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 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.
Review of Scarlett Epstein Hates it Here
On the plus side, Scarlett is a fun main character - snarky and observant. A lot of the book feels like a stand-up routine as Scarlett narrates life at her suburban NJ high school. My favorite scene was Scarlett attending her father's book party in New York. That scene reminded me of the Whitney-Noah father-daughter relationship on The Affair.
On the less positive side for me, this book felt a bit all over the place. As the synopsis says, Scarlett is devastated when favorite TV show (some werewolf thing that would have been on the WB in the late 1990s or early 2000s) ends abruptly. Like Fangirl, this book includes Scarlett's fanfic about the show, and also Scarlett's message board conversations with her fellow fanfic writer community. Then there are Scarlett's friendships and her love life and some family stuff about Scarlett's divorced parents.
I really wanted a stronger plotline. I thought there were some great emotional moments that were just kind of thrown in amidst all the wisecracking. And there were themes in here that were just dangling around and could have been tied together to create a greater sense of resonance. But that's just me - I want to pretty things up and make them tie together.
If you love really funny, wise-cracking books, if you like reading fanfic (confession: I skimmed all those parts in this book and in Fangirl) and if you don't mind books without much of a plot ... go for it. If any of these things concern you, you might want to read a few chapters before committing.
If you could use a laugh, this book will be up for grabs this Friday, so stop by!