Saturday, October 22, 2011

Epic Fail

Author: Claire Lazebnik
Publisher: HarperTeen
Released: 2011
Genre: YA Romance
Adaptation of Pride and Prejudice
Source: Library

Elise Benton and her family moved to sunny LA, but she's not happy about it. Definitely not dazzled by the children of local stars in her high school, especially Derek Edwards, the most famous and most anti-social of them all. But when her older sister, Juliana, and Derek's friend, Chase, get serious about each other, Elise finds herself spending a lot of time with moody Derek - and finding out that appearances may be deceiving.

I love this book! I'd never read adaptations of Pride and Prejudice before, and seeing the story in a modern setting was really great! The story elements are all there, which made reading this sort of like a treasure hunt, waiting and watching for each plot turn to show up.

On its own, even without Jane Austen, this is still an amazing book. Claire's style is so effortless, and just sweeps you up into the twists and turns of the various relationships. Each character is so real, so rounded, and everything they do makes so much sense in context. And the Hollywood scene is so much fun - especially from the jaded and cynical viewpoints of Derek and Elise!

Derek is a really great character - like Darcy, he's totally unreadable for most of the book, and his hatred for Webster seems to make no sense, but it all eventually falls into place. I was waiting to see how Claire would handle Derek's sister - obviously she can't have been "compromised" by Webster as Darcy's sister is in Pride and Prejudice, since that doesn't make sense for modern-day Epic Fail - but the way Claire deals with that is brilliant, and fits right into the modern world!

Elise is really fun - not exactly like Elizabeth Bennett, but with the same cynical attitude, fierce loyalty, and misplaced prejudice. I actually found Juliana a slightly more relatable than Jane Bennett, as well as Chase - they're still unbearably (but lovingly unbearably) optimistic and lovey-dovey, but Juliana gets half-mean to sister Layla at one point, and there I felt like cheering!

Such a great book! I may just buy this one!

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