Cross Veronica Mars with MTV's Daria, and you’ll get Scarlett Epstein, the snarky, judgmental, and often hilarious star of Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here, a witty and heartwarming novel that’s perfect for fans of David Arnold’s Mosquitoland and Kody Keplinger’s The Duff.
"Absolutely delightful, the kind of book you'll be reading for an hour before you realize you've been grinning the whole time." —Buzzfeed
"A sparkling, unabashedly feminist debut." —Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
"Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl meets Harriet the Spy in this coming-of-age tale filled with emotional resonance."—TeenVogue.com
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.
|Publisher:||Penguin Young Readers Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.90(d)|
|Age Range:||12 - 17 Years|
About the Author
Anna Breslaw is a writer whose work has been in New York Magazine, the New York Times, Cosmopolitan, Jezebel, the Guardian, and elsewhere. She lives in New York and Tweets (mostly weird jokes) @annabreslaw.
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Excerpted from "Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here"
Copyright © 2017 Anna Breslaw.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I have a soft spot for YA novels about teenage writers, especially novels where the MC's stories begin colliding with their reality. When Scarlett's favorite TV show is canceled, she turns to writing about her real-life classmates because she's too bummed to write fanfic. Although the story-within-a-story format doesn't come across as very engaging here, and I would've liked to see Scarlett's peers discover that she was using them as fiction fodder a little earlier, I still found a lot to like about this. Scarlett's insights into suburban life were unexpectedly clever, even if they weren't exactly humorous, and her voice leapt off the page. I loved that she wasn't a shrinking violet, and that she pushed back against people who treated her badly. Between her hard-working but immature mom, her brainiac best friend, and her secretly nerdy former friend turned crush who turns popular, there weren't all that many truly original characters in Scarlett's world. And honestly, I didn't care one bit. What made this story shine for me was the idea that everyone has hidden depths, and Scarlett's friends and family are no exception. All of them have layers of hopes and dreams beyond what Scarlett sees or knows, and watching her uncover those layers was wonderful. There are any number of stories about quirky, outcast teenagers who believe that they're superior to the people around them as a way to cope with feeling excluded. It was really, really refreshing to read about a character who learns to come down off her high horse, stop over-simplifying the people around her, and accept that being less judgmental and more inclusive might actually make her more friends.
Pretty good overall, but I didn't fall in love with the characters like I wanted to. Some moments made me laugh quite a bit, but some of the references/lines in the books were kind of meh or slightly offensive. I felt like there was just a little too much pop culture in 288 pages. I really loved this line: "Writing is just the only thing that makes me feel like a real person, not the tap-dancing reflection of myself that I am around other people." Overall, not a bad debut. 3.5 stars.
I received this book through the Uppercase Box subscription I have. I’ve had it for a year now and I really enjoy the box. There’s only been maybe 2 books that I was just meh on. This one is going to be the third book I’m just meh on. It definitely wasn’t written for me. Now I understand I’m a non-young adult. I’m like middle-adult. So obviously these books aren’t written for me anyway. But this one felt extra not written for me. I don’t mind books set in high school and I don’t mind protagonists that aren’t likable. I really liked Not If I See You First, and that protagonist feels similar to Scarlett, even though they’re not exactly the same. But I just never could get behind Scarlett. I’ve been having a problem lately with people who are very anti-conformist. Scarlett does love a very popular TV show in her world and in that way she’s not anti-conformist. But her personality dealing with the people in her real life felt very much like that and while there’s a whole turning point and she grows situation (which definitely felt real, it felt correct for the character), it just felt like that only happened because it kind of had to. There was no where for the character to go because there was no where she’d gone for 3/4ths of the book. There were moments where you think, okay she’s going to not be so abrasive and then for random reasons she’d stop. The story also felt that way too. We’d be going in one direction and then suddenly the story went somewhere else. It all just felt very cobbled together. Not that real life can’t be that way, but it just didn’t work for this book. It felt like this book was predictable, but then also it had moments of not being predictable because it didn’t want to be too predictable. (Say predictable one more time). That COULD have worked, but it never really gelled. Also I had a very hard time believing that a teenager in current time would make so many 80’s references. I love 80’s references, I really do. But some things even I was like, wait, what was that reference. OH! I kind of remember that. It was fun to see them, but it felt too much like I was reading from the perspective of the author and not from the character. But then typing that I feel like maybe I missed a point because we got a fanfic story where the character injects herself into the story she’s writing. So maybe that was what the author of this book meant? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ In the end, the parts of the book I really liked and thought, oh it’s turning around for me, just never stayed consistent enough for me to give this book more stars.
Scarlett Epstein is the type of character I wholeheartedly love. She’s snarky, stubborn, and absolutely hilarious! The decisions she makes aren’t always the smartest, but then again, what teenager’s are? Which brings about a great point… I loved how real this felt as a teenage story. Anna Breslaw was able to create a story that was entirely believable, incredibly accurate and extremely realistic. The characters were authentic and the writing style was pretty close to perfect. This book is the epitome of a humorous, laugh-out-loud-funny, YA contemporary story. This is probably the funniest YA I’ve ever read. Ever. Seriously. Anna Breslaw is one witty and silly lady, that’s for darn sure. I’d love to meet her in person… I’m sure she’d have me rolled over in stitches! For anyone that enjoys a fun contemporary story with loads of laughs, this is a must-read for your Summer TBR! (Thanks to Razorbill for the review copy!)