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Sneak Peek ARC Review: Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here

Anna Breslaw - Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here
Expected publication: April 19, 2016 by Razorbill
Pages: 288
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Find on: Amazon, Goodreads, Book Depository
Rating: 2/5

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.
Prepare for a rant.

So I'd been monstrously obsessed with SCARLETT from the moment I heard of her. Whenever anyone posted a picture with one of their print ARCs, I practically salivated, so when NetGalley bribed me with offered a Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here: Sneak Peek, I downloaded it on my laptop and Kindle. (Couldn't find the Kindle, so I finished it on my computer.)

Scarlett Epstein is a mostly ordinary high school student from Melville, New Jersey, when her favorite TV show is cancelled. As her best friend, Avery, and her crush, Gideon, don't exactly appreciate her, she turns to the fandom world for solace.

Scarlett fancies herself a comedian and maybe I'm getting old, but I didn't laugh once. This book was described as "Daria meets Rainbow Rowell meets Amy Schumer meets, etc." And maybe she has potential to be Amy Schumer because I never found Amy Schumer funny, anyway. But I was awaiting the funny, the knee-slapping hilarity, "Gosh, Scarlett, you're so hilarious!" Yet it never came.

Also, I'd been wanting to share Scarlett's description of herself.

"I stayed the same. Size six and five-foot-seven in heels (that I do not own). I pretty much wear a couple of different varieties of Old Navy clearance items and my dad's baggy dress shirts with leggings. I still wear the bras and underwear I've worn since, like, seventh grade. (...) I have dark hair and gray-brown eyes. My dad's Jewish, and Dawn is half Puerto Rican, so I either have skin you'd call olive or skin you'd call "jaundiced yellow but with a great tan in the summer." My face is, I don't know, face shaped?"
A work of art, truly.

This is the closest I've ever read to a character having the same ethnicity as me. I'm half Puerto-Rican/half Italian, actually. But still. If someone were to describe me or if I were to describe myself, I would hope it'd be attractive. I wouldn't be all: "I have half-jaundiced skin and shop in the discount half in Old Navy and wear my dad's unwashed dress shirts." Like, have pride. Breslaw tried to make her too relatable and failed. Yes, Scarlett, you watch Sex and the City reruns, but so does the rest of the world. Big whoop.

And Scarlett is fifteen, so I assume she was probably written in born in 2000. Thus, a clear example of how the younger generation may fail us.

Like I said, I had a Sneak Peek, so I hadn't technically finished it. Either way, I wouldn't recommend it. The writing is bland. There is no actual plot. And if you know a Scarlett - I think we all do - she's the girl who cracks the unfunny jokes and people are forced to laugh, so she doesn't feel bad. Sorry, Scarlett. You just ain't special.


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