web site hit counter The Chosen and the Beautiful - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

The Chosen and the Beautiful

Availability: Ready to download

Immigrant. Socialite. Magician. Jordan Baker grows up in the most rarefied circles of 1920s American society—she has money, education, a killer golf handicap, and invitations to some of the most exclusive parties of the Jazz Age. She’s also queer, Asian, adopted, and treated as an exotic attraction by her peers, while the most important doors remain closed to her. But the wo Immigrant. Socialite. Magician. Jordan Baker grows up in the most rarefied circles of 1920s American society—she has money, education, a killer golf handicap, and invitations to some of the most exclusive parties of the Jazz Age. She’s also queer, Asian, adopted, and treated as an exotic attraction by her peers, while the most important doors remain closed to her. But the world is full of wonders: infernal pacts and dazzling illusions, lost ghosts and elemental mysteries. In all paper is fire, and Jordan can burn the cut paper heart out of a man. She just has to learn how. Nghi Vo’s debut novel The Chosen and the Beautiful reinvents this classic of the American canon as a coming-of-age story full of magic, mystery, and glittering excess, and introduces a major new literary voice.


Compare

Immigrant. Socialite. Magician. Jordan Baker grows up in the most rarefied circles of 1920s American society—she has money, education, a killer golf handicap, and invitations to some of the most exclusive parties of the Jazz Age. She’s also queer, Asian, adopted, and treated as an exotic attraction by her peers, while the most important doors remain closed to her. But the wo Immigrant. Socialite. Magician. Jordan Baker grows up in the most rarefied circles of 1920s American society—she has money, education, a killer golf handicap, and invitations to some of the most exclusive parties of the Jazz Age. She’s also queer, Asian, adopted, and treated as an exotic attraction by her peers, while the most important doors remain closed to her. But the world is full of wonders: infernal pacts and dazzling illusions, lost ghosts and elemental mysteries. In all paper is fire, and Jordan can burn the cut paper heart out of a man. She just has to learn how. Nghi Vo’s debut novel The Chosen and the Beautiful reinvents this classic of the American canon as a coming-of-age story full of magic, mystery, and glittering excess, and introduces a major new literary voice.

30 review for The Chosen and the Beautiful

  1. 5 out of 5

    chai ♡

    I am truly, uncomplicatedly in love with this book. There is something like sweet, syrupy catharsis about Vo’s reimagining of The Great Gatsby that still washes over me in waves: how it folds back the curtains on what’s missing, and fills in the gaps, how it invites questioning, and lights up the dark shadows our monuments cast. How it feels edged, like a challenge: we will carve out a space in the stories that refuse to make rooms for us, and we will watch as new flowers spring up through the c I am truly, uncomplicatedly in love with this book. There is something like sweet, syrupy catharsis about Vo’s reimagining of The Great Gatsby that still washes over me in waves: how it folds back the curtains on what’s missing, and fills in the gaps, how it invites questioning, and lights up the dark shadows our monuments cast. How it feels edged, like a challenge: we will carve out a space in the stories that refuse to make rooms for us, and we will watch as new flowers spring up through the cracks, upright and open to collect the light. Read my full review: here! ☆ ko-fi ★ blog ☆ twitter ★ tumblr ☆

  2. 5 out of 5

    ELLIAS (elliasreads)

    A GREAT GATSBY RETELLING WITH AN ASIAN AMERICAN QUEER CHARACTER?????!!!!!!!???? SIGN. ME. THE. HELL. UP. !!!!!!!!

  3. 4 out of 5

    may ➹

    update: I have been “currently reading” this book for almost a month now. clearly things are going well the queer Asian immigrant magician girl on the cover is VERY PRETTY and I am maybe VERY GAY

