REVIEW: Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik

Title: Epic Fail
AuthorClaire LaZebnik
Genre: Young Adult
Source: personal shelf
Published: August 2011 by HarperTeen

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.

Epic Fail

Why I Read this Book: The celebrity status of Derek’s parents was an interesting factor in this story. I wanted to see how Derek managed everyday life having parents as famous as our own Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. I was also curious to see how the love triangle mentioned in the book blurb was going to play out. Epic Fail has been described as a ‘modernization of Pride and Prejudice’ – a book I have not yet read but plan on reading sometime. Perhaps I’ll have to re-read Epic Fail once I’ve read Pride and Prejudice to better compare the two…

What I Liked: I appreciated that things didn’t end as I had expected. I had expected Elise to choose one of the guys for certain reasons and that didn’t happen (thankfully). I’m happy with whom she ended up with, and why she ended up with him. Elise is a good person with good intensions.

I liked the family values and moral code instilled in Elise and her older sister. They may not like all the rules implemented by their parents but they respect them and understand the reasoning behind them.

As much as I despised Chelsea’s character, she was quite three-dimensional. The author brought her to life in such an annoying way.

What I Didn’t Like: I didn’t like how the astronomy teacher made light of an SAT prep class; he felt that his students should come on his nighttime field trip to gaze at the stars instead of preparing for the SATs.  Clearly the field trip would be the fun choice but the SAT prep class is more important.

Elise and her older sister are asked if the new math teacher, named Benton (same last name as the girls), is their father and they reply “sort of”. I wasn’t sure what was meant by this vague response and it was never explained further in the story.

Overall Impression: Epic Fail has a little bit of everything – a love triangle, some teenage tension and just a little bit of that expected angst you’d expect to find in most YA novels. There is also a cute, sweet love story to be found in this book as well. Epic Fail didn’t blow me away but it was a fun and light read.

The Book Vixen’s Rating:

3 Frogs

About Brianna: Supermom by day, naughty reader by night. Addicted to chocolate, Twitter, her iPad, her Kindle, and 99¢ Kindle deals. You can follow Brianna on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Instagram.


  1. When I first heard about this one, I thought it sounded fun and light -- glad to hear I was correct =) Sounds like a perfect in-between book when you've been reading a lot of intense things! I'd be really annoyed about them not explaining how the guy is "sort of" their father too! If things are mentioned, there needs to be a reason! Lol! Great review!

  2. You said P&P and I listened :) I do know the story *coughs* Lol, so it would be fun to check

  3. Hmm...I'm not sure if this is one for me or not. I feel like this whole "re-doing Pride and Prejudice" thing has been done a lot lately. And the fact that some things weren't explained is bound to get on my nerves.

    I have to say I love the cover cute!

  4. @Blodeuedd

    I need to read P&P so I can compare this book. I must be one of the few who have yet to read P&P!!

  5. @Natalie (Mindful Musings)

    It seems like there's a lot of P&P redos out there. This is the first one I've read. In fact, I didn't even know it was a P&P redo until I got the book in hand and saw it in the blurb.

    I like the cover too :)

  6. The author's name sounds really familiar. I'm going to have to Google and see if I've read anything else by her...

    This looks really interesting, even if there are a few things you had issues with. And I love redos. Especially ones like 10 Things I Hate About You (even if it's a movie instead of a book, lol). I like updates. I like YA. I really like when it's in today's language, when it's done in terms I can understand and in situations I can relate to. This sounds like something I can relate to.

    Sigh. Another book I have to add to the TBR pile. I'm going to have to spank you one of these days. That, or my husband will for the amount of money I spend because of you. LOL.

  7. @Mama Kitty

    I loved 10 Things I Hate About You! Of course, I've never read the original but I did enjoy the movie. And I'm like you; I like the updated versions because it's easier for me to understand :)


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