Thursday, August 4, 2011

Review: Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik

Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik
Release Date: August 2, 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Contemporary YA

The Story: 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.

My Review: The students at Coral Tree Prep are about to get a new principal and a new teacher. And along with those two, they will also get four (yes four!) sisters, none of which are used to this high class, movie star world that the students at Coral Tree Prep are accustomed to. You see, everyone at Coral Tree is rich and seems to believe this status is all they will need in life. The Benson family are the complete opposite and that makes for a hilarious and awkward transition for our four young sisters. 

The story is told from Elise's point of view. She's the second oldest in the family, with Juliana being the oldest. When Julianne nearly immediately bonds with Chase, that leaves Elise to tag along with the two and Chase's best friend, Derek. Derek is not only rich, but the son of a very famous movie star. As Derek and Elise wouldn't have normally found themselves in each others company, it's really funny to watch their relationship develop from snarky an witty to hilarious and cute. Elise wastes no time making judgments on who and what she thinks Derek is and Derek makes no real effort to dispel her image of him. 

Being the good sister that she is, Elise sticks with Juliana and helps her when things get rough with Chase. It's heartbreaking to watch Juliana so distraught when her character is such a good soul. She is so trusting and loving that you just want to pummel whoever has hurt her. I loved the sisterly bond they shared. It was almost enough to make me wish I had a sister of my own. 

And of course there is always the charismatic, but dangerous, Webster Grant, who Elise takes a liking to even though we all know he can't be good news. He's just so helpless in this sea of wealthy sharks that you know something is up. Any part of Derek that Elise is drawn to is quickly wiped away when he has her only friend, Webster kicked out of a party they are all attending. This does absolutely nothing good for how Elise views Derek, but it's just a matter of time before we all know the awful truth.
This re-telling of Pride and Prejudice is a definite must read. It's fun, flirty and flat out hilarious at times. I enjoyed it from beginning to end an would recommend it to any Pride and Prejudice fan. And more than that, I'd recommend it to anyone who *hasn't* read Pride and Prejudice because, truly, you won't need to know the original story to love and adore this one. I know I did!

My Rating:


  1. I think this novel sounds so cute! I can't wait to read it. I'm excited to see the likeness and differences of the classic it was crafted after and I love the Coral Tree Prep school angle. Thanks for the great review!

  2. So jealous! I've been wanting to read this for such a long time now. Australia's getting it in October... *sighs*

  3. I should be getting this one very soon, so I'm happy to hear it's really good. I've never read P&P either, so it's good to know that I don't really need to in order to enjoy the story.

  4. Sounds like a fun read! Though I may need a character map to keep straight everyone's relationships to each other. :)

    Thanks for the rec!




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