The Summer We Read Gatsby: A Novel


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In summation, this book is a shallow narrative about equally shallow and underdeveloped characters living in an exaggerated trying-too-hard-to-be-unique Hampton summer home with stereotypical everything, a crime that could have been solved in one page stretched to fill about of them, and rushed romances between people who don't seem to be compatible bolstered with too many I'm-cool-because-I-know-this name dropping of bands and brands as half of the dialogue.

Also, if you name drop something and almost every time a character responds with "What's that? I am so sorry to The Great Gatsby for being dragged into this. View 1 comment.

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May 15, Julie rated it it was ok. Like the women in the novel, my Aunt who I adore has a house in the Hamptons, one where I have spent many a summer weekend, and of which I have many fond memories. Couple that with the fact that The Great Gatsby was one of my favorite books, back in High School, and that, like the narrator, I am a single, twenty-something, aspiring writer, and I thought to myself, "This book has my name written all over it! And about a quart Like the women in the novel, my Aunt who I adore has a house in the Hamptons, one where I have spent many a summer weekend, and of which I have many fond memories.

And about a quarter of the way through the book. I erased it. The dialogue was unbelievable. Who the heck talks like that?

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Jay, Daisy, Nick and Cassie

The solution to the so-called "mystery" was pretty much obvious from the first page. And this is coming from someone who almost NEVER solves the mystery in books, unless she has cheated and read the last page. The romances were forced and unengaging. And the characters were more like cartoon sketches than real people. I swear they called the narrator so many names in this book, I couldn't decide which to use. These were supposed to be women in their late twentys and early 30s, living in this decade.

And yet, I couldn't fight feeling like I was reading about a very Botoxed pair of 60 somethings trying to reclaim their youth. Peck, "the dramatic sister," in particular, I found incredibly annoying, with her eccentric tastes, gauche mannerisms, and her snooty way of always speaking as if she's auditioning for a bad play.

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In Peck's defense, she was the most developed character in the story, personality-wise. Unfortunately, it never happened. In fact, I would have much prefered the story had been told from the point of view of one of the more intriguing, but underdeveloped characters in the story, like Hamilton, Scotty, Finn, or, even the "mysterious," but extremely unfortunately named, "Bigsy. It's a harmless little beach read, that doesn't require too much of your time or intellect. And it did help to get me in the mood to spend a summer in the Hamptons.

So, perhaps my name is still written somewhere on this book, after all. View 2 comments. Apr 27, Jason Pettus rated it liked it. Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally. I picked up this breezy beach read literally on a whim the other week, after spying it on the "New Releases" shelf at my neighborhood library, suspecting the entire time that it might turn out to be an inexorable piece of chick-lit; and indeed, while author Danielle Ganek admirably attempts to add as much Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.

I picked up this breezy beach read literally on a whim the other week, after spying it on the "New Releases" shelf at my neighborhood library, suspecting the entire time that it might turn out to be an inexorable piece of chick-lit; and indeed, while author Danielle Ganek admirably attempts to add as much cynicism and dark touches as she can to her story of two mismatched half-sisters who inherit a wacky aunt's rundown bungalow in Long Island's the Hamptons setting of The Great Gatsby as well, for those who don't know , she unfortunately cannot completely hide her love for all things pink and shiny and expensive and WHEEEEEE!

The whole book is like this, to tell you the truth, an attempt to fight against the stereotypes of chick-lit while then wallowing in these very stereotypes just a few pages later; and it leaves the manuscript a schizophrenic read by the end, which I suspect will disappoint both the readers looking for such stuff and those looking to avoid it.

It's a shame, because Ganek is a decent writer; and in the future, I'd encourage her to really go for broke either one way or the other, and not try to both have her cake and eat it too like she does here. Out of 7. Jun 01, Farrah Johnson rated it it was ok. This book is a prime example of why one should never pick a book based solely on its title. The writing isn't terrible, the plot isn't ridiculous or anything, it's literally a forgettable book. I just finished reading it a few hours ago and my brain has already forgotten Yes, the whole book is like that.

There are two things I did like about this novel: the title genius! The characters aren't awful or anything, the whole book was just blah. Is it sad that I only stuck with it based on the fact that the real Great Gatsby took some getting into and I thought the author was going for the same mild boredom? I decided to read this book after seeing it on quite a few summer reading lists, including Oprah's. I can somewhat understand why Oprah put it on her list. She seems to be a fan of thoughtful writers, and Danielle Ganek falls into that category. But other than that, I cannot say I enjoyed the book.

