“You’ll soon find that doing the right thing is rarely the easy choice. But I promise you’ll sleep better at night because of it.”
*Warning* Spoilers ahead
Anna K: A Love Story by Jenny Lee is one of the weirdest books I have ever read. It has so many tropes and aspects that I don’t like in books, but somehow, I adore this book. It even gives me major Gossip Girl vibes, which is one of the few teen dramas I don’t like. I have been thinking about this book for a few days now and I still don’t understand how it got 4 stars from me, but it did. This book took me completely by surprise, in an amazing way.
The biggest problem I have with this book is how completely unrelatable these characters are. I live about an hour away from NYC, but I have never felt worlds apart from characters like I do in this book. I’m not saying that rich people don’t have problems because they have money, but picture this: you learn your boyfriend is cheating on you while in Hermes shopping for 2 Apple watch wristbands and you are looking down at your Gucci shoes and begin to cry. I felt bad for Lolly when this happened, but all of the descriptions distanced me from the characters. I loved the characters, but I had no connection with any of them, which is something I look for in books.
I just want to mention that even though I didn’t feel a connection to any of the characters, I still loved them. I hate Eleanor and I’m not a big fan of Bea, but besides them, the cast of characters was amazing. Steven was a great brother and I was amazed by Lolly’s ability to forgive him. Kimmie went through some great character development and Dustin was adorable. There will be more on Anna and Alexei later, but spoiler, I loved them too.
The only other complaint I had with Anna K was the way that none of these characters acted their age. It occurred to me halfway through the book that Anna and Alexei were my age and I couldn’t believe it. I’m not naive enough to say that kids my age don’t drink, party, or do drugs, but the level that the kids in this book did those things blew my mind. The other half of this book where they weren’t breaking any sort of law, they were acting like adults. Anna K felt much older than her parents.
I did, however, love that Kimmie became friends with Dustin’s brother and Natalie when she went to rehab. Even Natalie’s appearance at the end of the book was one of the best parts of the book. Dustin’s brother’s death was extremely upsetting, but I absolutely adored the letter he wrote to Dustin, especially the parts about Kimmie. Her and Dustin’s entire relationship development was adorable and one of the only relatable parts of this book.
My favorite part of Anna K: A Love Story was the romance between Alexei and Anna. The insta-love was a little unbelievable, but I loved how much they cared for each other. Their best scenes together were anytime they were at a party together and when Anna was watching Alexei at the race. It was one of the most heartwarming scenes. I truly believe that the two of them may have started under bad circumstances, but they were what each other needed. They were perfect for each other and I’m so sad that it is forever over.
I’m going to be completely honest, I’m not a big fan of books that don’t have happy endings. I can deal with depressing books as long as something good happens at the end. I know that this isn’t one of my best reading qualities, but it is what it is. This is one of the reasons why I am not a big John Green books. I’m about to spoil the entire book, so this is your last chance to leave. Once Alexei died, I thought that there was no way I would like the rest of the book. The most surprising thing that happened was after Alexei died and I still loved the rest of the book. The entire scene between Natalie and Anna was incredible and resonated with me. I continued to think about it for days after I finished the book. I love that Anna got the charm from the necklace that Alexei tried to save before he died.
Originally, I gave Anna K: A Love Story 3 stars, but it left such an impact on me that I ended up giving it 4 stars. Jenny Lee wrote a wonderful novel that surprised me in the most amazing way. I’m extremely excited for the sequel as I am looking forward to seeing how Anna and the others deal with the aftermath of this book. Now, I want to attempt to read Anna Karenina to try and ease the pain of this book.