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Epic Fail, by Claire LaZebnik

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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.

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This one was a nice, sweet read. I read it a few years ago so I don’t have a very vivid memory of the whole book, but I know I liked it so much I forced it upon a friend of mine. Yeah, I’m that bad. And she liked it too.

I was in a Jane Austen phase when I read it, and it can be both a good or a bad thing to have expectations when about to start a book. In the case of Epic Fail, it was an epic win. I truly loved the book. The story pretty much sticks to the plot of Pride & Prejudice, only in our time , where tea parties are replaced by teenagers hanging out at a diner, social gathering with gossiping posse turned into cafeteria gossip and a ball becomes prom night. Oh and they don’t need to marry for money or connections anymore. Ah the dear Victorian Era!

Anyway, I also really liked the main characters. Our Mister Darcy was somewhat a little more broody even though very charming as Derek Edwards. You guessed it, he is very popular in his high school, super cute of course and quite unreachable for most girls on campus. And actually, he’s not very interested in having a girlfriend on his arm.

“He was wearing a plain white oxford unbuttoned over a T-shirt, but something about the way they fit made him look put together, like an Abercrombie model (well, like an Abercrombie model who had remembered to put on a shirt that morning).”

On the other hand, we have Lizzie Benton, our very own Elizabeth Bennet. And like her character in Jane Austen’s book, she is quite opinionated and isn’t easily impressed. She’s just a little bit more to the point than E. Bennet.

“Juliana’s a year older than me, but she sometimes seems younger – mostly because she’s the opposite of cynical and I’m the opposite of the opposite of cynical.” 

That said, I loved the relationship between those two, the banter and the sort of love-to-hate-you dynamic they had.

The characters deal with teenage related crisis, which made the book and what happened in it quite believable with a touch of high school drama in the mix (Miss Popularity acting out, rumors, Prom scandals, etc…)

All in all it was a very enjoyable read, of which I keep a very nice memory. Also, true to the form, the book ends on a HEA note.

“He only invited me because of you and Chase.’
‘Right,’ she said, following me inside. ‘He’s never shown the slightest interest in you before. I mean, he’s never stared at you like you’re the only person in the room when we’re all together. Or sulked around for days because you turned him down for a dance. Or touched the sleeve of your sweater when he thinks no one’s looking-‘
‘He’s never done any of that,’ I said. Then, less confidently, ‘Has he?”

Happy reading!

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