Epic Fail

Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik

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.


The Story:

Elise Benton and her family have just moved to Los Angeles from Massachusetts.  They begin attending the snooty pants Coral Tree Prep and are immediately thrust into a world of beautiful, well-to-do semi-celeb kids.  One particularly brooding (translation: hot) specimen, Derek Edwards, is the son of two prominent Hollywood stars.  He’d be pretty dreamy if he didn’t seem so put off by having to actually socialize with people.  And poor Elise keeps crossing paths with him because his best bud, the adorably sweet Chase, is into Elise’s older sister, Juliana.  Luckily, Elise meets the charmingly swarmy Webster Grant. Everyone–especially Derek–hates the pants off this guy. And Elise doesn’t get why.  He’s really nice and he’s crazy cute.

But Elise has to learn the hard way that not everyone is as they seem.

My Take:

It’s all so familiar, right?

This is because Epic Fail is a modern-day retelling of Pride and Prejudice.


I know. This means it’s made of awesome.

And so, I’m sure you guessed that I thoroughly enjoyed this book. That I wanted to crawl inside it and make a little home for myself. That I wanted to run my fingers through Derek’s dark hair (ahem, you know, for Elise). I mean, first I wanted to kick his butt because Darcyness has that effect on me, but then oh, how I liked him.

And I know this may make me sound like a complete idiot, but this is the first retelling (and I’ve read many) where I felt I truly understood Derek/Darcy’s aloofness.  I still cringed at how rude he seemed, but this time I felt I understood the motivation.  Derek’s parents are über famous, he and his sister have been hounded by the paps all of their lives, and most people are only interested in him because of his parent’s fame.  That would definitely get old.

Epiphany! I finally get Darcy.

Crush Intensity: 4/5 This book was totally cute and charming.  Claire LeZebnik has done Miss Austen proud.

13 thoughts on “Epic Fail

  1. I just read this, too, and really enjoyed it. I love P&P retellings! Have you read Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg? Or Pride, Prejudice and Jasmin Field by Melissa Nathan? P, P and Jasmin Field is not a teen book, but the Mr. Darcy character is a super famous actor. It is a lot of fun.

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  3. I just finished it. It was totally cute. Loved Derek. You’re right that it made you understand his POV much better. Someone commmented about Jasmine Field, I actually have that book and now I want to finally read it. I can send it to you when I’m done. ~dixie

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