Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Not Quite Epic, But Plenty of Fun

Published: August 2nd, 2011
Epic Fail
By: Claire LaZebnik
ISBN-13: 9780061921261

Will Elise’s love life be an epic win or an epic fail?
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.


  Elise Benton has just been moved from a perfectly average life in Massachusetts with her parents and three sisters, to California.  She is living among children of movie stars and going to school with them because of her parents' jobs as Principal and a teacher at the exclusive private school.  Immediately her older sister Julianna starts crushing on popular Chase and Elise is forced to spend lots of time with him and his best friend Derek.  She mistakes Derek's hesitance to trust people for snobbishness and the belief that he's above everyone else.  This leads Elise to get involved with social pariah Webster Grant, who knows all the right things to say, but may not be all that he seems.  All the while, she's trying to corral her younger sister Layla and stop her reckless behavior.  Will Elise be able to set aside her first impressions and realize that Derek is not as bad as he seems?  Can there be more than friendship blooming between them if she allows it to happen?  I went into this book not realizing that it was a retelling of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.  But the minute I realized this I was taken in completely.  I love Austen retellings, and devour them like no other!  This book was no exception to that hunger.  I loved Elise's playful humor, but her density when realizing Webster's true colors and Derek's good nature was slightly annoying at times.  It felt like it took to long at times and was unnecessarily dragged out.  But I adored the interactions between Elise and Julianna, they were like real sisters in the way the talked to each other.  Their relationship wasn't overly idealized.  Layla was just as bratty in this book as Lydia in the original, but there was more of a cause for it.  You could tell that she felt left out and stuck in the middle of her older sisters and the little sister, Kaitlin (who in the original is much closer to her in age).  It was a cute book and I enjoyed the romance and all of its minor obstacles.   But I wouldn't suggest it to people who are looking for a deep book to read.  This is more of a fluffy book, for fans of the original or those who can look on it as its own book.

VERDICT:  3.5/5  Stars

*No money or favors were exchanged for this review. This book is now available in stores and online.*

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