My Rating: 4 hearts
Thoughts on the Novel: Epic Fail is the charming YA debut of Claire LaZebnik that is based on Pride and Prejudice. I have no idea how faithfully LaZebnik’s characters resemble their original counterparts since I read Jane Austen’s classic story a very long time ago and don’t remember much of it, but even those who haven’t read the story will easily get sucked into Epic Fail.
As there isn’t a huge amount of action, the success of Epic Fail hinges on its main characters and their chemistry. Luckily, LaZebnik nails it. Elise is a smart and witty heroine who refuses to be swayed by popularity, and is intent on judging people for who they are and not their background. Though Derek appears standoffish early on, Elise can’t help but be intrigued by the more relaxed Derek that she hangs out with at a party. That is, until Derek gets the host of the party to kick out Elise’s friend, the charismatic Webster. At this point in Epic Fail it’s still not revealed what Derek’s problem with Webster is, so this action kind of makes him appear like a celebrity brat and doesn’t win him any points with Elise. While being famous seems like it has a lot of perks, LaZebnik does a good job portraying its drawbacks with the character of Derek.
Despite strong lead characters, the rest of the characters in Epic Fail were a tad one-dimensional even if they were entertaining. It was amusing to see Chelsea repeatedly throw herself at Derek for example when it was so obvious that he didn’t want her. The secondary character I loved having page time though was Mrs. Benton. The way she is introduced is pretty funny and it’s impossible not to feel sorry for the Benton girls every time she shows up after because her celebrity obsession with Melissa Anton, Derek’s mother, is just bound to embarrass them.
Perfect for a light, summer read, Epic Fail is released by HarperTeen today!
Comments About the Cover: I think it’s absolutely adorable! With so many misunderstandings between Derek and Elise, I love how the guy and girl are holding a note with half a heart each.
In exchange for an honest review, this ARC was received from the publisher (HarperCollinsCanada) for free.