  4. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    ↠ 5 stars This Great Gatsby retelling with a queer Asian main character has reinvented an American literary classic entirely for the better. Legendary pro golfer Jordan Baker has never been one to shy away from success. Being a queer, adopted, Vietnamese immigrant means having to work twice as hard to be taken seriously in a world that likes to treat her like an exotic centerpiece more often than not. With the 1920’s set in motion, the secluded speakeasies and intoxicating parties are at the cent ↠ 5 stars This Great Gatsby retelling with a queer Asian main character has reinvented an American literary classic entirely for the better. Legendary pro golfer Jordan Baker has never been one to shy away from success. Being a queer, adopted, Vietnamese immigrant means having to work twice as hard to be taken seriously in a world that likes to treat her like an exotic centerpiece more often than not. With the 1920’s set in motion, the secluded speakeasies and intoxicating parties are at the center of focus, but for Jordan her past is a constant presence demanding inquiry. In this stellar debut, author Nghi Vo peels back the gilded exterior of a decade to reveal its flawed heart. A magical, glimmering testament to retellings everywhere, and the future of the literary canon. When I heard that one of my favorite authors was taking a stab at reimagining one of the most iconic American novels, I could not wait to get my hands on an early copy. The Great Gatsby has never been of any real interest to me after being told to read it for english class in high school. It’s one of those stories that just barely grazed the surface of the complexity of the characters and the time period in which it was centered. A story that, in my opinion, has been extremely overly fixated on in the American education system for it being what it is: rather monotonous. In that way, Nghi Vo has expertly reexamined this classic, creating a layered character study full of all the glitz and glam associated with the roaring twenties. Having read Vo’s previous two novellas When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain and The Empress of Salt and Fortune, the idea that this would be a devastatingly heartbreaking debut did cross my mind. That the actual story went above and beyond my expectations is truly astonishing. Jordan Baker particularly, has quite a reputation for being a rather overlooked character from the original novel and I loved everything that Vo infused into the barebones of her character. The exploration of her Vietnamese heritage and her magical affinity tied in with the rest of the story in a way that was so inventive. As we progress through the events that mirror those of the first half of the original novel, we see them through Jordans eyes, while Vo simultaneously examines the negative aspects corresponding to the time period. The complexities to Jordans identities come into play in new ways, while the story starts to deviate and take on its own form, creating what is an altogether new commentary on race, gender, and class for the decade. What this has wholeheartedly exemplified is that every classic should be getting a retelling. I fully expect that The Chosen and the Beautiful will be replacing The Great Gatsby in every high school curriculum upon its release. This beautiful, evocative novel will have fans of literary fiction waiting on bated breath for more from its brilliant author. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this arc in exchange for an honest review Trigger warnings:blood, violence, death, death of a loved one, abortion, alcohol consumption, cheating, racism, homophobia, microaggressions

  5. 5 out of 5

    R.F. Kuang

    This one's dazzling. This one's dazzling.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    queer asian-american main character great gatsby is the only great gatsby i want Blog | Instagram | Youtube | Ko-fi | Spotify | Twitch queer asian-american main character great gatsby is the only great gatsby i want Blog | Instagram | Youtube | Ko-fi | Spotify | Twitch

  7. 4 out of 5

    Alix Harrow

    this is the kind of book that drowns you and leaves you grateful. sweltering, sexy, subversive, smart (look i have an alliteration problem), atmospheric, haunting, dreamy. paper magic. summer in the city. complex, fraught identities negotiated in secret speakeasies and gin-soaked parlors. it was so GOOD.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ellie (faerieontheshelf)

    this cover is f**king stunning, whoever at Tor in charge of all these recent covers is actually doing God's work ** A REIMAGINING OF THE GREAT GATSBY BUT WITH JORDAN BAKER (my queen, my fave) AS A QUEER ASIAN-AMERICAN HEROINE?? Tor is having so many good 2021 releases holy hell this cover is f**king stunning, whoever at Tor in charge of all these recent covers is actually doing God's work ** A REIMAGINING OF THE GREAT GATSBY BUT WITH JORDAN BAKER (my queen, my fave) AS A QUEER ASIAN-AMERICAN HEROINE?? Tor is having so many good 2021 releases holy hell

