Book Review: Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here by Anna Breslaw

25982869Title: Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here
Author: Anna Breslaw
Publisher: Razorbill
Pub Date: April 19, 2016
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 288
Source: Library
Genre(s): YA, Contemporary, Romance
Rating: ★★★★★
Goodreads || Buy on Amazon

Synopsis from Goodreads:

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…

My review:

“It is hard to tell whether he’s being honest or following the high school commandment of Thou shalt not show thy uncoolness by openly caring about something, which I have never been good at.”

This is definitely one of my favourite books of 2016. Scarlett is hilarious. I laughed out loud so many times. Snorted, even. Do you know how funny something has to be to make me snort? Very funny. In any case, let me tell you about the book.

Meet Scarlett. She is not like anyone else. She doesn’t fit in. Not even with her intelligent best friend, Avery, who has made it possible for her to sit with all the other Girl Geniuses at their lunch table. Scarlett has a 2.9 GPA, so sufficed to say, she doesn’t feel like she belongs with those girls either. Her only other friend is an eccentric, pot-smoking senior named Ruth, who is probably the most refreshing “old person” I’ve read about in a while. Instead of trying to shower Ruth with nuggets of wisdom whenever she can, Ruth just tells it like it is. Ruth is good people. And then we have Gideon, who is the apple of Scarlett’s eye. Scarlett and Gideon met when they were kids, they became fast friends, they both felt like they didn’t fit in with other people, and then one day, they just stopped being friends. Childhood friends often grow apart but that does not stop Scarlett from wanting Gideon back in her life. She is convinced that deep down, he is still the shy, chubby boy who loves stand-up comedy. She thinks he’s pretending to be something he’s not, hanging out with the popular kids (even dating one of them) and laughing along when they make fun of other people. Not cool.

Did I mention that Scarlett writes fanfiction? Because she does. And it’s great. And hilarious. It’s her thing; the thing she loves and the thing she excels most at. It’s her passion. So when all of her feelings about Gideon, and her friends, and her family seem to overwhelm her, she writes them into her fanfic in order to deal. Essentially using their personalities and their real names. Sounds good, right? Not unless they end up reading what she wrote about them.

It’s Scarlett vs. the world, until she slowly learns that not everyone is trying to fight her. And I mean that metaphorically, of course. There are no fists thrown in this book. Just toilet paper. And sass. Like I said earlier, this book is laugh-out-loud funny. I can just imagine it as one of those quirky, coming-of-age movies that gets released every now and again.

I highly recommend this book to everyone. And I’m also pretty sure I want to be best friends with Anna Breslaw. That is all.

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