Anna K: A Love Story by Jenny Lee
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
A boy she loved with all her heart had loved her more. And she deserved it.
I feel a little bad about giving this book one star because I really wanted to enjoy it. Korean characters, rich-people drama, and a loose retelling of a beloved classic (that I haven’t even read). What more could I have asked for? But sadly, I couldn’t care less now. Just because I’m a K-pop fan doesn’t mean that I’m going to enjoy every K-pop-related story. I guess I learned this the hard way. Hahahaha.
I really should’ve done my research on the source material because little did I know that Anna Karenina was actually about infidelity. The main characters practically had a deadly affair and ruined each other’s lives just to soothe their loins. The same thing almost happened in this book. The protagonists in Anna K were shameless cheaters, but most of them still achieved a happy (if not hopeful) ending.
My first issue was Anna’s hypocrisy. She criticized her brother Steven for cheating on Lolly. Weeks or months later, Anna found herself betraying Alexander, her long-term but “very boring” boyfriend. Vronsky, Anna’s paramour, was basically a hot bastard who was notorious for sleeping with almost every pretty girl in the city. For the life of me, I couldn’t understand his obsession with Anna. It seemed to boil down to her good looks. As for Anna, she clung to Vronsky simply because she was tired of being prim and proper, her daddy’s little good girl.
My second gripe was the writing, which had an abundance of unnecessary descriptions to make readers believe that the characters were really, really rich. Luxury brands were mentioned here and there as if I cared about their fancy clothes, cars, and furniture. Being part of the middle class, I couldn’t even imagine most of them. You might appreciate this book more if you’re a reader with sophisticated tastes. Still, I don’t get why sex and drugs count as “high culture.” In many ways, ordinary people are genuinely more cultured than the rich.
The only thing I enjoyed was Anna and Steven’s close relationship as siblings. Their parents were mostly terrible at parenting, so the children were as thick as thieves. Sometimes, it seemed like Steven loved his sister more than he did his girlfriend. But I didn’t particularly appreciate how the siblings condoned each other’s bad behavior or loose morals. Where was the tough love in that? Ideally, loving someone should embolden you to confront them when they’re wrong.
Overall, Anna’s epiphany that she deserved Vronsky’s love was questionable. It made me realize something myself: Anna hadn’t learned her lesson. Cheating is cheating, no matter how hard you try to rationalize it. If Anna K was this annoying, I should remove Anna Karenina from my TBR pile.
Lmao just reading the post title had me laughing out loud. I’ve seen this cover around and have seen pretty mixed reviews but this is defo gonna be a hard pass for me. Cheating is gross lol great review though! 😃
Hahahaha thanks, Dini! Crazy Rich Asians is a much more wholesome book, tbh