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mara

    I do really love the source material for this retelling, so I am happy to report this is a great example where you can love the original and the retelling for different reasons because of their different strengths. Vo's writing is so dreamy and atmospheric, and while I'm not sure I connected emotionally with the book overall as strongly as I wanted to, I did really admire the craftsmanship on display. Come for the gorgeous cover, stay for the nuanced exploration of a queer Asian character in 192 I do really love the source material for this retelling, so I am happy to report this is a great example where you can love the original and the retelling for different reasons because of their different strengths. Vo's writing is so dreamy and atmospheric, and while I'm not sure I connected emotionally with the book overall as strongly as I wanted to, I did really admire the craftsmanship on display. Come for the gorgeous cover, stay for the nuanced exploration of a queer Asian character in 1920s Long Island.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Romie

    what a time to be queer and asian. look at us win.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Althea | themoonwholistens ☾

    magic and a queer asian-american great gatsby??? WHY WAS I NOT AWARE!!! @publishers please do not stop with these beautiful covers

  12. 4 out of 5

    Boston

    I’m not quite sure how to feel about this book. On one hand I truly think Nghi Vo wrote the story better than F Scott Fitzgerald himself. It was lyrical and atmospheric just like everything else Nghi Vo has done. On the other hand, as a reimagining, I was a little underwhelmed. The majority was the same story, but just written better. The addition of magic seemed a little random and was never really explained. That said, I did like the perspective of Jordan being Vietnamese and how it affected h I’m not quite sure how to feel about this book. On one hand I truly think Nghi Vo wrote the story better than F Scott Fitzgerald himself. It was lyrical and atmospheric just like everything else Nghi Vo has done. On the other hand, as a reimagining, I was a little underwhelmed. The majority was the same story, but just written better. The addition of magic seemed a little random and was never really explained. That said, I did like the perspective of Jordan being Vietnamese and how it affected her in this setting. I also really liked that the characters were queer. At the end of the day, I’d say if you’ve never read Gatsby or don’t remember much of it, then you’d probably really like this and I recommend it regardless of my rating. *Thank you to the publisher who sent me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sam

