Title: Epic Fail
Author: Claire LaZebnik
Length: 295 pages
Elise Benton is the new girl at an elite LA prep school. If this didn’t make things difficult enough, her mom is the new (disliked) principle. But things start looking up when her pretty older sister friends one of the cutest, nicest guys in the school. When they start spending a lot of time together, Elise gets to spend time with his best friend and son of Hollywood’s It Couple: Derek Edwards. But despite Derek’s fame and handsome good looks, Elise isn’t taken in by his charm, and friends his archenemy, social outcast Webster Grant instead. But in this modern Pride and Prejudice, first impressions are rarely right.
It’s a modern Pride and Prejudice. It’s the Clueless to Emma. Need I say more? Okay, I will. I loved the modernization and how the author updated Austen’s world into today’s world. Even thought I knew what was going to happen, I couldn’t put this book down. It was brilliantly done, with just enough changes to keep things interesting.
I was worried this would turn into just-another-bad-teen-movie-book, but page nine got rid of my fears when Elise acknowledges that she’s seen all the cliques about being a new girl at a new school, and she refuses to be one. (I have to say though: the cover art? A little cliché…but I was totally won over by the title).
The part of the modernization that really sealed it for me was Elise’s family. Juliana is Jane, the perfect, peace-keeping best friend of a sister who happily reminded me of my own sister, while Layla is Lydia, the annoying younger sister who refuses to listen to anyone and self-destructs. The mom was the kicker- overly strict, totally out of the loop and not in a charming way, while the dad had the charm but also the cluelessness. A modern Bennet family to be sure, but also a modern family that anyone can relate to in some way.
If you like Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, Clueless, or contemporary YA fiction in general, you’ll love this book.