Publication Date: April 19, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Humor
Selling points: Amazing main character who is a fangirl, super hilarious, coming of age story
Synopsis: 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.
Thank you PENGUIN GROUP Penguin Young Readers Group and Anna Breslaw for my e-arc!
Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here by Anna Breslaw is funny, witty and a book I think a lot of us can relate to. Scarlett is a fangirl and a fanfiction writer of her favorite TV show Lycanthrope but when the show gets canceled Scarlett becomes devastated. When her old friend and crush Gideon starts becoming popular on top of it all she decides to write fanfiction based on her fellow classmates.
“In retrospect, I felt fortunate that a number of small miracles had transpired: I managed to purchase marijuana without asking Mark what exact unit of measurement was in a dime bag, without getting arrested, and without being so nervous about potentially being arrested that I Maria Full of Grace-ed it home in my vagina.”
The voice of Scarlett is humorous and like a gush of fresh air. As a fangirl, I think the majority of us can see a bit of ourselves in Scarlett and that is why it’s so lovely to read about her. However, though this book is about teenage drama and a fanfiction story, the story also deals with a lot more than that. Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here is about friendship and understanding or at least trying to understand, people who are different from you. Throughout this book and its events, Scarlett truly evolves and learns so much about life and people, and to see the difference between what is fanfiction and what is real. I think it’s something we all can take wisdom from. It’s easy to judge someone when we only see them as something less than an actual complex human being with layers beyond what first meets the eye. Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here will show you how important relationships are, how they can evolve and how we not always right away see them for what they truly are. That is what makes Scarlett Epstein so refreshing and wonderful.
“And I know now, how important it is try your best to understand people. Even people you don’t like, or people who don’t have anything in common with. And that’s all from you. All of that stuff? That means you’re smart as hell.”
Scarlett Epstein has a voice that I believe is very important in Young Adult literature. She is a diverse teenage girl, both Jewish and Puerto Rican, and she is flawed. So are her friends, her parents, and everyone else around her. Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here portraits an honest picture of how life can look like for a lot of us, and that is truly valuable.