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Monday, March 22, 2021

Review: Tell Me My Name by Amy Reed

Tell Me My Name
by Amy Reed

Thank you Penguin Teen/Dial Books and NetGalley for this review copy.

Publisher: Dial Books
Publish Date: March 9, 2021
Kindle Edition
Genre: Retellings, Young Adult, Contemporary

We Were Liars meets Speak in this haunting, mesmerizing psychological thriller--a gender-flipped YA Great Gatsby--that will linger long after the final line

On wealthy Commodore Island, Fern is watching and waiting--for summer, for college, for her childhood best friend to decide he loves her. Then Ivy Avila lands on the island like a falling star. When Ivy shines on her, Fern feels seen. When they're together, Fern has purpose. She glimpses the secrets Ivy hides behind her fame, her fortune, the lavish parties she throws at her great glass house, and understands that Ivy hurts in ways Fern can't fathom. And soon, it's clear Ivy wants someone Fern can help her get. But as the two pull closer, Fern's cozy life on Commodore unravels: drought descends, fires burn, and a reckless night spins out of control. Everything Fern thought she understood--about her home, herself, the boy she loved, about Ivy Avila--twists and bends into something new. And Fern won't emerge the same person she was.

An enthralling, mind-altering fever dream, Tell Me My Name is about the cost of being a girl in a world that takes so much, and the enormity of what is regained when we take it back. 

My Review:

Well... I never read or seen any of the adaptations of The Great Gatsby, of which this novel is a gender swap, near future kind of retelling.  I swiped one last time and I leave utterly confused.  What. The. Hell.

It's hard to put my thoughts together on this one.  It starts off innocent enough with Fern meeting Ivy  and basically so happy she has a friend who is important.  I felt for her.  I know what it's like to place yourself firmly in the shadow of someone else.  And then as I continue reading, swiping page after page, I felt like I was having an acid trip.  The writing is beautiful - lyrical and poetic in certain sections, and less so in others which kind of irked me and took me out of the flow.  But those moments where it truly flowed, I felt like I was feather weighted and looking down upon each scene. 

I did figure out the big twist.  You know when you have that moment that goes, "hmmmm... I bet _____ ..." and then it happens and you're just like... ok?  Yeah, it was like that.  BUT, I did appreciate the genius little clues that were given to get to that.  I'm unsure as to whether this actually follows The Great Gatsby or not, and per paragraph one, I clearly wouldn't know... but I wonder if maybe I would've appreciated this more had I been familiar.  While I did enjoy the majority of the writing, I just couldn't get into the story itself. 



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