Monthly Archives: November 2012

book nerd swag review: epic fail by claire lazebnik


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.

what we thought:

m- this is going to be the most controversial review that we have ever posted. so stay tuned. i personally loved this story. the storyline of this book is a modern rendition of pride and prejudice by jane austen. i really loved this rendition and thought that it was an adorable take on the story. i immediately fell in love with derek. i mean come on now,  who doesn’t fall for the attractive, male lead in any story. 😉 derek is the perfect example of what the cliché high school quarterback, prince charming would be and when the new girl, that is immediately disliked by everyone, comes in and becomes friends with said ‘prince charming’ things are going to get a little messy.

l- haha, yep! this is one of the only books that masie and i have had completely different opinions on. in the end, we just agreed to disagree. 🙂 now, i’m a jane austen purist, so i dove into this story with set expectations. i have enjoyed modern takes on jane austen, so i was actually expecting to really like this book. it turned out, however, to be a huge disappointment for me. i think that as a rule, these “modern takes” on classic literature should  a) alter the story (within reason) due to the modern atmosphere while still b) keeping the heart of the book and the characters intact. if they don’t do these things, then it becomes more of an “alternate universe” than a “modern adaption.” this book, to me, felt like it copied the story (in some cases, scene by scene!) while changing the personalities of the characters. since the characters made the same decisions as in the original, at times the characters and their choices didn’t line up. this resulted in a story that felt a bit wishy-washy. although i could appreciate the author’s intention of putting a new spin on the story, the way it was executed felt like it it sacrificed a lot of the meaning of the book without really adding to the “modern take” on the story. haha this may seem like a bit of a rant… i don’t know if i’ve mentioned this before, but pride and prejudice is one of my absolute favorite books ever, so i was bound to be a liiiiittle picky when it came to the new rendition. 😉

m- i will say i agree with everything that lyli says. if you are going to write a modern take on the book then you need to turn the original story into a modern story, not copy the scenes and use modern environments. i haven’t read pride and prejudice, but will when i find time. i will say that the story was really cute, adorable, and completely cliché when it comes to a typical ya fiction novel. if you forget all about the fact that it was a modern pride and prejudice remake then the story was great. this story is very controversial when it comes to the audience. its pride and prejudice fans vs. everyone else when it comes to this story. though it really is just whether or not you like this version or not. this is one of those stories where i can’t exactly say whether or not you guys are going to like it or chuck it out the window.

l- hahahaha, i love how you put that, “the jane austen fans vs. everyone else.” yep,  i think that pretty much sums it up. 😉  to be fair, i did enjoy the “readability” aspect of this book… it flowed pretty well, so that’s points for the author. it really just comes down to your interpretation of the story. starting this book, masie and i were, in a way, reading it through different lenses based on what we knew of jane austen and her characters, and as a result we finished it with completely different opinions. i thought that this was really interesting, because 99% of the time we’re in complete agreement when it comes to books; if we love them, hate them, or just say “ehh.” i guess that is just evidence of how much you’re affected by your preconceived opinions… which can end up being the difference between enjoying a book, or as masie so adequately put it,  “chucking it out the window.” 🙂

m- haha. this was a rare occurrence for us. we had never disagreed on a book before. it was so funny because we were both like ‘it was bound to happen sometime’! this was that one book. you should definitely read the book and if you do seriously let us know what you think!!

rating! out of five stars: ***

well, we weren’t exactly unanimous on the rating for this book haha, so we decided to each give our ratings and then average them out.

masie gives it: ****

lyli gives it: **

and, voila! three stars.

would we recommend it? depends on who you’re asking. 😉