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

emotional hopeful medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated


i wasn't sure about this, but it just swept me away. five stars is probably too generous, but i can't make myself drop it.

can't articulate clearly BUT:

* gatsby works really well as a trans story
* this take on daisy is super fascinating i loved her
* actually all go the characters were gorgeously written
* amm's prose is beautiful, and the description was so lush and lovely i felt transported
* the ending is incredible. there's a twisty fantastic climax to the story and i listened to it three times over i loved it so much. it's very cinematic
* there's a kind of mystery going on and it worked really well

slightly less compelling:

* tom didn't really do anything. i like to understand my villains and i kind of didn't
* i could have done with some more of jay ?? i didn't feel his characterisation as much as i wanted to
* overall, the whole story was a little ... insubstantial?? it could have been fifty pages longer and probably would have felt a little more complete
* i still don't understand why he's seventeen
* it's very idealistic ?? this isn't a bad thing really, but like with rwrb you know it's not that easy, and it sometimes feels a little disingenuous when it is

overall this fills a completely different ecological niche than the great gatsby and i'm okay with that. it's not especially complex, but everything it does it does well. it was a delight to read <3