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Minute Review: Epic Fail (Claire LaZebnik)

The Deets:
Audience: YA
Pages: 295
Publisher: August 2nd 2011 by HarperTeen
ISBN: 9780061921261
Genre: retelling
Source: my own copy

Epic FailAt Coral Tree Prep in Los Angeles, who your parents are can make or break you. Case in point:

- As the son of Hollywood royalty, Derek Edwards is pretty much prince of the school--not that he deigns to acknowledge many of his loyal subjects.
- As the daughter of the new principal, Elise Benton isn't exactly on everyone's must-sit-next-to-at-lunch list.

When Elise's beautiful sister catches the eye of the prince's best friend, Elise gets to spend a lot of time with Derek, making her the envy of every girl on campus. Except she refuses to fall for any of his rare smiles and instead warms up to his enemy, the surprisingly charming social outcast Webster Grant. But in this hilarious tale of fitting in and flirting, not all snubs are undeserved, not all celebrity brats are bratty, and pride and prejudice can get in the way of true love for only so long.

I love a good retelling. Especially when the retelling is of one of my favorite books. Epic Fail is Pride and Prejudice in a new, more modern setting.

What you will find in Epic Fail is a fun twist on the setting and character roles. The story is straight forward-- obviously. There really isn't much that would be considered a surprise if you're already familiar with the classic. The one twist I thought was clever as making Ms. Bennet the principal of the sisters' high school. That really allowed for her to play up the annoying, busy-body role.

One thing worth noting is that the classic Elizabeth Bennet didn't come across as strong in the retelling. We all know Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice. She was a cut above the rest. But in Epic Fail she seems to blend in with the cliche of girls caught gawking at a pretty face. Oh well. It was still a fun read.


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Review: The Search for Delicious

The Search for Delicious Natalie Babbitt
Product Details

Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Square Fish (August 21, 2007)
ISBN-10: 9780312369828
Source: My personal book

Summary from Amazon: Gaylen, the King’s messenger, a skinny boy of twelve, is off to poll the kingdom, traveling from town to farmstead to town on his horse, Marrow. At first it is merely a question of disagreement at the royal castle over which food should stand for Delicious in the new dictionary. But soon it seems that the search for Delicious had better succeed if civil war is to be avoided.

Gaylen’s quest leads him to the woldweller, a wise, 900-year-old creature who lives alone at the precise center of the forest; to Canto, the minstrel who sings him an old song about a mermaid child and who gives him a peculiar good-luck charm; to the underground domain of the dwarfs; and finally to Ardis who might save the kingdom from havoc.

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