Reviews tagging 'Sexual content'

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

1 review

percys_panda_pillow_pet's review

Go to review page

adventurous emotional funny hopeful sad tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated


I was SO excited when I heard that Anna-Marie McLemore wrote a Great Gatsby reimagining. Ever since I read their book When The Moon Was Ours, I was an immediate fan of the author. I think they were the perfect person to reimagine The Great Gatsby as they have an impeccable sense of language and symbolism, as well as I just love the idea of a queer author making this classic into the queer story many have always thought it was.

Now, I will be honest and say I wasn't a big fan of the original book by Fitzgerald. In addition to some bad experiences in school when I read it, I also felt like the characters were flat and unlikable, and the story boring and outdated. Now, of course, there can be many arguments that Fitzgerald purposefully wrote it this way, especially with the characters, but I am not here to critique the original story, just adding context for this review. 

Self-Made Boys takes everything I disliked about The Great Gatsby and makes them great and unique. The characters were much more likable, even Daisy, who in both versions rides the line between terrible/annoying and sympathetic. I personally enjoy reading likable characters more than unlikable usually, so this was a huge plus for me. As well, the characters just felt more real, fleshed-out, and down to earth. Instead of just acting as caricatures for Fitzgerald to use as vehicles for his main message, they actually felt like they had their own wills and purposes in the narrative, especially Nick who easily could've been relegated back to the simple self-insert for the reader that he was in the original. 

With these well-rounded characters, I felt much more invested in their lives and the outcome of each situation they found themselves in. I didn't even remember Jordan from the original and I don't know if Martha existed, but I loved the addition of more female characters. It was so easy to get connected to each character and the story was so much more rich and compelling for me. 

The unique elements Anna-Marie McLemore added to the story, from their heritage as a Latine person to their queer identity, really made this book perfect for me. There is something to be said about using personal experience in a novel that really fleshes things out in a way no one else could. McLemore is a fantastic author who knows how to write very well, and I couldn't find a single mistake in this book when I tried. I'm glad to give this book the 5 stars it deserves. 

Expand filter menu Content Warnings