    Intoxicating and atmospheric, The Chosen and the Beautiful is one of the best things I've read this year and is a fabulous debut novel by Nghi Vo. With The Great Gatsby entering the public domain in 2021, it seems likely that numerous retellings, prequels and sequels will emerge: Vo's bold, spirited storytelling is likely to set the standard. I'd go as far as saying The Chosen and the Beautiful demonstrates why the end of copyright and passing into public domain is a good thing in litera Intoxicating and atmospheric, The Chosen and the Beautiful is one of the best things I've read this year and is a fabulous debut novel by Nghi Vo. With The Great Gatsby entering the public domain in 2021, it seems likely that numerous retellings, prequels and sequels will emerge: Vo's bold, spirited storytelling is likely to set the standard. I'd go as far as saying The Chosen and the Beautiful demonstrates why the end of copyright and passing into public domain is a good thing in literature: Vo grounds us in Fitzgerald's world and stays faithful to the source text while simultaneously immersing us in her incarnation of Jordan Baker and the lives of Daisy, Nick, Gatsby and Tom. It's a tremendously impressive feat, and all the more that I didn't notice just how impressive it was while reading it, I was so engrossed in and enthralled by Vo's narrative. ...it was a crowded summer, and it was not until later, when I could thread the steps to disaster together like glass beads on a string, that those times stood out at all. Vo's Jordan Baker is the linchpin of the novel, and as a character and a fulcrum, she is fascinating. Jordan is an "adopted" member of the Baker family, of Vietnamese heritage, part of Louisville and New York high society but also slightly apart from it. This allows Vo to explore in depth some of the subtext of The Great Gatsby: the themes about class struggles, xenophobia, racial discrimination, and white supremacy that are lightly threaded in Fitzgerald's work get a full exploration. Jordan's summer with Nick and the doomed pairing of Gatsby and Daisy is thrown in relief against the passage of the Manchester Act, fictional but mirroring the acts of 1921 and 1924 that effectively banned immigration from Asia. The more overt Fitzgerald themes of hedonism and the liberation of the Jazz Age are also explored, some turned on their head, some just given new dimensionality. The cautionary tale of the The Great Gatsby is still intact looking at how East Egg engages with black magic and demons in their pursuit of pleasure and fun. But Vo also critiques the caution as Jordan and other characters (no spoilers) are queer: the social restrictions of the 1920s and the potentially deadly consequences of being simply who you are, with those restraints most firmly enforced on women, belie the free flapper image so strongly associated with Fitzgerald. Now there was a monstrous want there, remorseless and relentless, and it made my stomach turn that it thought itself love. Daisy, as pretty as she was, was never sweet either, though she sparkled so bright it was easy to think she was. It was easy to think that Daisy was many things. All of this would be admirable and thought-provoking, but The Chosen and the Beautiful is so much more than that! We see new sides and depths to Daisy, backstory that complicates the Fitzgerald portrayal while still in keeping with her character as we know it from the original. Nick, the narrator for Fitzgerald, is given a lot of examination by Jordan and his personality, role in the story, and surprising twist near the end were so well-done I can't say more for fear of spoiling it. Gatsby is less hidden and yet more opaque and sinister yet sincere in Vo's retelling. But the novel rightly belongs to Jordan. She's bold and fun, quick witted and reading people and social situations with grace and sharpness, but she's also dealing with being a bit unmoored, never fully home or at ease. She's incredibly self-actualized and much more solid than the other characters, which is coupled with a journey of self-exploration and growth to strength and true confidence that I was rooting for throughout. And Vo's magical infusions to the story just add to the atmosphere: it was so seductive and sensual, just as Gatsby's parties must have been, allowing the reader to be drawn in and forget the very real, urgent issues facing all of the characters in 1922 (and all of us now). Vo has a way with description and dialogue which propelled me forward but enchanted me on each page: swimmers in Gatsby's pool take the forms of carp and glint gold and vermillion beneath the water before they resurface as human, Daisy and Jordan's dark adventure in Louisville is thrilling and powerful. And this despite knowing how it would all end of course: the journey was truly the point even if I was so interested to see how Vo would draw our destination. Under the wrack and wreck of what had come before, the sky was new, and I reached for it with a yearning eager hand. I finished the novel both completely satisfied and spellbound but also wanting so much more. A beautiful, beautiful book. 5 stars, highly recommended to fans of literary fiction with touches of magic and fantasy, and I can't wait to read more from Vo!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    I received a copy of this from Netgalley in exchange for a review. Good grief, this is excellent. I've always loved The Great Gatsby but when you make it queer and you tell it through the eyes of adopted Asian Jordan Baker, coasting on the fringe of the soulless elite until closeness with Daisy Buchanan brings her into the inner circle, turns out I love it even more. There's a supernatural element that I hadn't expected and I wasn't so keen on in the beginning, but considering the thoughts that I I received a copy of this from Netgalley in exchange for a review. Good grief, this is excellent. I've always loved The Great Gatsby but when you make it queer and you tell it through the eyes of adopted Asian Jordan Baker, coasting on the fringe of the soulless elite until closeness with Daisy Buchanan brings her into the inner circle, turns out I love it even more. There's a supernatural element that I hadn't expected and I wasn't so keen on in the beginning, but considering the thoughts that I was having about the characters while reading, her Nick and her Gatsby in particular, and the revelations about them that unfold, Vo absolutely pulls off the demonic aspect she introduces. Best of all is her writing style, which is dreamy yet precise - how is that possible? I have no idea but here I am, reveling in the sumptuous, not a word out of place.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

    THAT COVER!!!!!!!!!!

  16. 5 out of 5

    sol

    fuck The Great Gatsby This is an Asian American queer retelling. did. you. read. what. i. just. wrote. QUEER. AND. ASIAN FUCK YES AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH the girl on the cover is also really pretty. i mean WOW.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Shelley Parker-Chan

    I once read a perfume review that described a scent as like “the taste of a licked silver spoon.” This book has that quality—the prose embodies that strange, intoxicating, knife-sharp dazzle of cruel wealth and hollow people. It’s breathtaking.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    My official blurb: Crisp as paper and delirious as a fever dream, this is a redrawn Gatsby daubed in gold leaf and lip rouge and blood. Nghi Vo gives a freshly imagined Jordan Baker her due, while infusing her glittering New York with a bottomless magical menace that feels both excitingly new and cosmically true to Fitzgerald’s original. My unofficial blurb: ONE THOUSAND STARS. As I read this I had that hot-cold feeling of literary recognition, when you're meeting for the first time a book you'll b My official blurb: Crisp as paper and delirious as a fever dream, this is a redrawn Gatsby daubed in gold leaf and lip rouge and blood. Nghi Vo gives a freshly imagined Jordan Baker her due, while infusing her glittering New York with a bottomless magical menace that feels both excitingly new and cosmically true to Fitzgerald’s original. My unofficial blurb: ONE THOUSAND STARS. As I read this I had that hot-cold feeling of literary recognition, when you're meeting for the first time a book you'll be rereading for the rest of your life. This book BREATHES magic, bleeds magic, is magic. I'm in absolute awe.

