Monday, August 29, 2011

Epic Fail by Claire Lazebnik

Epic Fail
  • Title: Epic Fail 
  • Classification: Young Adult
  • Genre: Classic rework - Pride & Prejudice
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Format: Paperback , 304pages (August 2011)
  • ISBN-13: 9780061921261
  • ISBN: 0061921262
  • Author's website:
  • Notes: This book has a touch of romance, but it was pretty tame. There was some mention of drug use and underage drinking by secondary characters, but each were shown in a negative light.

Fitting in at High School is never easy. When you're the new kid and everyone but you is sporting the latest in designer fashions, it makes it that much more difficult. Of course driving the family mini van amidst Porsches, Lamborghinis and Corvettes doesn't exactly score you any points either. Add on both your parents work at the new school and, well, you get the picture. The one thing Elise has going for her is her sister/best friend, Juliana, is also in the same boat. Problem is Juliana found herself a boyfriend, Chase, who seems perfect for her on the first day. That leaves Elise reluctantly paired off with Chase's best friend Derek, the rather aloof and standoffish son of Movie star parents. While Elise finds Derek extremely attractive, his reserved and rather snobbish behavior coupled with his privileged upbringing puts ideas into her head as to what type of person he is and makes things both difficult and interesting all at once.

This is a book about understanding, fitting in, and how assumptions can lead to the wrong conclusions. It's about how first impressions can be deceiving and things aren't always as they seem. It's about giving people a chance and occasionally making a mistake. Basically, it's a little taste of what we all experience--life, in a high school setting.

While this is a modern day take on Pride & Prejudice, it was cleverly reworked in a way that's not blatantly obvious. In fact, I highly doubt most people will make the connection until someone points it out. That, I must say, is the tell tale sign that a rework was done right. I thoroughly enjoyed the book.

I loved Elise's smart wit and humor. She had me grinning from ear to ear. I loved how Derek was a tough read and Elise couldn't figure him out at the beginning. I liked how slowly his true personality was revealed, and it was a sharp contrast from what we were first shown. I loved the family dynamics that came into play between the sisters and the drama involved with seeing the uglier side of what goes on in the Hollywood setting. 

While the name of the book may be 'Epic Fail', I felt the author scored an Epic Win with this book. I gave it a 5 out of 5 roses. I will be recommending this one to my daughter.

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