on April 19, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Meet Scarlett Epstein, BNF (Big Name Fan) in her online community of fanfiction writers, world-class nobody at Melville High. Her best (read: only) IRL friends are Avery, a painfully shy and annoyingly attractive bookworm, and Ruth, her pot-smoking, possibly insane seventy-three-year-old neighbor.
When Scarlett’s beloved TV show is canceled and her longtime crush, Gideon, is sucked out of her orbit and into the dark and distant world of Populars, Scarlett turns to the fanfic message boards for comfort. This time, though, her subjects aren’t the swoon-worthy stars of her fave series—they’re the real-life kids from her high school. Scarlett never considers what might happen if they were to find out what she truly thinks about them…until a dramatic series of events exposes a very different reality than Scarlett’s stories, forever transforming her approach to relationships—both online and off.
I knew that Scarlett Epstein Hates it Here was my kind of book as soon as I read the blurb. Nerd girl writes fanfic and all her friends are on the Internet? That could be me! Thankfully I loved the book as much as I loved the premise.
It’s hard not to see a little bit of yourself in Scarlett Epstein. She has such a huge personality. Her voice was so authentic! She was so very likable. I loved that she didn’t take crap from anyone. She was a loyal friend and a fantastic daughter. Her honesty was refreshing. I pretty much adored her.
Scarlett’s story is also intertwined with her fan-fiction. It was like a bonus story. I enjoyed it a lot. The romance in the story plays a big roll, but it certainly isn’t the focus. I loved how things turned out with Scarlett and Gideon. Their situation was very unique. They had great chemistry, but I mostly loved how Scarlett didn’t become a blubbering mess around him. She called him on his dumb decisions.
I spent the majority of this book giggling. Scarlett’s wit and the situations she finds herself in were hilarious. The book wasn’t all fun. It tackles some serious issues as well. Feminism, death, and classism just to name a few. These issues were handled with deft. The balance between serious topics and the humor were spot on. Nothing in the story ever felt bogged down but it also never felt too light.
Scarlett Epstein Hates it Here was a fabulous debut. I think Anna Breslaw is going to be a big name in the YA genre. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.