Anna K by Jenny Lee

Every happy teenage girl is the same, while every unhappy teenage girl is miserable in her own special way.

Jenny Lee, Anna K

Cover Art Courtesy of Goodreads
I don't read a ton of retellings. That being said, I haven't read a lot of the classics that spur retellings either. But one classic I really did enjoy was Anna Karenina. I read this back in high school and was surprised at how much I liked the story, even though it was really long. When I saw that Anna K by Jenny Lee was a Book of the Month pick for February, and that it was an Anna Karenina retelling in a Gossip Girl-esque world, I had to choose it.

And that's exactly what it was. Take high society rich kids in NYC and throw in some scandal, make them jaded about life, and you get this book. Definite trigger warnings needed for drug and alcohol use and overdosing, some animal deaths, and sex scandals and sex shaming. Even though this is a YA, I would definitely recommend this for the older end of the genre.

I didn't mind Anna K and Count Vronsky, but I didn't love the characters either. I did love Anna's intense love for animals, and the role that played throughout the story. There were also a ton of side characters and stories that for the most part I just didn't care about. I did enjoy Lolly and Steven's story line, but this was the only one I had any interest in following aside from the main plot. 

Even though I was ok with the length of the original Anna Karenina, by the end of this story I just wished it would hurry up. I don't think it needed to be as long as it was. The ending was different than the ending of the original, so even if you've read the original you won't be spoiled with this plot for the most part. It definitely wasn't a bad read, but I didn't adore it either, so it's getting a solid middle of the road rating from me.

Now I want to go reread the original Anna Karenina!

If you are interested in learning more about Book of the Month, you can click here to get your first box for only $5 (and I'll get a free book too!). I've been a member for years and love that you can skip or cancel at any time. Plus it encourages me to broaden my reading spectrum!

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars


  1. I'm not really into re-tellings so I doubt this would be for me, pity it didn't fully work for you. Great review.

  2. Sounds like this book had a lot of potential. It's a shame it didn't really work out for you. Hope your next read is amazing!

  3. I am sorry this did not work out for you. Hope your next read will be better.

  4. I’ve only seen the movie of the original but will read the classic at some point.

  5. I haven't read Anna Karenina but it's always been on my TBR list. This one sounds like an intriguing retelling :) Great review!

    Happy reading!
    Megan | Ginger Mom & Company

  6. Replies
    1. Me too, I tried it once in high school and just couldn't do it.

  7. Stinks this book did not work out for you.

  8. Great review, I have seen mix reviews about this book but it does looks and sounds like an great re-retelling of Anna Karenina. Thank you so much for sharing your awesome post.