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Anna K Away by Jenny Lee
Young adult

Anna K Away

by Jenny Lee

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Quick take

This exhilarating sequel finds a scandal-plagued Anna K hiding from the limelight and rediscovering herself in Korea.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Teen


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Snarky


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_BasedOnAClassic

    Based on a classic

  • Illustrated icon, Icons_2ndSeries

    Second in series


How the mighty have fallen. Anna K, once the golden girl of Greenwich, CT, and New York City, has been brought low by a scandalous sex tape and the tragic death of her first love, Alexia Vronsky. At the beginning of the summer, her father takes her to the other side of the world, to connect with his family in South Korea and hide her away. Is Anna in exile? Or could this be her chance to figure out who she really is?

Back in the U.S., Lolly has forgiven Steven for cheating on her, and their relationship feels stronger than ever. But when Lolly meets a boy at her beloved theater camp, she has to ask herself how well Steven will ever really know her. Meanwhile, in Manhattan, everything between Kimmie and her new boyfriend, Dustin, is easy—except when it comes to finally having sex. And Bea escapes to LA, running away from her grief at her beloved cousin’s death, until a beautiful stranger steals her heart. Is Bea ready to finally forgive Anna, and let herself truly fall in love for the very first time?

Set over the course of one unforgettable summer, Jenny Lee's Anna K Away is full of the risk, joy, heartbreak, and adventure that mark the three months between the end of one school year and the beginning of the next.

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Anna K Away


When Shakespeare wrote “parting is such sweet sorrow,” he never had to say good-bye to a melodramatic French girl in an airport. This was what Beatrice was thinking as she stood in front of Claudine, who was barely keeping it together. Her pillowy lips quivering as she tried and failed to harness her emotions. “Are you sure you don’t want me to come to LA with you?”

“Babe, my internship starts on Monday and I’ve gotta spend the whole weekend with my Uncle Chadwick at a très boring third wedding of some B-list Hollywood actress.” This was the truth, but then Beatrice added a lie. She was so good at lying. Her lies always felt true as soon as she said them. “I tried to get a plus one to bring you, but no dice.”

“No dice?” Claudine repeated in her breathy French accent, brow furrowing.

Beatrice leaned forward and kissed Claudine softly. “It’s a gambling expression. It means we’re out of luck.”

“But you never take no for an answer.” Claudine pulled her face into a petulant pout, which Beatrice knew was a last-ditch effort to get her to change her mind. Beatrice hated to be told no and would rarely let it stand if she wanted something. But what she truly wanted, no, what she needed, was some time alone. And a summer in LA was the exact change of scenery she required. Bringing her “girlfriend” (if that was what they had to call it), no matter how exquisitely sumptuous she happened to be, wasn’t the fresh start Beatrice had in mind.

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Why I love it

As an author, I always find it harder to write a sequel than the first of a series, though this seems illogical: the characters are old friends by now; they shouldn’t still cause trouble! As a reader, of course, I love sequels for this exact reason. Reading a follow-up novel is comforting in the best way, the book equivalent of a gooey chocolate chip cookie.

If you’ve read Anna K, a modern twist on Anna Karenina, then you won’t be surprised that its sequel has all the opulent detail, trenchant social commentary, and tangled drama of the first. And as in all good sequels, the stakes are higher than ever for all the characters. Beatrice, who’s always guarded her heart behind careless party-girl ways, discovers what a terrifying and thrilling rush it is to finally give your heart away. Lolly wrestles with feelings for someone new and wonders if it’s possible to love two people at once. And then, of course, there’s Anna K herself, trying to put the shattered pieces of her life back together after an unimaginable loss.

Anna K Away spans more territory than its predecessor—literally, from the pulsing world of K-Pop, to the beaches of Mexico, to the gossip-soaked bubble of competitive theater camp—and also emotionally. If Anna K was a book about the intoxicating rush of first love, Anna K Away deals with the aftermath of that love, and with heartache and grief. In the end, Anna discovers the truth we all eventually learn about growing up (which were all reminded of, over the past year)—that it’s okay if you don’t always know what comes next.

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Member ratings (1,182)

  • MaryBeth M.

    Columbus, OH

    Fun sequel! Anna’s global travels are engrossing and I loved the silly teen romances and squabbles. Seoul, Cali, Michigan, Orient Express, Mexico - this book took me everywhere! Easy, breezy escapism

  • Mandie M.

    Brillion, WI

    I finished this with the same thoughts as the first, “I don’t want to be done with these characters!” I hope this story continues because my heart is heavily invested. Love the author’s style!

  • Emmylou M.

    Framingham, MA

    A strong second novel. Loved the focus on grief & loss which is perfect for the ongoing pandemic world. A fun romp including Kpop in Seoul & an epic party in the Hampons. Loved the pansexual rep too!

  • Lina L.

    Great Falls, VA

    i didn’t think it was possible for this sequel to live up to the glamor and excitement of the first Anna K. but Jenny Lee proved me wrong. i loved the storyline of Anna in Korea and LOVED Quentin

  • Chelsey N.

    Vineland, NJ

    A very good sequel to the first book. A beautiful journey where all characters really explored what they actually wanted. Good character growth on all sides. I curious to see if there will be more.

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