Book Review: Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here

Posted April 15, 2016 by Kara in book review, Kara / 3 Comments

Book Review: Scarlett Epstein Hates It HereScarlett Epstein Hates It Here by Anna Breslaw
Published by Razorbill on April 19th 2016
Genres: young adult, contemporary
Pages: 288
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon

If Amy Schumer and Rainbow Rowell had a baby, she’d be Anna Breslaw. Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here is a witty, hilarious, heartwarming novel that’s perfect for fans of David Arnold’s Mosquitoland and Maria Semple’s Where’d You Go, Bernadette?   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. 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.
"Laughs, pop culture, and heart: Welcome to Anna Breslaw's world. You'll love it here." —DC Pierson, author of Crap Kingdom and The Boy Who Couldn't Sleep and Never Had To   "Scarlett Epstein is so funny and smart it makes me wish I were her when I was a dorky Jewish teen." —Megan Amram, author of Science…For Her!  “Fresh, raw, immediate and true. Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here feels so hip and now and yet somehow echoes back to Judy Blume.  I fell in love with Scarlett and cried the kind of reading tears that slide down your temples and pool in your ears.  It’s also laugh-through-your-tears funny, though, and gets five Jersey tomatoes from this girl who knows Jersey.” —Wendy Wunder, author of The Probability of Miracles and The Museum of Intangible Things

/*-First things first, Anna Breslaw has an awesome sense of humor. Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here was a really, really fun book. The writing is awesome, and the book has a very unique voice, the kind that you don’t encounter very often. It didn’t always work for me, but the fun time I had reading it was worth it for the small flaws.

And they are personal flaws, because different people find different things funny. Most of the humor is dry, there’s lots of sarcasm, and a few crude jokes. I LURVE crude humor and I am not easily offended. So all of that worked for me. Once in awhile I came across a line or a joke that felt a bit forced or overdone to me. I just didn’t find it funny. It wasn’t to the point where I was rolling my eyes, and I was able to read past it and move on without a problem.

Scarlett’s favorite TV show is cancelled. It’s a favorite show with a monster fandom and a creator that people are obsessed with (think Buffy and Joss Whedon). To keep all of her fandom friends together, Scarlett writes a new fanfic in the existing universe featuring characters from IRL that she is having trouble with. This gives her a chance to get her emotions out, and it also gives her online friends something to contribute to.

In real life, Scarlett is friends with Avery, a girl her own age (who I didn’t think had much personality), and a seventy-five year old woman that lived across the street named Ruth. Ruth was awesome and I loved getting to know her.

Scarlett has a fair amount of problems in her life, but I wouldn’t say they are more than any other teenage girl has to deal with. Her family’s sort of poor, and her dad is a jackass. She’s also in love with a guy who is dating her arch enemy. Pretty typical, in my opinion But it’s the WAY Scarlett deals with her problems that makes her unique.

I think what kept this novel from being 5 stars is that I did not have the emotional connection to the characters that I expected to. I thought the love interest was an ASSHOLE and did not redeem himself enough by the time the book was complete. I liked Scarlett and I connected with her, but her emotions were not always clear to me, even though I loved reading her thoughts.

I loved the fan fiction parts, and though there weren’t as many as I would have hoped for, I actually really adored that storyline. I would have loved to read a fan fiction like that.

Basically, this is a really GREAT book and you should read it!


3 responses to “Book Review: Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here

  1. I read the sneak peek of this book that was offered with NetGalley and it did seem like a fun book I would love to read. I’m glad that the rest of the book was pretty good too. Not sure about the whole asshole love interest thing though. That would irritate me. Great review.
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