Review: The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo

Author: Nghi Vo
Released: June 1, 2021
Received: NetGalley

4 kitties

Yes! It’s another novel by Nghi Vo, and I could not be more excited about that fact! The Chosen and the Beautiful is her first full novel, following novellas like When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain.

Are you ready for a coming-of-age story that blends genres, the concept of the American dream, and so much more? Jordan Baker is, all things considered, a lucky woman. She lives in the 1920s and was adopted by a wealthy family that saw her through good schools.

Only, she knows that she is treated differently in this society. She’s seen as more ‘exotic’ and outside of them, rather than just another member of the community. This probably has to do with the fact that she is adopted, Asian, and queer.

Oh! Did I mention that The Chosen and the Beautiful is essentially a Great Gatsby telling, but with a lot more flare? Yeah. Worth checking out, right?

“It was after midnight with that tired charm that all parties on the downturn acquire.”

If you’re looking for the most creative retelling of the year, I have news for you. The Chosen and the Beautiful is simultaneously exactly and nothing like The Great Gatsby. In many ways, I found it to be a significant improvement on the original. Yes, I said it.

I love how Nghi Vo picked such a classic piece of literature in order to tell her story. It was a choice that can resonate with many people and help to forge a real connection to the character and her struggles.

In short, The Chosen and the Beautiful is a fantastic read, one that I did not regret in the least. If anything, my only regret is that I couldn’t have read this novel while growing up, but that’s life, right?

Thanks to and #NetGalley for making this book available for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

About Liz (AKA Cat)

I am an avid animal lover, photographer, reader, and much more. While my photography blog is feeling a bit neglected at the moment, the other sites I'm involved in are going strong. ✧I review books, comics, and basically anything else in the literary world over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks (of Books). ✧I review comics and books, as well as write content for Word of the Nerd. ✧I review comics for Monkeys Fighting Robots. ✧I write content for Screen Rant and CBR. ✧I write book reviews for The Review Crew.
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