Friday, September 9, 2011

Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik-OPTIONAL

LaZebnik, Claire Epic Fail, 295 pages, Harper Teen, 2011, $9.99. Language-PG-13 (5 swears, 1f*), Sexual Content-PG-13, Violence-PG
In this Pride and Prejudice retell, Elise Benton and her family move from New England to California when her parents take jobs at Coral Tree Prep, a selective high school for the children of the rich and famous. At Coral Tree, Elise and her sister, Juliana, suffer from embarrassment at the hands of their mother, the fashion-challenged new principal, and their popularity-seeking younger sister, Layla. However, when Juliana attracts the eye of Chase, the obliging friend of Derek Edwards, son of Hollywood's golden couple, Elise finds herself thrust into Derek's social circle. Often conflicted about her growing attraction to both this seemingly aloft Darcy wannabe and campus bad boy, Webster Grant, Elise chooses to misunderstand and, in turn, is misunderstood as she tries to climb the social strata of Coral Tree Prep. There is very little in Epic Fail that is epic or original, and fans of Pride and Prejudice will recognize all the characters and plot points for what they are. The lifestyles of the rich and famous seem false and forced, and the ending, flat. Epic Fail does not really add anything to the cannon of Austen-esque YA, but it may have chick lit appeal for younger teens. HS-OPTIONAL Reviewer: Gretchen

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