Book Review: Self-Made Boys

Posted October 23, 2022 by geograph in Uncategorized / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Self-Made BoysSelf-Made Boys: A Great Gatsby Remix by Anna-Marie McLemore
Published by Feiwel & Friends on September 6, 2022
Genres: Young Adult Fiction / Classics, Young Adult Fiction / Historical / United States / 20th Century, Young Adult Fiction / LGBTQ, Young Adult Fiction / People & Places / United States / Hispanic & Latino
Pages: 336
Format: ARC, eBook
Source: Netgalley
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Stonewall Honor recipient and two-time National Book Award Longlist selectee Anna-Marie McLemore weaves an intoxicating tale of glamor and heartache in Self-Made Boys: A Great Gatsby Remix, part of the Remixed Classics series.

New York City, 1922. Nicolás Caraveo, a 17-year-old transgender boy from Wisconsin, has no interest in the city’s glamor. Going to New York is all about establishing himself as a young professional, which could set up his future—and his life as a man—and benefit his family.

Nick rents a small house in West Egg from his 18-year-old cousin, Daisy Fabrega, who lives in fashionable East Egg near her wealthy fiancé, Tom—and Nick is shocked to find that his cousin now goes by Daisy Fay, has erased all signs of her Latine heritage, and now passes seamlessly as white.

Nick’s neighbor in West Egg is a mysterious young man named Jay Gatsby, whose castle-like mansion is the stage for parties so extravagant that they both dazzle and terrify Nick. At one of these parties, Nick learns that the spectacle is all meant to impress a girl from Jay’s past—Daisy. And he learns something else: Jay is also transgender.

As Nick is pulled deeper into the glittery culture of decadence, he spends more time with Jay, aiming to help his new friend reconnect with his lost love. But Nick's feelings grow more complicated when he finds himself falling hard for Jay's openness, idealism, and unfounded faith in the American Dream.

Praise for Self-Made Boys:

"Anna-Marie McLemore cracks the Gatsby story wide open, breathing fresh life into these familiar characters with wisdom, honesty, and real tenderness. An all-time favorite—I was completely transported." —Becky Albertalli, New York Times-bestselling author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

"Tenderly written and achingly romantic, Anna-Marie McLemore has crafted a romance for the ages. Their Latinx lens provides more nuance and depth to the classic story. With a breath of fresh life, Self-Made Boys shows us how queer love has flourished in quiet corners across history." —Aiden Thomas, New York Times-bestselling author of Cemetery Boys

Listen. This is one of my 2022 favorites. It’s Literally Queer Great Gatsby with two trans boys as Nick and Gatsby. I loved it even though it’s historical fiction. If you’re thinking “absolutely yes that’s exactly my alley”, you will not be disappointed.

NOW. If you’re thinking, “absolutely yes that’s exactly my alley, AND I love Anna-Marie McLemore”, I do have bad news, which is that this book does not read like a McLemore book At All. It reads like a Regular Not McLemore book. Is it incredible? Is it amazing? Is it fantastic? Yes to all of the above. McLemore just isn’t writing in their usual style. This reads nothing like LAKELORE.

Still. It’s a five-star read. Pick it up.


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