My disclaimer first, I have never read the classic Anna Karenina so although I’m presuming this is a modern day take, for me it was a brand new story.
Jenny Lee tells the story of a group of New York’s elite socialite teenagers, and Anna K is in the centre. Anna and her brother Stephen are Asian American; their Dad is from South Korea and has stereotypical expectations for his children, and their mother is a New York societal lady. However, the siblings are very different. Stephen is known for throwing the best parties in New York City with no expense spared, whereas Anna moved out to Greenwich to go to school and spends most of her time with her two dogs, horses and perfect boyfriend. However, when she meet the ‘Count’ by a chance encounter, she steps further into Stephen’s party world of sex, drugs and drama.
There are lots of characters in this book, but actually they are all quite well developed and although it does generally rotate around the brother and sister, each character brings their own story and drama to the book with lots of different topics being dealt with; drug addiction, sex, infidelity, drug misuse, mental health issues, death and bereavement.
I must say, the regularity of the drug use is probably the only reason I rated this 4.5 and not 5. There are definitely scenes where drug use is put into a negative light, but others suggest that the teens need a boost to enjoy themselves as I’m just not on board with that; although I appreciate in these groups of extremely privileged teens it probably is a true reflection.
All in all a great book that I thoroughly enjoyed and like I say I would give it 4.5/5! Don’t be fooled by the thickness of the book though, the font is small and the chapters don’t have page breaks! They utilise every page space possible!