Book Reviews by NBPL Teens

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Review by Samar

Post Date:05/01/2022 9:00 am

the great gatsby book cover

The phrase “money can’t buy happiness” is notorious. There has always been a debate over this statement, some disagree while others preach it. However, the well-known novel The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is the perfect example of a protagonist gaining immense wealth but lacking happiness and inner peace. No matter who is interpreting the book, the common saying is lived by through the characters of the novel, and the consequences of pursuing wealth without happiness are felt.  


I read this book as a requirement for my AP Language class. Although it seemed boring and outdated at first, especially since I don’t prefer novels as such, this book surprised me. For how old it is, the language was quite understandable and the book wasn’t lengthy at all. The book also had a plethora of complex characters, keeping it refreshing throughout. The Great Gatsby has a lot of indirect messages and life lessons as well. Through the use of figurative language and a variety of rhetorical devices and appeals, readers can learn a lot about the dark side obtaining immense wealth.  


My favorite character in this book was Nick Carraway, the narrator. Nick is extremely humble even when surrounded by immense wealth, being neighbors with Gatsby and cousins with Daisy Buchanan, wife of Tom Buchanan. Nick also genuinely cares about Gatsby’s mental health and advises Gatsby, multiple times, to stop chasing Daisy’s love. Due to the fact that Nick is in between old money of West Egg and new money of East Egg, he can tell the story through an unbiased lens, which is essential for readers to truly comprehend the events that take place in the novel.  


My least favorite character in the book was Daisy Buchanan. Daisy, throughout the entire novel, had extremely selfish motives. For example, when she and Gatsby were in love before the war, she was fine. However, when Gatsby had to fight in the war, she met Tom and fell in love with his wealth, ultimately marrying Tom and moving to New York, leaving a heartbroken Gatsby behind. Furthermore, when Daisy realized how wealthy Gatsby had become, she quickly left her husband Tom for Gatsby. Lastly, Daisy ran over and killed Myrtle, Tom’s mistress, because she felt jealous of her even when she had the relationship with Gatsby the whole time, displaying hypocrisy and a double standard. For all of these reasons, Daisy was by far my least favorite character. In conclusion, The Great Gatsby is a great novel filled with a well written plot, complex characters, and lots of messages. With romance, love, and murder, the book is constantly kept fresh. The characters are very interesting and evolve throughout the book as well. Furthermore, the book is extremely quick and easy to read. Lastly, it opens a new perspective for readers who might argue against the “money can’t buy happiness” saying I would rate this book a ⅘ stars and recommend it for any teen looking for a quick read and a unique novel. 


Check out the Great Gatsby from the Newport Beach Public Library!  

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