Book Title: Epic Fail
Author: Claire LaZebnik
Publication Date: August 2nd 2011
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Romance, YA
Age Range: 12+ years old
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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.
Okay, let me start off by saying that I didn’t know that this was kind of like a Pride and Prejudice young adult retelling until I did a bit of research on the book. I wouldn’t know because I haven’t exactly read P&P yet. Why? I’m not sure either.
Now that’s out of the way, I’ll discuss the reasons why I enjoyed this book.
Elise Benton, our main character, is very funny. She has a sense of humor that I appreciate and she’s an overall nice person, which made me like her. Actually, I like most of the characters, except for her little sister Layla who is such a pain in the butt. I empathize for Elise about the whole my-family-is-embarrassing-but-I-still-love-them, though. I have my very own! So I kind of relate to her in another level considering that I, too, experienced the over-protectiveness, the annoying little sisters, and the stupid house rules too (well, not to the extent that we can’t use cellphones in the house, but you get my point).
Aside from Elise, there is another character that I absolutely loved, Derek Edwards. Among all the books I’ve read or films I’ve watched with a celebrity or a famous character in it, Derek has got to be one of the most realistic. Most of that type of stories just make it look like there’s no downside to being popular. It seems all like rainbows and flowers and sunshine. But in Epic Fail, it doesn’t only let the reader know the negatives, but it makes them sympathize for the character too. At first, it worried me that we might not get to know Derek as much as I would’ve like to—but it turns out that it wasn’t really a problem. I skimmed through a few reviews on Goodreads and some people say they didn’t like Derek. It’s obvious that he’s a bit standoffish but, I think when the reader gets to know him a bit more, it’s really understandable.
The plot was okay, it didn’t suck but it didn’t really leave an impact on me whatsoever. There is one element in the story that I didn’t like how it turns out. I was actually thrilled to have seen that the story took a turn to that direction but unpleasantly shocked on how it was resolved. I will only say this: Webster Grant. Read the book to find out what I mean.
Would I recommend it?
Maybe? If you’re looking for a light and humorous read and you like the premise of this, try this one.
All book cover photos and book info (such as summary, publication, etc.) are taken from Goodreads.