  19. 5 out of 5

    charlotte, (½ of readsrainbow)

    not even nghi vo could defeat my instinctive dislike of anything great gatsby no one is sadder abt this turn of events than me Rep: Vietnamese bi/pan mc, biracial Chinese bi/pan character, biracial Black Native American (Choctaw?) character

  20. 4 out of 5

    solanne

    bless whoever designed this cover but also: a Great Gatsby retelling with a queer asian-american magician as the heroine. this may, in fact, be everything I’ve ever wanted in a book

  21. 5 out of 5

    laurel [the suspected bibliophile]

    Whew. This was a fantastic retelling of The Great Gatsby! Full RTC. I received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review

  22. 5 out of 5

    Katy

    This book really did not meet my expectations at all, and while there were a few interesting chapters that veered outside of the Gatsby story (like chapter 16 that dealt with Jordan’s origins and white saviorism), I was bored senseless by the rest. I probably just shouldn’t have picked it up since I’m not a fan of The Great Gatsby, but I was excited about this being an Asian American spin on it. It’s not though. For me the point of a re-imagining would be to interrogate the original which simply This book really did not meet my expectations at all, and while there were a few interesting chapters that veered outside of the Gatsby story (like chapter 16 that dealt with Jordan’s origins and white saviorism), I was bored senseless by the rest. I probably just shouldn’t have picked it up since I’m not a fan of The Great Gatsby, but I was excited about this being an Asian American spin on it. It’s not though. For me the point of a re-imagining would be to interrogate the original which simply does not happen at all. This is 90% a straight up retelling that disappointed me in so many ways. ETA: It’s been six months and I’m still mad about this book. There is no depth to anything, from the magic to the characters to the themes addressed.

  23. 4 out of 5

    fanna

    June 17, 2020: A queer Asian-American in SFF??? This has just been announced and I honestly can't wait. June 17, 2020: A queer Asian-American in SFF??? This has just been announced and I honestly can't wait.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Elena

    The Chosen and the Beautiful is a reimagining of The Great Gatsby through the perspective of Jordan Baker - for those who don't remember the source material, Jordan is Daisy's friend, a pro golfer, and Nick's romantic interest in the book. While these things are still true about Jordan in this book, she also happens to be a queer immigrant from Vietnam who sees ghosts and has the magic ability of cutting paper and making it come to life. So obviously, a bit different than the 1920's classic. Like The Chosen and the Beautiful is a reimagining of The Great Gatsby through the perspective of Jordan Baker - for those who don't remember the source material, Jordan is Daisy's friend, a pro golfer, and Nick's romantic interest in the book. While these things are still true about Jordan in this book, she also happens to be a queer immigrant from Vietnam who sees ghosts and has the magic ability of cutting paper and making it come to life. So obviously, a bit different than the 1920's classic. Like with Nghi Vo's other works The Empress of Salt and Fortune and When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain, the writing in here is stunning. I've read The Great Gatsby twice and my favorite part of that book was the writing. Nghi Vo manages to capture the same tone Fitzgerald has and ... does it better? I thought while maintaining the style of the source material (and pulling some dialogue from it too), she manages to blend in her own way of describing things effortlessly in a way that makes the characters feel closer. It's lyrical but not overwrought. Descriptions never felt too tedious, but always were perfect enough to paint a picture. Nick always felt a bit distanced in Gatsby, but here Jordan is front and center, which was something I also enjoyed as well. She was a fantastic character to read from and her personality shines through. The first 30%+ of this book mirrors The Great Gatsby quite closely. Even as the book diverges with a scene here or there, the narrative rarely pulls from the original thread other than to give Jordan a bit of backstory. In some ways, I liked that Nghi Vo maintains the classic tale with a bit of a twist though I'd hoped that there had been a bit more variation in the first 30% other than vague mentions of "deals with the devil." But this is also a retelling, so it's a minor critique of course. By the end of the book there had been enough change, particularly in Jordan's importance as a character for me to be at least satisfied. An interesting addition to this book was discussion of the Manchester Act and what impact it would have on Jordan. This came pretty late in the novel, and I think it would have made more sense to have a few hints of it sooner, but I did really like how this allowed Nghi Vo to examine themes of identity, racism, xenophobia, etc. I was really intrigued by the magic in here. It's very loosely incorporated, and used mostly for atmosphere throughout the book. There are some more important scenes involving it though as well. In some sense, I had hoped to get a bit more of a grasp on what the magic meant. At times, things felt underexplained and the set-up was lacking. I loved the ideas though. I think my biggest issue was that some things just felt rushed or lacked buildup. There were a few plot points toward the end that I could see the set-up of, and yet they still felt a bit random even with it. And I think this mostly boils down to the magic being explained so vaguely. Overall, this was an enjoyable and beautiful read. I'd moreso recommend this to people who actually haven't read The Great Gatsby (though I would recommend it to fans as well). Still not set on my rating but maybe a 3.5/5 or a 3/5. [I received this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review]

