If you loved Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, try Anna Breslaw’s Scarlett Epstein Hates it Here 

If you loved Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, try Anna Breslaw’s Scarlett Epstein Hates it Here 

Scarlett Epstein may hate her life, but I love her narrative voice.  Funny and real, this book is a short and engaging read that fans of books like Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl will find irresistible.  I do have to say that, while I gave this book five stars, the response from other readers has been all over the spectrum.  I think that means you either connect with Scarlett or you really, really don’t.  I think it is at least worth sampling to see if you will love it or leave it because I’m certainly glad I didn’t pass on the opportunity to live in Scarlett Epstein’s hated world for a while.


Goodreads Summary

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.

My Thoughts

I really loved this book!  It is smart and snarky and laugh out loud funny.  Scarlett is a narrative voice with a sharp wit and an honesty that many YAs will find very engaging.  She isn’t perfect, but her faults feel perfectly real.  The cast of secondary characters was a quirky mix of unexpected and average that created a believable and enjoyable community of folks who are all just trying to get by.  The plot is nicely paced to allow the implosion of Scarlett’s life as well as the rebuilding, and the angst of a maybe-he-does, maybe-he-doesn’t romance is compelling and just slightly pathetic enough to, again, ring true.  I loved the fact that there were thoughtful lessons hiding underneath the humor, and it added a nice depth.  I can’t wait to get a copy of this book in my classroom library because Scarlett is an unforgettable character and I know my high school students will enjoy this hilarious look at going around the obstacles that life throws up unexpectedly.  Language and situations are appropriate for grades 8+, but adult readers of YA will be able to enjoy it as well.

I received an ARC from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.


About queenbook

When the final bell rings, I stash those messy piles of essays and analysis assignments in a desk drawer and I head home to a pile of good books. My kids and dog eat too many chicken nuggets and the house could be neater, but as long as I get my daily read, I guess we are doing all right. When I was twelve and fifteen and eighteen and twenty, I believed I needed to get out there and do those things I had just been reading about, which ended in disaster, tears, a tattoo that scares me every time I catch a glimpse of it in the mirror, and the realization that some of us are meant for action, and some of us are meant to critique the pace of action in a book. I read primarily YA fiction as I have a rather hulking classroom library and a hundred high school readers to engage daily. Nothing makes me happier than coming to school and finding an impatient teenager waiting by my door to turn in a book and get another one just like it. I adore a good zombie, a medieval princess, or girl assassin (I would like them all in one book if you are a writer looking for some inspiration). I add historical mystery to my wish list a year in advance, and you should get out of my way when the next Outlander book comes out. I have an embarrassing fondness for rock star books, but only if they don’t get too trashy and embarrass me. My favorite book of all time is The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery. My book boyfriends include Gilbert Blythe, Alonzo Wilder, and Jamie Fraser. They are mine and you can’t have them.

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