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ARC Review: The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo

The Chosen and the Beautiful

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This is ravishing and seductive and so compelling you can’t look away, no matter how terrible everyone is. Telling Gatsby’s story through Jordan Baker – making it Jordan’s story, as queer Vietnamese adoptee – was a stroke of utter brilliance. Because you feel for her, no matter how terrible she is at first.

The fantasy element was relatively minor but woven like a thread from beginning to end. You could almost forget it was there, it felt so consistent within the world of 1920s New York. You know it’s going to end badly from the beginning – all the signs are there, and of course you know if you’ve read Gatsby before – but the way everything plays out is heartbreaking. Specifically, it’s Jordan’s heart that breaks, for she’s the only one of all of them with a heart that can break.

The audiobook was brilliantly narrated and I was hooked from beginning to end. Natalie Naudus’ smoky voice conveyed Jordan – and everyone else – perfectly believably.

Now I need a sequel so Jordan can have her happy ending.

*Thanks to NetGalley and Macmillan Audio for providing an audio arc for review.

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