  25. 5 out of 5

    Hsinju

    Content warnings: racism, blood, pregnancy, abortion, infidelity, murder?, abuse, not-entirely-graphic sex, intoxication (alcohol), homophobia/homomisia, death The Chosen and the Beautiful is a retelling and reimagination of The Great Gatsby from the viewpoint of Jordan Baker, and in Vo’s story, an adopted (or abducted?) Vietnamese with the magical ability of bringing paper to life. For the most part, I enjoyed this queer Asian spin on the classic that I read some eight years ago. The voice was hu Content warnings: racism, blood, pregnancy, abortion, infidelity, murder?, abuse, not-entirely-graphic sex, intoxication (alcohol), homophobia/homomisia, death The Chosen and the Beautiful is a retelling and reimagination of The Great Gatsby from the viewpoint of Jordan Baker, and in Vo’s story, an adopted (or abducted?) Vietnamese with the magical ability of bringing paper to life. For the most part, I enjoyed this queer Asian spin on the classic that I read some eight years ago. The voice was humorous and narrator likable, but the magic system was somewhat lost on me and I wish it was explored more within the story. I also had trouble accepting all the insta-attraction between almost all characters even though I love that their queer identities were not a big issue (except maybe to Tom, whom we all know is deeply racist as well). It truly mystified me when everyone started kissing everyone else. The major events in Vo’s retelling are the same as Fitzgerald’s classic, and many of the dialogues were directly pulled from the 1925 novel. With the same settings in the same era, I appreciated that the narrative reads like it was written a century ago. One of the most intriguing elements of Vo’s work is that almost all characters are queer (bi+), and their interwoven love and attraction added another layer to Daisy’s declaration of love for both Tom and Gatsby as well as the animosity between the two men. Jordan’s magic, or should I say the magic that runs in the blood of all people of color, seemed to be mostly irrelevant throughout the story but is in fact integral to this retelling. From the role it plays in Jordan’s life, magic is both a curse and liberation. It provides an otherness that accompanies being a person of color, and I am sure Asian fetish also plays a little part in this story, too. Does anyone see Jordan for who she is, or is she just an oddity amongst them all? The Chosen and the Beautiful is a fantastical retelling that comments on race, class, gender, and sexuality. With a Vietnamese Jordan Baker as the narrator, Vo brings the first-person peripheral to a whole new level as she does not fully belong to the high society nor all the other Asians. Throughout the story, we follow Jordan as she grows to understand her paper magic and navigates her heart amidst all her romantic and sexual relationships. I received an e-ARC from Tordotcom via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  26. 5 out of 5

