Naomi Rye usually dreads spending the summer with her socialite mother in East Hampton. This year is no different. She sticks out like a sore thumb among the teenagers who have been summering (a verb only the very rich use) together for years. But Naomi finds herself captivated by her mysterious next-door neighbor, Jacinta. Jacinta has her own reason for drawing close to Naomi-to meet the beautiful and untouchable Delilah Fairweather. But Jacinta's carefully constructed world is hiding something huge, a secret that could undo everything. And Naomi must decide how far she is willing to be pulled into this web of lies and deception before she is unable to escape.
I have been sitting on this book for a month or two for when I was in the right mood (sometimes you need a break from the paranormal) so I picked it up last week and gave it ago. Great has been compared to The Great Gatsby, which to be honest I have never read, nor have I seen the movie. A) it wasn't part of my curriculum in high school my English teacher went a different route (drama teacher) B) I have no excuse for not checking out Leo on the big screen I will have to carve out time for that. Anyway I digress back to the book.
Naomi Rye is the daughter of the cupcake queen and Social climber who is more interested in her daughter making the right contentions and making sure she looks the part than spending quality time with her. Naomi hates spending her summers in the East Hampton's where she always feels on the cusp and never really fitting in. Intrigued by her new neighbor fashion blogger Jacinta who at once seems so genuine and over the top. Jacinta has vowed to make this Naomi's best summer ever and for once Naomi believes it. Delilah Fairweather is an up and coming model and the daughter of a Senator she has always been gracious and kind to Naomi in summers past taking care to invite her to parties, this summer is no different; When Jacinta asks Naomi to introduce her to the fashionable Delilah they become inseparable. For the first time ever Naomi has friends and a sort of boyfriend in the Hampton's a world away from the normalcy of Chicago.
All good things must come to an end and when in does it crashes and burns all illusions with it; whats revealed is what Naomi has always known the rich can be cruel and ruthless and will stop at nothing to protect themseleves and their images no matter the cost or damage to anyone else.
I have read a lot of mixed reviews on this book but I will be honest I really enjoyed the characters in this book, the dialogue was witty and appropriate for their age group, and the author painted a picture of how we all picture the rich to act, spending ridiculous amounts of money on parties, trying to out do or impress people they don't really like in the first place and the sense of entitlement that goes along with "Old Money" and the super rich. The pacing was great building up just the right amount of back story to know whats going on with each character. I think this book will make a great beach read, its got a little bit of everything to keep people interested a little bit of friendship and romance, a little bit of mystery and intrigue a little bit of drama and none of it over shadows the other. I actually finished this book while on set of Walk With Me this past weekend, it was an excellent way to pass the time while waiting to take our places.
I gave this book a 3 out of 5 star rating
You can purchase a copy of Great by Sara Benincasa at any major retailer online or in store