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Epic Fail Paperback – Bargain Price, August 2, 2011

4.1 out of 5 stars 234 customer reviews

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Paperback, Bargain Price, August 2, 2011
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Editorial Reviews


“Jane Austen fans will have fun finding the clever parallels in this contemporary take on PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, while Austen innocents can just sit back and enjoy the romance.” (Polly Shulman, author of ENTHUSIASM )

“I thoroughly enjoyed this charming tale about the joys and perils of going to school and navigating relationships with the celebrity set and their complicated offspring. Claire LaZebnik has done anything but fail.” (Jen Calonita, author of Secrets of My Hollywood Life )

About the Author

Claire LaZebnik lives in Los Angeles with her TV-writer husband and four children. She is the author of the novels If You Lived Here, You'd Be Home Now; The Smart One and the Pretty One; Knitting Under the Influence; and Same As It Never Was. She is also the co-author of Overcoming Autism and Growing Up on the Spectrum.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen (August 2, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061921262
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (234 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,517,974 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Cute cute cute! Epic Fail is freaking adorable and fun - a perfect pick-me-up on a rainy, sad day.

When I first started reading Epic Fail, I had no idea it was a modern take on Pride and Prejudice until someone told me, but then I thought about it and I definitely saw the similarities as I was reading. This is awesome on two levels - I love Pride and Prejudice, but Claire LaZebnik was clever/talented enough to make the story her own without overdoing the retelling. I never once thought "yeah, yeah, Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy already did this" - I was too invested in what was happening to Elise and Derek.

A lot of the elements in Pride and Prejudice would have been tough to translate to modern times, but the setting for Epic Fail was very crafty. A prep school in LA suited the story perfectly.

I liked Elise's character a lot - I thought she was witty and clever, just like Elizabeth. I must admit, I had no real affinity for Derek until the end, but that's true with Mr. Darcy as well.

Overall, I loved reading Epic Fail. It definitely brightened by day, and even though it was one of those books where I knew exactly how it would end, I couldn't stop reading - it was too much fun getting there. Epic Fail is a fun and adorable book, and I definitely suggest it to anyone in need of a pick-me-up.
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Format: Paperback
Loosely based on Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice, Claire LaZebnik's Epic Fail is a wonderfully re-imagined homage to the classic love story of the headstrong, opinionated Elizabeth and the intimidating, aloof Mr. Darcy. Retold in a modern day setting for young adults, LaZebnik successfully captures both the magic of Austen's story as well as the social differences and hierarchy of 19th century England against the backdrop of a Los Angeles prep school and American Hollywood "nobility."

If the setting of this book is perfect, the characters are even more so. Austen was a master at capturing the essence of people - their foibles, vices, inconsistencies, etc. Her works were very much a commentary on the society of her time, the good, the bad and the ironic. LaZebnik has taken this and created a whole new set of characters that work within her modern setting, who are also are a social product of their era, but who still retain the same basic attributes of their 19th century counterparts. The similarities are just so cleverly executed and discovering them was part of what made this book so enjoyable.

Mr. Benton & Dr. Gardiner (aka- Mr. & Mrs. Bennet) are still the eccentric odd couple. Mr. Benton is a scholarly man who spends a lot of time in his study reading and bemoaning the decline of America's value system. Dr. Gardiner is the new principal of the Benton girls' school, fashion-challenged, slightly petty and starstruck by the social status of her students' parents. Juliana is the quintessential Jane - kind, good, quick to believe the best in people and so sweet. Her love interest, Chase, differs a bit from Austen's Bingley but for the better- he's a bit more assertive and not quite as ineffectual while still being very friendly and kind.
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Format: Paperback
If, like me, you are such a lover of all of the works of Miss Jane Austen, then you have probably developed a secondary affection for those novels or films that homage the great one. That was one reason why I adored "Bridget Jones Diary" back in the day, and the film "Clueless". This book fits in totally with those two, as it brings Pride and Prejudice to the city where it most belongs, Los Angeles. Seriously, can you think of any town with more "Pride?" Or for that matter, prejudice, as all of us judge the icons that town creates every time we stand at the check-out line frowning at the tabloids.

Well maybe that's just me.

Epic Fail is funny, kind, sweet and just a complete page turner. Because you know it's an homage to Miss Jane, you know it's going to have a wonderfully romantic happy ending, but man you are tense the whole way towards it, just as you would be when reading the original. The dialogue is pitch perfect in this book, and you will care deeply about every single person in this book. You'll hate Chelsea, you'll swoon over Derek, you will come to feel that they are real people in your life who must be DEALT WITH. Run, don't walk, the summer is almost over but there's a lawn chair and a big tall glass of iced tea just waiting for you and this book to show up and start the page turning! LOVED THIS BOOK!
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Format: Paperback
Derek Edwards is handsome, rich, arrogant and moody. Everyone wants to be near him. Everyone would kill to be him. Whatever he wants, he gets. With just one exception. Elise Benton.

Elise refuses to be just another star-struck groupie, hanging on his every word, catering to his every need. This full-of-himself son of a Hollywood celebrity is definitely not worthy of her attention.

Besides, she'd much rather spend time with Webster Grant. He's cute, nice, friendly and humble. In a school filled with the rich, privileged and entitled, Webster just might be the only person she can relate to. He really couldn't be more perfect.

But first impressions can often be misleading. And if she isn't careful, Elise might just let her pride and prejudice blind her to the truth and prevent her from finding out who is truly worth fighting for.


While the main character, Elise Benton, may have felt like everything she did was an epic fail, this book is anything but. From start to finish, Epic Fail is charming, fun and hugely entertaining. And with such a quick pace, this is an easy one-sit-read.

Elise is uprooted from her quiet hometown of Amherst, Massachusetts when her mother takes a job as principal at Coral Tree Prep in Los Angeles where the wealthy send their children. Moving across the country was difficult enough, but having to attend the same school where her mother works borders on cruelty.

Surrounded by the children of celebrity, Elise tries to keep a low profile. But when her sister, Juliana, meets the handsome and outgoing Chase Baldwin, best friend to Derek Edwards, the son of one of Hollywood's most popular actresses, staying out of the spotlight is no longer an option.
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