Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Review: Epic Fail by Clarie LaZebnik

Source: Bought/My Personal Library
Challenge: Completely Contemp Challenge and 2012 TBR Pile Reading Challenge
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: Already released.
Number of Pages: 288 (Paperback)

Blurb from Goodreads:


Will Elise’s love life be an epic win or an epic fail?

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



I absolutely love Pride and Prejudice. Once you get used to the language and get a feel for Jane Austen's humour, it is a truly remarkable story, which I'm sure is one of the many reasons why it inspires so many other works. Epic Fail is one of these stories, and it has given the classic a modern revival with a celebrity spin.

Elise Benton, the Elizabeth Bennet of the book, was a fantastic narrator. I loved her! She was funny, smart, and was very similar to Lizzie...at least if you ignore the time period difference. Then there was Derek Edwards, the Mr. Darcy character, and son of two very famous Hollywood actors. As always, these two characters clashed heads, and weren't always on the best of terms, but when they were together...boy did I love it! I loved the banter, and I loved the awkardness, which wasn't really there in Pride and Prejudice, but made so much sense in a modern version...as both of these teenagers have some mighty awkward tendencies. :P

And what would a retelling of Pride and Prejudice be without the characters of Wickam, Jane, and Mr. Bingley...well, we won't find out from this book because it had them all. Webster Grant (Wickham): the social outcast Elise befriends; her sister: Juliana/Jules; and her sister's love interest: Chase Baldwin. I don't think Webster was as successful at being deceptive as Wickham, and he wasn't as charming, but they definitely had the nasty personality in common. I loved Jules, and I've always loved Jane, so I wasn't surprised. Jules seemed to have a tad bit more spunk in Epic Fail, but so did Chase compared to Mr. Bingley, so they were both tweaked a bit in that way. I thought they were adorable together though, so cute! :D

In Epic Fail, Claire LaZebnik does an amazing job at creating parallels between the classic, while still maintaining her own story. I never once felt like I was reading a carbon-copy of Pride and Prejudice, which I liked, and it also helped me notice the little similarities between the two. I think that the similarities will make this book a treat for fans of the classic, while also not completely it for anyone who plans to read Pride and Prejudice after Epic Fail.

Obviously, the characters I mentioned before were some of the similar aspects. Elise's other sisters were a couple more; Layla (Lydia) and Kaitlyn (Kitty) were kind of similar to their counterparts, but thankfully nothing as extreme as in P and P happened to Layla. Strangely though, Mary was missing...which kind of made me feel sad because no one really ever thinks of Mary, but at the same time, she really doesn't do much in the story other than be awkward and embarrass her family with her singing...so I kind of understood why she was absent. :P

Other parallels, like the while pride and prejudice aspect, which is alluded to in the book's description, and Mr. and Mrs. Bennet, also come up. Mr. Benton is also very close to Elise, just like Lizzie and Mr. Bennet are, and I'm really glad that was in there. I've always loved their father/daughter relationship, and I think Clarie LaZebnik did a fabulous job portraying and adjusting it. :) And oh my...Dr. Gardiner (a.k.a. Mrs. Bennet) is as crazy as usual, and you might have noticed the last name Gardiner, which is Mrs. Bennet's maiden name in Pride and Prejudice (such an awesome detail!) and also in Epic Fail because she chose to keep her last name when she married.

Now onto the actual story. I loved it! I thought that it was fast-paced, addictive, and really fun to read. I kept reading until I finished because I just didn't want to put it down. I had to know what happened between Derek and Elise. As much as I love Mr. Darcy, he's a pretty closed off guy, Derek was, too, but Chase was a lot more willing to share details about him with Jules than Mr. Bingley was. :P I also loved how Mr. Darcy went from being a rich gentleman to being an heir to his parents Hollywood fortune. It was a great twist, and really showcased just how much popular culture and societies have changed. Back in Jane Austen's time...a gentleman like Mr. Darcy marrying would have been pop. culture...so it's interesting to see the contrast between the two. :)

Overall, if you can't already tell...I loved Epic Fail! It was short, sweet, and the perfect treat for any Pride and Prejudice fan...or anyone who's just looking for an adorable romance that showcases that thin line between love and hate, or maybe since it's high school, like and dislike. ;)

Are you a fan of Pride and Prejudice?
If you are, do you like reading spin-offs, Austen-inspired-books, or anything like that?
If you haven't read it, are you still tempted to read Epic Fail? (I just have to add, that you should be...it's such an adorable and fun story!)

Any other random thoughts you'd like to share?...Feel free.

Purchase Links:
Book Depository: UK / US
Amazon: UK / US / Canada
Barnes and Noble

Happy Reading!!!

♪♫ Ambur

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