    rain

    thank you to edelweiss and macmillan for giving me an advanced copy of the book. i...have mixed feelings about this book. for one, i didn't love it as much as i thought i would but i also didn't end up hating it like i thought i would when i was reading the first 25% of the book. does that make sense? maybe not but i digress. the main thing that i didn't like about this book was its slow pacing. however, that may be just a me problem. nghi vo is a very versatile writer because this book really r thank you to edelweiss and macmillan for giving me an advanced copy of the book. i...have mixed feelings about this book. for one, i didn't love it as much as i thought i would but i also didn't end up hating it like i thought i would when i was reading the first 25% of the book. does that make sense? maybe not but i digress. the main thing that i didn't like about this book was its slow pacing. however, that may be just a me problem. nghi vo is a very versatile writer because this book really reads like a classic but i have the attention span of a mosquito so i ended up getting bored and distracted while reading this. on the other hand, i can still recognize the beauty of the writing because it has a lot of hard-hitting lines that fed my soul. I couldn’t believe more people weren’t watching Gatsby. He stood at the balustrade like an emperor overlooking his kingdom, but in this moment, the only thing he had eyes for was Nick. Everything else was faded for him, all sounds muted. It was almost indecent, and something in me responded to it. also, i think that not a lot really happened in this book. it was mostly just jordan's musings and random flashbacks. it hardly has any plot but the overall vibe of the book has an intoxicating quality to it that convinced me to continue reading. however, i would have loved this better if it had more memorable scenes instead of just languid montages that often made my eyes glaze over. despite all of these, i still appreciate this book to a certain extent. the writing, albeit on the slow side, is undoubtedly beautiful. it's interesting how fantasy elements were mixed into the narrative, turning some of the scenes from the classic on their head and giving them more spark and dimension. i also liked how jordan's experiences as an adopted asian immigrant was shown in the book. here we have a confident protagonist but behind her wise jibes and charming personality is an asian woman grappling with her identity and origins. i had issues with the overall pacing of this book but i was amazed by its last few chapters. there's something about the falling action that was morbidly fascinating to me. nghi vo drops surprises in such a subtle way you won't even know what hit you even when it's staring at you in the face. the chosen and the beautiful is oddly entrancing with its decadent prose that feels like viscous honey flowing off a golden spoon. i guess this book wasn't what i originally expected which is why i didn't enjoy it as much as i thought i would. however, there's still a lot to enjoy about it. this is the kind of book that will leave a mark on you even when you don't end up loving it so much. i, for one, am sure that i will be thinking about this book for a very long time. also, im pretty sure i would have liked this better if i read it via audiobook. i love listening to slow-paced books. i already recommend listening to the audiobook even if it doesn't exist yet.

  27. 5 out of 5

    katie ☾

    please tell me it's possible to marry a cover. to be specific, this one. omg i need this so bad. please tell me it's possible to marry a cover. to be specific, this one. omg i need this so bad.

  28. 4 out of 5

    USOM

    (Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) tw: racism The Chosen and the Beautiful broke my heart because I wanted so much more from it. I have loved some of Vo's other novellas and so I was so excited for this queer Asian retelling of The Great Gatsby - which was a book I really did not enjoy ever since my first reading of it. But what I found instead was a book that seemed not to interrogate with the original material enough (Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) tw: racism The Chosen and the Beautiful broke my heart because I wanted so much more from it. I have loved some of Vo's other novellas and so I was so excited for this queer Asian retelling of The Great Gatsby - which was a book I really did not enjoy ever since my first reading of it. But what I found instead was a book that seemed not to interrogate with the original material enough. Taking a side character perspective of The Great Gatsby I was expecting more subversion and a new lens to the classic. However, I instead felt that the basic story of The Chosen and the Beautiful sticks pretty closely to the original - even though it's been a while since I read it. And for the new perspective of Jordan to be so different from the original, maybe that was my own fault for expecting it to interrogate the classic. But, I haven't read it in a while, so I tried to move past that. As a transracial adoptee I was even more excited for The Chosen and the Beautiful. And it's another way this book broke my heart. While I understand that Jordan's identity revolves mostly around being treated as 'exotic' by her peers, I felt that there were some opportunities for Jodan to examine her feelings which were not discussed. Because of these moments, which I felt like were shallowly developed in relation to her adoption, I was so disappointed. The Chosen and the Beautiful is largely an example of my hopes being dashed across the rocks of the sound. Maybe it's just me, but I saw so many missed opportunities where Jordan could have really dug into her feelings, but she never does. And that brings me to another disappointment. I felt like most of the characters, including Jordan, needed some more depth. I wanted to deeply empathize and connect with Jordan, I expected to, but she missed the mark for me.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sophie Ligaya dela Cruz

