Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Two Girls, A Guy, and...the SATs?

Expected Publication:  April 21st, 2015
Wrong About the Guy
By: Claire LaZebnik
Harper Teen
ISBN-13:  9780062252302

As the stepdaughter of a TV star, Ellie Withers has it all: an amazing house in LA, a devoted friend who loved her before she even knew who Ellie's stepfather was, and a burgeoning romance with handsome Aaron Marquand.  But Ellie isn't the kind of person who's content with simply having it all -- the people in her life have to be equally happy.  And, of course, she knows exactly what they need.

When Ellie's plans for her family, her friends, and even her love life don't turn out the way she imagined, she begins to wonder if maybe she could stand to learn a thing or two after all.  Most surprising, though, is that the perfect person to teach her is the last person she'd expect.


       Ellie has a charmed life with her Mom, famous stepdad Luke and little brother in an LA mansion.  But she thrives on getting things to go her way, whether that means sharing her infuriating SAT tutor George with her less motivated best-friend Heather, getting her Mom and Luke to honeymoon where she wants them to, or planning the future of her own love life.  When Luke's best friend's son moves back to LA for his senior year, Ellie thinks this might finally be the time to jump start her own romantic life.  But there doesn't seem to be any chemistry to speak of between the two of them.  With fake girls at school giving her trouble, fights with Heather over college (and surprisingly, a guy) putting a crimp in their friendship, and Aaron not being quite what he seemed on the surface, is it finally time for Ellie to admit that she needs to spend some time on her own life instead of everyone else's?
       I am a sucker for Jane Austen retellings and had previously read Epic Fail and The Trouble With Flirting by this author, and really enjoyed them.  That said, Elizabeth Bennet and Fanny Price were likeable heroines inherently and I was rooting for them in the original stories.  Emma was not really a favorite of mine.  I will say that Claire definitely managed to make the characters more approachable.  I especially liked Emma's Mom and her stepdad in this book, and the overall family relationship (a great one).  Heather was okay, but I do feel like she was dumbed down quite a bit to make the whole SAT situation more believable.  I honestly felt like Emma didn't even need an SAT tutor, but it was a good way to bring George (aka Knightley) into the story and lessen the originally FAR more creepy age difference between him and Ellie (Emma).  The were a few subplots, such as the one with Aaron's true object of affection, the one with a weird girl at school trying to get to Ellie's stepdad through her, and one with the slow development of Ellie's little brother/what could be responsible for it medically.  Overall, a sweet and fluffy retelling of Emma that I enjoyed and would recommend, even if I didn't quite love it.

VERDICT:  3/5 Stars

**I reviewed this book as part of Around the World ARC Tours, run by the lovely Princess Bookie.  No money or favors were exchanged for this review.  This book's expected publication date is April 21st, 2015.**

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