a hurry for a lavender marriage, though maybe that's also due in part to Daisy's situation.

In sum, however, this is not merely a great retelling of a well-known classic but also a smartly plotted, layered and complex book that stands on its own, examining the American dream through the POVs of those not traditionally seen or heard in mainstream society.

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brokenbodybitch's review against another edition

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I absolutely loved this remix, I never read the original gatsby, well I tried but never got far, however I saw the newer movie and my partner knows a decent amount about the original so I went in with a fairly base/basic knowledge of the source material.

I really enjoyed the relationships between the main characters and how their friendships/relationships developed/changed/grew over the story, as well as the way the characters queerness presented and grew in the eyes of nicolás and the reader over the course of the book. I adored the ‘self made boys’ bit, and the way the trans experience was explained was relatable and beautiful. Kinda off of that; the writing in this book was really well done and beautiful in my opinion and I loved the way the pov’s were structured to enhance to the story. This was a beautiful ya book with heavy themes of embracing your culture despite what the society around you is saying and be who you are. If classics were like this growing up I can guarantee I would’ve read them all!

I will 100% be getting myself a physical copy of this book and most likely the audiobook as well, so far these remixed classics have been fantastic and I can’t wait to see what else is to come!

Additionally; Avi Roque, and Kyla Garcia narrated the audiobook, they did a fantastic job (I love Avi Roque already) and their narration added to the story so well

Graphic: Infidelity, Lesbophobia, Toxic relationship, Colonisation, Dysphoria, Hate crime, Homophobia, Racism, Sexism, and Transphobia
Moderate: Alcohol, Classism, Emotional abuse, Injury/injury detail, Racial slurs, War, Violence, Blood, and Murder

Initial thoughts;
I did not plan on feeling this emotional tonight….the way this explains the trans experience in internal dialogue was 🥲

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