Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here by Anna Breslaw
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Published by Penguin on April 19th 2016
Format: Hardcover (288 pages) • Source: Library
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The premise of the book is that Scarlett’s favorite show, that she writes popular fanfic about, was cancelled. She’s trying to move on from the loss, get ~things~ going with the childhood friend she’s always had a crush on, manage her relationships with her parents, and keep up both IRL and online friendships. The book has snippets of IM conversations as well as pieces of fanfiction sprinkled throughout, so that was fun!
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 weed-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. And if they ever find out what Scarlett truly thinks about them, she’ll be thrust into a situation far more dramatic than anything she’s ever seen on TV…
Reasons to Read
Sassy main character
Scarlett is a really fun main character. Her sarcasm and sassiness levels are out of control. This was often funny and quick, but sometimes it was definitely a defense mechanism. I was hoping for some development in that area but didn’t want her personality to change. I love sarcastic and clever main characters. It was hard to be in her head at times because it seemed like her thoughts were going a mile per minute, but I did enjoy it overall.
Fanfic and fandom, plus online friendships
The book centers a bit around Scarlett’s new fanfic. They decide to spin-off from the TV show and create their own (something I didn’t understand based on the IM conversations, but whatever…). Scarlett bases hers primarily around the guy she likes (Gideon), the girl he’s seeing (Ashley), and other people at their school. You can imagine how this turns out for her. Minus all of the expected drama, I thought the fanfic elements (and really everything related to being in a fandom) were so fun. It’s so relatable when you’re a book blogger because we all tend to have some obsessions when it comes to TV, music, books, and movies. Scarlett was definitely relatable in that way. Any blogger can likely appreciate that! We also know what it’s like to have online friends – the stigma sometimes attached to it, as well as the huge impact they can have on your life.
I love Lycanthrope and the characters down to my bones, in a way I can’t even articulate, the way you love your family or your best friend. (page 7)
Super quick and easy
I sat down on a Monday night and read nearly half the book, then finished it off in the morning before work. Such an easy read that you can breeze right through. I love when I just get into a groove with a story and am able to crank through it. Definitely a fast book if you’re looking for one!
Cover matches the book
I talked recently about how much I love it when a cover completely matches the book. The outside does a good job of advertising what’s inside. Honestly, they completely nailed this cover design. The image shows the girl wearing pink Grandma-style glasses, which are exactly the glasses Scarlett wears. Her clothing is exactly the same as described too. I just love seeing how accurately they depicted the MC on the cover! All of the little scribbles, doodles, and laptop images are awesome too.
Everything isn’t as it appears
I’m not one to get deep in my reviews – especially for a fluffier contemporary – so this whole “moral of the story” piece is kind of odd for me… I just couldn’t resist here! The whole idea of everyone/everything not being as they appear is prevalent, especially within the last few pages of the book. Scarlett assumes everyone is a certain way, but people are much more complicated than the boxes she puts them in. This is true for her quite a few characters in the book but I don’t want to spoil anything.
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