June 22, 2018

No One is Coming to Save Us by Stephanie Powell Watts | Book Review

No One is Coming to Save Us by Stephanie Powell Watts | Book ReviewNo One Is Coming to Save Us on April 4, 2017
Pages: 371
Format: Hardcover

The Great Gatsby brilliantly recast in the contemporary South: a powerful first novel about an extended African-American family and their colliding visions of the American Dream.
JJ Ferguson has returned home to Pinewood, North Carolina to build his dream home and to woo his high school sweetheart, Ava. But he finds that the people he once knew and loved have changed, just as he has. Ava is now married, and wants a baby more than anything. The decline of the town’s once-thriving furniture industry has made Ava’s husband Henry grow distant and frustrated. Ava’s mother Sylvia has put her own life on hold as she caters to and meddles with those around her, trying to fill the void left by her absent son. And Don, Sylvia’s undeserving but charming husband, just won’t stop hanging around.
JJ’s newfound wealth forces everyone to consider what more they want and deserve from life than what they already have—and how they might go about getting it. Can they shape their lives to align with their wishes rather than their realities? Or are they resigned to the rhythms of the particular lives they lead? No One Is Coming to Save Us is a revelatory debut from an insightful voice that combines a universally resonant story with an intimate glimpse into the hearts of one family.

I had to read this book for my English class, and I fairly enjoyed it, though it was hard to get through at times.

what i liked

  • It’s a Gatsby retelling! The Great Gatsby is my favorite classic, so it was awesome to read something that was loosely based off the story.
  • The characters. There were a whole lot of characters, whom I all found to be pretty interesting. I wasn’t bored with any of the characters, ever.

what i disliked

  • The book wasn’t interesting. It never really held my attention. Yes, I liked the characters, but the plot itself was just so slow-moving. I felt like nothing was really happening. However, this may be because we had to read it over the course of a few weeks, which may have caused me to lose interest in the book. 
  • I was distracted by the fact that this book was a Gatsby retelling. I think that may have also made me lose interest, because the whole time I was trying to connect characters to their Gatsby counterparts. I couldn’t even really see all the connections that were brought up during my class. 
  1. Tizzy Brown says:

    It's a shame that this book didn't live up to your expectations, as the premise sounds quite good. Slow-moving plots cause me to lose interest too.

  2. Meh, wasn't fan of the classic Gatsby – or the movie – so this is a no no for me.

  3. Tessa G. says:

    I didn't even know that there were retellings of The Great Gatsby! I enjoyed reading the story in English classes so much that I watched the movie on my own (which I absolutely loved by the way). I don't really read a lot of retellings of classics (I mostly stick with fairytale retellings) so I might have to give this one a shot just to try it out. I think that the original is definitely more of a character-driven story so I might not mind a slower plot in the retelling. Thanks for the review!

    Tessa @ Crazy for YA

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