“Anna K” Book Review

Rating: 2/5 Stars

For the past few weeks, I have been listening to “Anna K” by Jenny Lee.  The audiobook is a retelling of the story of “Anna Karenina” and was released on March 3rd 2020. The book puts a current twist on the classic tale by using the backdrop of New York City and following a group of young teen socialites as they navigate their way into adulthood. With familiar themes of young love, betrayal and self-understanding, this book falls seems to be written for a typical young adult audience.

To be brutally honest, this book completely dragged for me.  The characters are superficial and vapid. I absolutely cannot stand the fact that this book depicted teenagers lost in the depths of money, drugs and sex. Reading this book made me worry, is this what life is like for adolescents these days?

Another thing that I struggled with was the verbiage. The book is filled with slang from the younger generation, Gen Z. There were several terms used in the book that I didn’t know and I had to ask my high school students to decode for me or look them up online. Maybe the book was purposefully written that way to speak directly to teens, but then that brings me to my previous question of the lives of current teens. Isn’t there something inherently dangerous about glorifying partying, drugs and sex to young adults?

Many people seemed to enjoy this book, so maybe it just wasn’t the book for me. You can’t please everyone, right? I could imagine how others might like it. Anna K. was a slightly likeable character. Also, author Jenny Lee does a great job of setting the scene in ritzy New York City. Unfortunately, these two things were not enough for me to enjoy reading the book.

Recommendations: Skip this book. However… if you’re looking to pick up a new book and wanting to hear the story of “Anna K” perhaps the original story of Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy would be a better choice.

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