Friday, December 7, 2012

Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik

Book:  Epic Fail
Author:  Claire LaZebnik
Publisher:  Harper Teen
Date:  2011
Source:  purchased
My grade:  B

At Coral Tree Prep in Los Angeles, who your parents are can make or break you. Cast 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.
(picture and description from

Initial reaction
This novel was like a movie version of your favorite book.  It was good, but it just wasn’t as satisfying as the original.

Cover story

What’s the Story?
So, this is a re-telling of Pride and Prejudice.  And I am a huge, huge, huge Jane Austen fan.  So of course, I felt that I needed to read this one.

I liked it.  It was very close to the original.  In fact, in some ways, it was almost too close to the original.  But, where Jane Austen really fleshed out her storyline, Claire LaZebnik sort of glossed over things.  Honestly, I think I probably enjoyed this book BECAUSE I had read the original.  When a major plot point showed up, I had Jane Austen’s original astute observations to go back to, because there was not a lot of that type of thing in this book.

This was a very quick read.  It is only 179 pages, so I read it in almost one sitting, except that I finally fell asleep reading in bed.  Not because it was boring, but because I’m old.  The book managed to capture all the major occurrences from the original story, but it really hopped quickly from one to the other.  At 179 pages, there was definitely room to expand and that’s really what the author needed to do.

I liked the characters, but mostly because I liked Jane Austen’s characters.  It was easy to spot who was whom in the story and this actually did a good job of setting up modern day examples of the happenings from the original book.

I enjoyed this one, but probably because I love the original Pride and Prejudice.  I’m not sure how it would come across to someone who hasn’t read the original.  It’s definitely not better than Ms. Austen’s, but it was a quick, fun read.

The Soundtrack

King of Anything by Sara Bareilles

Sort Of by Ingrid Michaelson

Change of Season by Sweet Thing

Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You by Muse

I Hate Myself for Loving You by Joan Jett

I’d Rather Be With You by Joshua Radin

The Final Grade
My grade for this one is a B.  It was cute and fun and fans of Pride and Prejudice will enjoy watching the comedy of errors play out in modern times while those that are not fans of Jane Austen might find themselves wondering what the original is like.

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