Monday, September 21, 2020

Anna K

 

Author: Jenny Lee

Publisher: Macmillan Audio

Year: 2020

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


I’m a bad librarian! I never read Loe Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. I am vaguely familiar with the bare bones story of this tragic love affair. Anna K is based on Tolstoy’s classic. In this version, super rich teens party hard and fall in and out of love just as hard. 


I was really impressed with the character development in this book- especially with Anna, Steven, Lolly, and Kimmie. The characters could have just been one dimensional cliches, but author Jenny Lee crafts her characters with depth, humor, and compassion. 


I loved the relationship between Anna and her brother Steven. At first I thought Steven was going to be a total cliche of a rich, snotty, and careless boy. And he was a little bit, but he had a close relationship with his sister and was very supportive of her. He learned from his mistake of cheating on his girlfriend Lolly and he was generous to his friends. Lolly’s character also surprised me. She could have been written as an air head party girl just into material things. Instead she is very forgiving of Steven but also shows she’s not a pushover. She shows great compassion and friendship during Anna’s scandal. Kimmie, a sheltered Olympic hopeful, thinks she’s in love with the Count, a love ‘em and leave ‘em teenage playboy. Kimmie goes through the most changes after an injury ends her Olympic dream. She arrives back in NYC and must learn to navigate school, a new social circle and dating. She eventually realizes she’s depressed over the end of her ice dancing career and seeks help. Anna herself starts off as too good to be true- perfect daughter, perfect girlfriend. She seems more like an adult then a teenager. But she is driven and wants to live up to expectations. She does realize that she wants to do normal teenage stuff and not just be a reflection of her of so perfect (but boring) Greenwich boyfriend. 


Jenna Ushkowitz does wonderful job narrating the audiobook. Her voice easily conveys a range of emotions from teenage snark to the sadness of Anna’s heartbreak. I really enjoyed this updated version of Tolstoy’s classic love story. 


Do you like to read the classics or do you stick with contemporary stories?

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