Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik

11:00 AM

Title: Epic Fail
Author: Claire LaZebnik
Release Date: August 2, 2011 (paperback)
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 288
Source: ARC provided by author

Overall: 4.5 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.  

My Thoughts:
Claire LaZebnik’s debut YA novel, Epic Fail, is a delightful, modern take on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice! I loved the new spin on the classic romance novel we all know and hold dear in our hearts… and even if you have never read it, there are still no worries because you’ll be sure to fall in love with Epic Fail either way. (And, seriously, how awesome is that book title?)

Just like with Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy, you’ll be able to easily see the chemistry between Elise and Derek. It was so sweet seeing the pair grow as individuals as Elise saw past her prejudice and Derek overcame his pride so that the two could finally be together. Elise had a wicked sense of humour that had me laughing and smiling, while Derek definitely also had his moments too. Claire LaZebnik always kept the story fresh as she subtly interwove similar moments from Jane Austen’s version while also deviating to give her own new take in unraveling events.

Seeing Jane Austen’s characters moved into a present-day setting was a fun experience. Juliana, Elise’s older sister, and Chase, Derek’s best friend, made the cutest couple with their matching kind-hearted personalities. Mrs. Benton, the new Principle of Coral Tree Prep and the Elise’s mother, is just as frustrating, irritating and embarrassing as her original counterpart. And could Layla be any more annoying? I just wanted to reach into the pages and give the younger Benton girl a smack for her immature behaviour! And, of course, there’s the charming Webster Grant who may not be so honest after all…

Epic Fail is a perfect, cute read for the summer and I’m sure you won’t want to miss out on reading it! I easily breezed through the pages in no time at all, completing the novel in one sitting and wishing it didn’t have to end. I will be absolutely looking forward to reading more novels by Claire LaZebnik, that’s for sure!

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  1. This is so going to the top of my to buy list!! it sounds really awesome.
    Thanks for your review, it got me all pumped up for this book :)

  2. ohhh I think I'd love this one!!! Got to love it when you want to smack characters :D

  3. YAY! I've been pining after this book for some time, glad to hear it lives up to the awesomeness it promises :)
    And I love the title as well :)
    Glad you liked it!

  4. Ahh, I love a good 'remake' of a classic novel, especially when they sound as good as this. The title grabbed me and it sounds like a great breezy summer read. Thanks for the review, I'll be checking this book out!

  5. I am definitely sold on this novel now! Stupidly, I've seen this around for months but I never read the synopsis or anything. But when I finally took notice and realised people were loving it, well now I REALLY want to read it. Your review has only increased my anticipation :D Great review!

  6. I love retellings! This one sounds really cute and sweet - it definitely sounds like my kind of book. Glad you enjoyed it, this is definitely one I'll look out for! :)

  7. Glad you enjoyed this one, it definitely sounds cute/fun! For some reason I didn't know this was a P&P retelling. I don't think I ever read the description, actually, I always just saw the cover everywhere and thought it was cute, haha.

  8. I want to read this. I loved your review. Pride and Prejudice is one of my favourite stories (although I have never read it). I even like the title of this book.

  9. *squeals* I am so so so excited to read this <3 Thanks for the review!

  10. Ooooh! I've been wanting to read this for a while now! Glad to see that you enjoyed the title!! XD

  11. Epic Fail? Not this novel. Advertised as a young adult novel I suppose a 63 year old man ought not be interested. But as a reader of the classics, especially Austen, Thackeray, Trollope, Dickens, Bennett, etc. I was drawn to LaZebnik’s novel because I have read her other novels. And she does not disappoint.
    Do we know what will happen? Most probably adult readers will figure it out. But we don’t read Austen to be thrilled by some plot reversal – we read for the enjoyment of the language and to be privy to the thoughts of the characters. And LaZebnik does not disappoint.
    Here we have an old story told with verve and élan. Like Austen, the wit lies just below the surface and though you will be tempted to speed through the novel in one sitting because the writing flows so naturally resist dear reader. The satire of modern LA is too good to let slip through your fingers, as it were.
    Elise Benton is a joy. Where was she when I was in high school to whisk me to romantic rapture? What half way intelligent boy would not fall in love with her? Juliana is her sister and older by a year and possesses just those tweaks that yield her a beauty while her sister must get along on her wits.
    Derek Edwards is the son a famous movie couple – handsome and aloof. We will discover why he is aloof and why the pretty young things at the private high school interest him not.
    That Elise’s fashion hindered mother is principal at the school does not help her coolness quotient.
    A joy to read.

  12. I'm so glad to hear that you are all excited to read Epic Fail!! I really loved it, so I hope you all do too! :)