Book Review: Anna K Away by Jenny Lee

Anna K Away  by Jenny Lee Genre:  Young Adult, Contemporary Romance Synopsis:   How the mighty have fallen. Anna K, once the golden gi...

Anna K Away by Jenny Lee

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance

How the mighty have fallen. Anna K, once the golden girl of Greenwich, CT, and New York City, has been brought low by a scandalous sex tape and the tragic death of her first love, Alexia Vronsky. At the beginning of the summer, her father takes her to the other side of the world, to connect with his family in South Korea and hide her away. Is Anna in exile? Or could this be her chance to figure out who she really is?

Back in the U.S., Lolly has forgiven Steven for cheating on her, and their relationship feels stronger than ever. But when Lolly meets a boy at her beloved theater camp, she has to ask herself how well Steven will ever really know her. Meanwhile, in Manhattan, everything between Kimmie and her new boyfriend, Dustin, is easy―except when it comes to finally having sex. And Bea escapes to LA, running away from her grief at her beloved cousin’s death, until a beautiful stranger steals her heart. Is Bea ready to finally forgive Anna, and let herself truly fall in love for the very first time?

Content/Trigger Warnings: Absent parents/neglect, Mental health concerns, Death threats, Drug/alcohol abuse, Loss of a loved one

Overall rating:  ★★★★☆

I really, really loved Anna K. I went into it never having read Anna Karenina and being unfamiliar with the story itself. It was a beautiful, emotional, comedic story that was so over-the-top. Anna K Away kept many of those same characteristics, while being even way more over-the-top. Think of it like Gossip Girl - featuring teens with way too much money and way too much freedom.

What I really appreciated so much about this second installment is that there was an air of mystery to the book in *parts*, but even more so was that I loved seeing this cool character arc for so many of the main cast. I particularly enjoyed Anna’s exploration into her Korean heritage, and myself learning about bits of the culture.

"Mourning could be a slow process and that clock of grief ran at its own pace."

Whereas the first book in the series proved to be tragic in multi-faceted ways, book two was about healing and the bonds we make during that process. For such a fun book with many hijinks, it was surprisingly beautiful. I also really loved the many examples of platonic friendship (though there were also many instances of romantic and sexual relationships too).

Jenny Lee really created an incredible follow up novel to a retelling of a classic. I truly enjoyed the experience of reading this book.

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