Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here

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Rating: 5 Stars
Published: April 2016
Genre: Young Adult // Contemporary
Favorite Quote

“You’re sixteen.  By the time you’re twenty-one, they’ll expect you to be a real person.  This is your asshole window.  It’s wide open.”

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…(Summary from Goodreads)

I got April’s Uppercase Box and I was thrilled.  I hadn’t heard a lot about this book but as soon as I read the summary I had a feeling I was going to love this book.

This was such a fun contemporary! I haven’t been reading a lot of contemporaries lately because I’ve been stuck in a fantasy world.  This was perfect.

I can’t say a single bad thing about this book. I loved it all.  All of the characters, the storyline, the fanfiction, the fangirling.  ALL SO GOOD.

All the characters are flawed.  It’s almost like a Lizzie/Darcy trope just with different qualities than pride, though there is certainly a lot of prejudice.

It’s a very realistic portrayal of teens and their (/humans) judgmental nature.  Nobody knows what’s going on in someone else’s head but that message didn’t seem preachy.  The writer/creator of Lycanthrope High reminded me of Joss Whedon and that made me fangirl pretty hard.  (Huge Whedonite here!) For me though, the world of Lycanthrope High was a little confusing– it was hard to keep the characters straight.  I did like the fanfic aspect- it did remind me of Fangirl a bit but I enjoyed this fanfic more.  (Don’t hate me Simon Snow fans– I loved Carry On but I just really loved Cath & Levi and I wanted more of them in Fangirl.  I didn’t care about Simon & Baz YET, not until I read Carry On.)  I think it was because Scarlett based her fic on real people-it gelled in the story more.

Though, it was too easy for her to use their real names (and pretty convenient on the author’s part, it required less explanation.) But readers are pretty smart and probably could have figured out what characters the fic was talking about without using their actual names.

I loved the take on feminism– it wasn’t too overt but it was prevalent.  It was exactly what I could have used when I was in high school.

“I don’t say anything.  I freeze helplessly, torn between wanting to yell at him about his cisgender white male sense of entitlement and whisper to him that he smells like pine needles and dreams.”

Gideon is a typical guy.  He’s dorky but cute.  I probably would have been a little more pissed at Scarlett than he was at the end for what she did.  I wish we knew more about Avery & Ashley’s relationship outside of what Scarlett knows but I totally understand why we don’t. Avery is Scarlett’s best friend but there’s a side of her Avery just shares with her sister Ashley.  I just like that they were all flawed and blind at some things like you are when you’re in high school.  The characters are all relatable and funny.  I wish I was as witty as Scarlett.

Yes, I’m standing alone, as usual.  Gawk at me all you’d like when I’m dead and stuffed and posed in the Museum of Natural History as Girl Standing by Herself.”

This book had me laughing out loud and grinning until it felt like my was going to fall off.  This book made me happy.  And emotional.  My inner fangirl was screaming in delight.  Do yourself a favor and go pick up this book.

This was a great debut and one of my favorite contemporaries in recent years.  Anna Breslaw, when are you coming out with more books? 

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2 thoughts on “Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here

  1. I’m glad you liked this one! I’ve read it too, but my review is almost like it’s of a different book – I didn’t really like it and thought all the fanfiction stuff was a bit juvenile and boring, and all the characters came across as unlikable to me. Scarlett IS witty, though. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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