Review: Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here by Anna Breslaw10:00
Author: Anna Breslaw
Published April 19th 2016 by Razorbill
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 cancelled 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…
I seriously conflicted over this book. It had been on my wishlist and TBR for ages, and I was proper looking forward to reading it when I had some free time during or after my exams. The day after my second exam, I decided to give myself some free time away from revision, and this book was calling to me from my bookshelf. Before I get into the proper review, it should be noted that I did read it all in one sitting, so at least there's that.
Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here is about Scarlett, a high school student who is a self proclaimed fangirl. Her favourite show, Lycanthrope High, has been cancelled, and she's gone into mourning. Her and her online friends, some of the best fanfic writers for Lycanthrope High, group together to overcome the loss, and Scarlett begins writing fanfic influenced both by the show, and by her own life. In reality, she hasn't got many friends, the person she's closest too is an 80 year old pensioner living across the road. The boy who she had been best friends with when they were younger, Gideon, has been 'brain washed' by the Populars, but her crush never truly went away. She draws far too much from reality for her fanfic, with people like herself, Gideon, and mean girl Ashley, being the building blocks for her 'fictional' characters.
I should have loved this book. I'd seen a ton of positive reviews online, from bloggers whose opinions I trust, and, quite simply, the synopsis promised something right up my street. I don't really know why, but the book was just flat. I never really connected with Scarlett, or honestly, liked her. The characters were all too blah for me to care about, and I feel like I was just reading the book, without connecting with it at all, or really caring. I flew through the book, but more because I wasn't savouring it like I wanted too; rather, I was kinda skimming through the book to see if it got any better.
The plot lines, too, didn't hook me. Out of the 'real' story, and the fictionalised fanfic, the fanfic was better, but only marginally so. I did appreciate Breslaw's writing, though, it had to have been the best part of the entire book. Because of this, I would probably give her books another go in the future, but Scarlett Epstein wasn't for me.