    a full, more coherent, and more grammatically correct review of The Chosen and the Beautiful will soon be up on my blog, Sophie and Their Stories! “Having gay time now?” I asked, breaking the silence with a smile. Oh, Jordan. Dearest, darling Jordan. Yes. Yes, I am. this book was absolutely marvelous, and Nghi Vo proves once again why she is my new favorite writer. the chosen and the beautiful’s breathtaking style and atmospheric adventure is completely unmatched. I found myself *shook* by the a full, more coherent, and more grammatically correct review of The Chosen and the Beautiful will soon be up on my blog, Sophie and Their Stories! “Having gay time now?” I asked, breaking the silence with a smile. Oh, Jordan. Dearest, darling Jordan. Yes. Yes, I am. this book was absolutely marvelous, and Nghi Vo proves once again why she is my new favorite writer. the chosen and the beautiful’s breathtaking style and atmospheric adventure is completely unmatched. I found myself *shook* by the novel’s stunning, connected language. this book reminded me how beautiful words could be. perhaps it is hyperbole to say that this book shocked me to my very spirit — whittled me down until my bones were made of paper — displaced me just as seashells are displaced by the ocean — filled me with an awe so dark and dutiful that it was as though all the lights in the deep city of New York flickered off, exposing all the spinning stars. But there’s truth in hyperbole. there’s truth in the expanded forms of dishonesty. I’m a Gatsby stan. what can i say? the original work is short (which I appreciate, myself being not a substantial person in size), though its messages were easily muzzled by time (and the author’s own mixed emotions towards the opulent). this, however, is everything that its source material could not achieve. it knew exactly what it was, and stuck the landing. this novel burns inside my mind. the great gatsby exists so that the chosen and the beautiful could be written. literature exists so that Nghi Vo can bend it. I think I am going to cry (Thank you to Netgalley and Tor for providing me an ARC in exchange for an honest review!) twitter ☆ instagram ☆ youtube ☆ tiktok ☆ blog

  30. 4 out of 5

    Carla (Carla's Book Bits)

    A lot of people are gonna hate me for this.... But I found The Chosen and the Beautiful to be kind of boring? ? Take my review with a grain of salt, I haven't read The Great Gatsby and I never had any interest in doing so. The only reason why I wanted to read this was because I'm an Asian woman exploring the idea that I might be queer. This being a queer Asian-American story, of course I jumped at it. Looking at the average reviews, you might love this, but this is the major reason why I didn A lot of people are gonna hate me for this.... But I found The Chosen and the Beautiful to be kind of boring? ? Take my review with a grain of salt, I haven't read The Great Gatsby and I never had any interest in doing so. The only reason why I wanted to read this was because I'm an Asian woman exploring the idea that I might be queer. This being a queer Asian-American story, of course I jumped at it. Looking at the average reviews, you might love this, but this is the major reason why I didn't: The writing. It's REALLY slow-paced and atmospheric. I normally like that, but the atmosphere in this felt forced; like the author was just throwing out words that sounded pretty, but had no real depth or meaningful effect on the story. Everything is just romantic for the sake of being romantic, but it tries hard and you can tell. I found myself constantly frustrated by how slow everything was, and how padded the writing is with descriptions that either fell flat, or were just direct contradictions of each other. I was also frustrated by how flat I felt the characters to be, the constant insta-love everyone had, the way the magic system felt like an afterthought... Again, I haven't read The Great Gatsby so I don't have anything to compare this to. But yeah, I'm not a fan of The Chosen and the Beautiful. But if it's any indication of how The Great Gatsby is as a reading experience, maybe I wouldn't have been a well-suited reader for that book either. Maybe I can attribute my opinion to a different, but related feeling instead: There are plenty of queer Asian-American stories yet to be written, but it's possible that I just need a different type to reveal me. I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a review.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.