I had such little interest in it that I quit reading a little before the half way point. It is a story about half sisters that have to come together when their aunt dies. Their aunt, Lydia, writes in I decided to read this book after seeing it on quite a few summer reading lists, including Oprah's. Their aunt, Lydia, writes in her will that Peck and Cassie must live in her Southampton's house for a month out of the summer before they can sell it or inherent any of the other items in the house.

I think this is one of those books where people either love it or don't really care for it, I can't say hate it, because that was not the case, I just did not really care about it. Maybe my problem with it was the characters. Peck seemed to be portrayed as a very condescending and pompous, and was always putting Cassie down for not being as classy and sophisticated as herself. And Cassie seemed to be a push over and just excuse it and let it happen.


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I had not attachment towards either character and I think that is ultimately why I did not care about finishing the book. I am sure there are people out there who will love the book and all the Gatsby references I loved Gatsby, which was why I wanted to read the book, and even this did not get me and love the descriptions about the parties and Hampton's lifestyle.

But this was just one of those books that was not for me. Jul 10, Kerian rated it liked it. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.

The Summer We Read Gatsby : A Novel - rattlutuanorrstor.gq

This book was okay: it didn't exceed my expectations, but I didn't have to force myself to finish it, either. It's a light and enjoyable read, perfect "beach trash", but hardly a searing examination of the human condition. Firstly, the things I liked. I thought the writing was quite good: I could picture the characters, the house, and the Hamptons as a whole very clearly.

Sometimes, the author's phraseology is totally on point. For instance, she describes Americans who live abroad as "only half A This book was okay: it didn't exceed my expectations, but I didn't have to force myself to finish it, either. For instance, she describes Americans who live abroad as "only half American, the other half nothing, a shifting desert of acquired characteristics.

The Summer We Read Gatsby: A Novel

Well, I liked Peck's characterisation, anyway. A review I read on here accused the author of making her characters more like sketches rather than actual people. I think it's a fair comment; however, I also think it was perhaps intentional on the part of the author, at least for the minor characters. This book is meant to be an homage to The Great Gatsby and from what I remember, the characters in Gatsby are quite caricature-like as well.

More on the characterisation later, though, in the "what went wrong" section. Lastly, I also liked the idea of the plot. In the beginning, the whole story is quite engaging as a concept. I was hooked. Who stole the painting? Is it a valuable, unauthenticated masterpiece? Will the Moriarty sisters be able to keep their aunt's house? Will they find true love? Now for the things I didn't like The author intends for this to be a homage to Fitzgerald's works. Sometimes, as I said, she hits the nail on the head. Other times, however, the writing just becomes a bit cheesy and repetitive.

I think she uses the phrase "it felt like anything was possible" or something in that vein about three times.


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  4. She also uses the typical Fitzgerald style at least, it's typical of his writing in my mind of using two "ands" every so often. In Gatsby, for instance, Fitzgerald says "In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars. Other times, though, it falls flat on its face and ends up feeling more like that "arson, murder, and jaywalking" comedy trope; or rather, I suppose, "arson AND murder AND jaywalking.

    Other than Peck, I didn't really feel any type of way about the characters in this novel. They all felt very flat and uninteresting. Some of the minor characters we only see in one scene have more personality than the main cast. Her love interest, Finn Killian, is not at all interesting.

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    Hamilton, the token bitchy, flamboyant gay best friend is just a walking stereotype. Though I'm sure there are people who live in similar circumstances, her "peripatetic" childhood wandering Europe with her mother felt a bit too synthetic to me, an artificial way of making her seem more worldly and "different" from her sister. Finn Killian, the beau, barely gets any screen time. In fact, most of the interesting action between Stella and Finn seems to have taken place when they met for the first time, years before the events of the book take place.

    The fact that Finn refers to Stella as "kid" - an attempt at a cute nickname, I suppose - is just odd. It all just feels a bit forced, to be entirely honest. This might be because Stella's romance is not really the focus of the novel; the missing painting and Fool's House are. However, because a female protagonist couldn't possibly go without a handsome potential boyfriend, the author tried to squeeze this in anyway.

    The Summer We Read Gatsby: A Novel The Summer We Read Gatsby: A Novel
    The Summer We Read Gatsby: A Novel The Summer We Read Gatsby: A Novel
    The Summer We Read Gatsby: A Novel The Summer We Read Gatsby: A Novel
    The Summer We Read Gatsby: A Novel The Summer We Read Gatsby: A Novel
    The Summer We Read Gatsby: A Novel The Summer We Read Gatsby: A Novel
    The Summer We Read Gatsby: A Novel The Summer We Read Gatsby: A Novel
    The Summer We Read Gatsby: A Novel The Summer We Read Gatsby: A Novel

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