Thursday, September 6, 2012

Review - Epic Fail!! by Claire LaZebnik

Epic Fail
Epic Fail
by Claire LaZebnik
Paperback, 295 pages
Published August 2nd 2011 by HarperTeen


At Coral Tree Prep in Los Angeles, who your parents are can make or break you. Cast in point:

- As the son of Hollywood royalty, Derek Edwards is pretty much prince of the school - not that he deigns to acknowledge many of his loyal subjects.
- As the daughter of the new principal, Elise Benton isn't exactly on everyone's must-sit-next-to-at-lunch list.

When Elise's beautiful sister catches the eye of the prince's best friend, Elise gets to spend a lot of time with Derek, making her the envy of every girl on campus. Except she refuses to fall for any of his rare smiles and instead warms up to his enemy, the surprisingly charming social outcast Webster Grant. But in this hilarious tale of fitting in and flirting, not all snubs are undeserved, not all celebrity brats are bratty, and pride and prejudice can get in the way of true love for only so long.

My Review:

Fun zippy Pride & Prejudice – at high school - read!!

The author followed Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (Hereafter "P&P") so closely, that there’s no way for me to review it without comparing. I say that with some fear because the author also followed P&P so closely that my awe for Jane Austen has increased. (Thank you, Claire!!)

It’s as if she plucked some key elements out of P&P and successfully grafted ‘em into a new setting. Which is amazing.

Elise – is just like Elizabeth Bennet. JUST. LIKE. She’s got that quirky dry humor touched with sarcasm. She has that strong emotional reaction to everyone else’s opinions. She has that adoration for her sister and that fierce protectiveness toward her family. She has that unique backbone that rises to challenges. I seriously love Elise.

Elise’s family is so perfect. Juliana is so sweet and trusting. Layla is trying so hard and yet is so obnoxious and gullible. I wanted to strangle her. The other sister… adds that touch of “too many sisters”. Lol. The mom – how hilarious!!  She’s great from her style in clothes to her quirky glasses to her skewed priorities – GREAT!  And the father is right there, too, perfectly transported to modern day.

That’s not all… Chase and his sister, not to mention the devious guy who nearly ruins everyone’s lives, are all perfect.  Mr Devious (my nickname in some lunatic attempt to not give away any spoilers, as if that's possible) is, in fact, tastefully transported. You know..... no eloping here, which is again, an excellent adjustment to the times.

Derek… is great a great Mr Darcy. As a movie star’s kid, he is reclusive and irritating and famous and filthy rich, but also loaded with real character qualities that just… make him perfect.

The only downside – as I already mentioned – is that P&P is followed so closely, it was, um, predictable

If, however, you are a P&P junkie and can already quote it – Epic Fail is a fun alternative to another reread. *hand raised wryly* That’s me!  Or if Austen’s period writing style is too tedious to fully appreciate all the wit and you keep bogging down in lengthy paragraphs that everyone claims are so wonderful… well, then, you are CRAZY and had BETTER GO GET P&P - I mean, Epic Fail is a fast-paced, fun book. And then you can join the rest of us P&P adoring fans!  Yea!!

My Rating: 3.5 - 4.0  - Here's my Breakdown:  The characters are 4.5's. The adjusted times & situations are 4's. The predictability & the trimming of Austen's masterpiece is a 3. So....... um.... 3.8596?  Obviously I have trouble coloring in the lines.

About the Author:

Claire LaZebnikI grew up in Newton, Massachusetts, went to Harvard and moved to LA.  (My name was Claire Scovell for a large part of all that.)  I’ve written five novels for adults, Same as It Never Was, Knitting under the Influence, The Smart One and the Pretty One, If You Lived Here, You’d Be Home Now, and Families and Other Nonreturnable Gifts.  I’ve also published two YA novels with Harper Collins: Epic Fail and The Trouble with Flirting (due out in winter, 2012/3). With Lynn Koegel (who’s absolutely brilliant), I co-wrote  Overcoming Autism: Finding the Answers, Strategies and Hope That Can Transform a Child’s Lifeand Growing up on the Spectrum: A guide to life, love and learning for young adults with autism and Asperger’s.  I contributed to an anthology play called Motherhood Out Loud, and have been published in The New York TimesSelf, Vogue and other magazines.
I live in the Pacific Palisades with my husband Rob (who writes for “The Simpsons”), my four kids (Max, Johnny, Annie and Will) and too many pets to keep track of.

Find & Follow:

Get Your Copy:

Barnes & Noble
The Book Depository

Breaking News!!

 The Trouble with Flirting is due out in winter, 2012/3

Enter my Giveaway to WIN this awesome book!!