May 03, 2021

#BookReview: Tell Me My Name by Amy Reed

Synopsis: We Were Liars meets Speak in this haunting, mesmerizing psychological thriller--a gender-flipped YA Great Gatsby--that will linger long after the final line

On wealthy Commodore Island, Fern is watching and waiting--for summer, for college, for her childhood best friend to decide he loves her. Then Ivy Avila lands on the island like a falling star. When Ivy shines on her, Fern feels seen. When they're together, Fern has purpose. She glimpses the secrets Ivy hides behind her fame, her fortune, the lavish parties she throws at her great glass house, and understands that Ivy hurts in ways Fern can't fathom. And soon, it's clear Ivy wants someone Fern can help her get. But as the two pull closer, Fern's cozy life on Commodore unravels: drought descends, fires burn, and a reckless night spins out of control. Everything Fern thought she understood--about her home, herself, the boy she loved, about Ivy Avila--twists and bends into something new. And Fern won't emerge the same person she was.

An enthralling, mind-altering fever dream, Tell Me My Name is about the cost of being a girl in a world that takes so much, and the enormity of what is regained when we take it back.


Rating: 💫💫 
My Review: This gender swapped retelling of The Great Gatsby was one that I was fairly excited about.  It did follow the original story with a few things in it to separate it from it.  Those aspects I really did enjoy. The mental health addiction made this one stand out. I enjoyed some of the characters, but others were just ugh. Sadly the story itself just didn't work for me.  I felt that while reading this one it was just so confusing and a lot of the story felt very random like it wasn't sure what was really going on.  

Go Into This One Knowing: Mental Health, Abuse, Drugs 

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up-For her whole life Fern has lived quietly with her two fathers, only sporadically interacting with the wealthy on Commodore Island. Then, with one word from the radiant recovering actress Ivy, her "origin story" begins. As her life intertwines with that of Ivy, the irresponsible Ash, and the twisted Tami, her Cinderella story rots until it collapses due to Fern and Ivy's harmful desires. Fern craves worth given by "special" people, consequently devaluing herself, and Ivy wants real bonds, but can't form them because she's been crafted into an "object." Despite their contrary qualities, their connection at the end will stun readers. Fern recounts her story mostly through internal monologue, and, like thoughts, she flits around and speaks in imagery. This gives the narrative a dreamlike quality, thoroughly saturating readers in the themes of identity and mental trauma. In this near-future story, climate change has led to migrations and environmental disasters, class gaps have widened, and corporations govern. But more notably, this book is about that desperate yearning to find one's true self, be acknowledged, and to not be shaped by another's designs. While Reed takes inspiration from The Great Gatsby, this story is her own and will likely resonate with teens-especially young women-even more than the classic. Fern's ethnicity is not specified. VERDICT An immersive, smartly written view into the mind of a young woman coping with her identity and trauma; a distinct perspective to add to the mental health fiction selection.-Rachel Forbes, Oakville P.L., Ont.α(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


New York Times: "13 Y.A. Books to Add to Your Reading List This Spring"
Buzzfeed: “25 LGBTQ+ YA Books You'll Want To Curl Up With This Winter”
Brightly: "The Best YA Books of March 2021"
Nerdist: “19 New Books We Can’t Wait to Read in 2021”

"Set in a future that feels frighteningly plausible, Tell Me My Name is a lush, gorgeously crafted page-turner that will have you holding your breath until the final line." —Jennifer Mathieu, author of Moxie

Tell Me My Name absolutely took my breath away . . . I was left reeling from a totally unexpected conclusion that took this from an ordinary retelling of a classic into something much more, and made me immediately want to pick it up and start again from the beginning.” —Geek Mom

★ "While Reed takes inspiration from The Great Gatsby, this story is her own and will likely resonate with teens—especially young women—even more than the classic. . . . Immersive [and] smartly written.” SLJ (starred review)

“Haunting, beautiful, thrilling—Tell Me My Name is an exquisitely crafted, nuanced story of metamorphosis and mystery. Amy Reed’s smart, captivating prose twists and turns, a kaleidoscope of light and shadow that will keep you flipping page after page.” —Amber Smith, author of The Way We Used to Be 

Tell Me My Name is a glimpse into the future that somehow holds tight to our past. Only Amy Reed could write a novel this dark, this gorgeous, this forward-looking while speaking to our present moment. Reed is a writer of incredible power and terrifying foresight.” —Wiley Cash, author of A Land More Kind Than Home

★ Reed packs in a lot—the climate crisis, sexual assault, drug addiction, class commentary, and mental illness—but the plot never feels overstuffed . . . The Great Gatsby [is cited] as inspiration in her closing notes, but this has as much Hitchcockian suspense as Fitzgerald’s tarnished glitz." —BCCB (starred review)

"I barely breathed the last 100 pages. Simply stunning. I truly loved this book.” —Megan Shepherd, author of The Madman's Daughter

"Lurking in the heart of this brilliant, feminist reimagining of The Great Gatsby are powerful questions about wealth and glamor, privilege and inequality, and the many roles young women must play as they seek and claim their own survival. Tell Me My Name is the best kind of literary thrillerone with as much conscience as pulse." —Brendan Kiely, co-author of All American Boys

“The toll of exploitative fame is explored against a dystopian backdrop in this psychological thriller. . . . Compelling . . . [A] harrowing tale of personal trauma in a violently polarized society.” —Kirkus

“I haven’t felt this way since reading We Were Liars—mind blown. Beautifully written, Tell Me My Name gets under your skin, exploring what it means to claim wholeness in a world that too often tears girls apart. You’ll be thinking about it long after the final page.” —Jaye Robin Brown, author of Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit
"This novel is amazing. I am just in awe. Evoking both the terrible and tender, Tell Me My Name is a pulsating, hypnotic retelling that captures a young girl's heartbreaking desire to be fully seen, and sets it against a crumbling, near-future world.” —Lilliam Rivera, author of The Education of Margot Sanchez

"Arresting and almost poetic at times, vividly conveying the characters and setting while remaining focused on the inner truths. This story takes the unreliable narrator to new levels . . . Mesmerizing." SLC

“This twisty, near-future, feminist take on The Great Gatsby is a relentlessly compelling exploration of girls, power, and reclamation. Chilling and timely, Reed's latest is a literary thrill ride.” —Kelly Jensen, author of (Don’t) Call Me Crazy and editor at BookRiot

“A harrowing, prescient vision of the near future. Amy Reed delivers a compelling and propulsive thriller with sentences that gleam like polished steel.” —Jeff Zentner, author of The Serpent King

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