07 outubro 2011

Review: Epic Fail (Claire LaZebnik)

Publisher: HarperTeen (2011)
Format: Paperback | 295 pages
Genre(s): Young Adult, Romance
Description (GR): "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."
Average. I've read my share of Pride and Prejudice retellings, adaptations and sequels and "Epic Fail" was just... average. Not exactly good but not bad either. A nice read, but not particularly engaging.

Elise and Juliana Benton start at a new school, Coral Tree Prep, where her mother just happens to be the principal. They're surrounded by rich kids and celebrities but even there one stands above all: Derek Edwards, son of two Hollywood stars. He is gorgeous, he is popular and he's... an idiot.

Or that is what Elise thinks anyway. While she recognizes he is hot, she also sees what no-one else seems to: that Derek is a horrible snob and thinks he's all that. People may be fooled by his fortune and status but Elise is too level-headed for that... she sees things as they really are. Or does she?

Claire LaZebnik's main goal, as made clear by the tone of this book, was to write a retelling of "Pride and Prejudice" the famous and beloved classic by British 19th century author Jane Austen. LaZebnik changed the time, place and some of the situations to fit the era, but the way I see it she seemed to intend for her characters to have the same basic personality and strengths of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy.

That is where, and pardon my pun (is this a pun, even?), the author failed epically. I think she did a relatively good job at constructing her world and adapting the story to fit modern settings; but her characters Elise and Derek lacked the spark and energy of the ones they were modeled after. The romance lacked the chemistry and tension of the original work.

Being "Pride and Prejudice" mostly a character-driven novel that made all the difference. LaZebnik's attempt falls short, very short. It's simply not captivating and the characters don't have the wit and the charm they should have for the book to actually work.

Overall, I thought "Epic Fail" succeeded in being a fluffy, cute teen romance novel but the characters are weak and not very charismatic. That made the entire book much less interesting than it should have been. The story needs strong protagonists and the author wasn't able to write them, I think. But if you're looking for a light YA romance this book will certainly appeal to you. Still I'd advise reading the original (can you tell I'm a big Pride and Prejudice fangirl?).

4 comentários:

jen7waters disse...

Yep, falta alguma coisa neste livro...

(e não se nota nada que és grande fã do P&P, tens de te esforçar mais eheh :p)

slayra disse...

Será que falta a Jane Austen? O-o LOL. Se calhar estou a ser dura com o livro, mas acho que a autora podia ter feito mais esforço com as personagens. :/

(darn! Acho que tenho de pôr um icon a dizer I heart P&P na sidebar!)

Laura disse...

Nunca li nenhum retelling de P&P mas tenho sempre a sensação que nunca serão capazes de ser bons pelo simples facto de serem retellings (too much prejudice?).

slayra disse...

Lol, claro que nunca são como o original, mas por exemplo "O Diário de Bridget Jones" é um retelling mais subtil que consegue ser suficientemente diferente para ser mais ou menos engraçado. :D