Book Review: Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik

Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik
Publisher: HarperTEEN
Format: Paperback
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
Publication Date: 8.2.2011
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.

It hurts to write this review, because I was so excited for this book. I love everything Jane Austen, and when I read modern versions of Pride and Prejudice, it just makes my heart happy.

Sadly, this one didn't quite do the trick for me.

While the characters were supposed to be modern versions of Jane Austen's characters, most of their personalities were too different. Elise (Lizzy's modern counterpart) began the story as a girl unsure of herself who let herself be bullied around by two other characters, and who even felt inferior when Derek (Mr. Darcy's counterpart) ignored her or brushed her off. Jane Austen's Lizzy would never have felt inferior in those situations! Later in the story Elise's personality starts to show and she is a much more interesting and funny character, but she is still full of self-doubt and has little sense of self worth...until she gets the guy. Yeah....

The other characters were either flat, and showed hardly any personality beyond what we are told should be there, or were outright obnoxious. The romance between Chase and Juliana (Mr. Bingley and Jane) happens outside of the scenes in the book, so they seem to fall in love after just a few class periods. The romance between Elise and Derek starts out promising (he's very much like Mr. Darcy in the beginning), but quickly turns typical. Average, at best. Something about the story kept me reading all night long, so it's not without redeeming factors, but I still felt like something was missing.

The good points of the book are the fantastic modern parallels to Jane Austen's day. Some of them were very clever and I applaud the author's ability to take what Jane Austen saw was wrong with the time period, and relate it to what is wrong in our time period, too. I also really liked the relationship between Elise and Juliana. They didn't get along perfectly, but they talked to each other and helped each other throughout the story.

Overall, this is a very quick read that boasts some cute scenes with the main characters. If you think you will be able to keep this separate from Pride and Prejudice in your mind, you should definitely give it a try.

Read this if:
...you like romances, and you know what it's like to have love/hate relationship with your sisters.

Content Warning
*This section may contain some spoilers about content!*
Highlight between the brackets to reveal the text.
{Some swearing, including use of the "F" word. Underage drinking.}

Purchase Epic Fail:
Claire LaZebnik:


  1. Oh no! So sad to hear you didn't love it. My sis just bought me this book and I have been excited to read it. I guess we will see how I feel after I read it.

  2. It's definitely got some cute moments, and I can see how it could be a great book. It just wasn't for me. I'd love to hear what you think about it when you read it, though!

  3. I love reading books that have a Pride and Prejudice twist on it! I can see what you mean about characters never really relating to any of Jane Austen's. Such a bummer! Have you read Prom and Prejudice? That one I really like!

  4. Roxy: I haven't read Prom and Prejudice, but it's on my list. I've heard good things about it, so I'm really excited!

  5. I'm excited to read this one and I think it will be my next read. I haven't read any Jane Austen, so I hope I'll be okay because I don't have to compare? O_O I hope I like it because I've been wanting this one for a while.

  6. If you haven't read any Jane Austen, you'll probably be okay. It was a good book, it's just those comparisons that didn't fit that threw me off. Hope you like it!

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. I'm sorry to hear that you didn't like the book. I like it most of it, i had a mix of emotions in many parts and the final was something i didn't expect it would appear.It was funny and i had a really good time reading it (:

  9. Kimberly: I'm glad you liked it! I'll be checking out your review since I love hearing different opinions. Thanks for stopping by!


Thanks for commenting! I read each and every one, and reply as soon as I can :)

Please note: The Reading Fever is an award-free zone. I am very flattered, but comments are all the thanks I need.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...