29 September 2011

Review: Epic Fail - Claire LaZebnik

Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik
published August 2011
young adult, retelling of Pride & Prejudice
bought my copy

Elise Benton and her family have just moved to LA and she and her sisters just started at their new high school. A high school full of youths that have rich and famous parents. At first Elise is unsure if she will fit in because her family is not rich and she doesn't have the money to buy designer brands. However she and her older sister soon find contact to new people and they even befriend Derek Edwards, the most popular guy at school. Derek is the son of super famous parents and everyone at school tries to get close to him. There is some special chemistry between Elise and Derek, their witty banters and discussions make Elise wish that maybe they could be more than friends. But then Elise is told something about Derek that changes her opinion completely.
Will they manage to overcome their differences and realize that having too much pride and too many prejudices is not always a good idea?

I'm a big fan of Jane Austen and her books. I also like reading retellings of her work. "Epic Fail" is a diverting, funny and at times fluffy version of Pride & Prejudice. The story is short, mostly light-hearted and very easy to read. The author's engaging writing style and especially the witty heroine made reading the book a lot of fun. 

"Epic Fail" is so far the youngest retelling of a book by Jane Austen I read and I liked the way the plot of the original story was changed to fit to Elise's world. The setting in Hollywood with all the famous and rich people was a great idea and I also think that Elise's mother was a very fitting Mrs. Bennett. She annoyed me just as much as the original one did and that says a lot. 

Derek was a good Darcy, I liked that he seemed arrogant but in reality was really nice and even a bit shy. Elise was also a great Elizabeth, she was very smart, witty and funny. 

The one thing I didn't like about the story was that the ending was a bit abrupt. 5 to 10 more pages would have been needed to give the book a good ending. 

It's cute, nice and fits to the story

final appraisal
"Epic Fail" is a cute, diverting and funny YA retelling of Pride & Prejudice. The main characters made me laugh and the story is a bit fluffy. I would recommend this book to all readers who are looking for a light and amusing young adult story that's based on Jane Austen's book.

for more info on the author and her books go to http://clairelazebnik.com/


  1. Sounds like a cute story! Love the colors of your blog--they're as happy as advertised by the blog name. ;)

  2. I'll definitely read that one! It sounds like a cute and intelligent story. I loved Pride and Prejudice, but I've never tried a retelling before, so I guess it's time I change that! :]

  3. Awww! I totally want to read this... If not for the title alone! Lol!

  4. I've seen some other reviews for this one commenting on the ending. Another review I read said that EPIC FAIL didn't end like PRIDE & PREJUDICE, and that confused both me and the reviewer. Does it have the same type of ending as the book it's modeled off of, or is that too spoilery?

  5. @ Jennifer: At the end both pairs are together (Elise and Derek, her sister and his best friend), but Elise is still a bit unsure about how other will see them. As I said, the ending in "Epic Fail" is a bit too abrupt, 5 to 10 pages more would have been needed to create a "real" ending.




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