Published on: April 19, 2016
Published by: Razorbill
Genre(s): YA, Contemporary, Romance
My Rating: 4 stars
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 weed-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. And if they ever find out what Scarlett truly thinks about them, she’ll be thrust into a situation far more dramatic than anything she’s ever seen on TV…
During the month of August, Julia, Courtney, and I read Scarlett for our online book club called LivTheBookClub. I was really excited to read this book because it sounded exactly like something I would really enjoy considering how involved I am in the fandom life.
This book follows Scarlett Epstein. When Scarlett's favorite show ends unexpectedly, she has no idea what to do with her life. She turns to her online friends for advice and to figure out what to do in lieu of watching Lycanthrope High. They decide to each write up a fanfiction, Scarlett first, to cope and figure out what to do before they move on to another show. Scarlett doesn't even want to write. She ends up writing her fic based off of the events that have been occurring in real life. If the people around her find out what she really thinks of them, her life would be turned upside down.
I really liked this book. AlthoughI did have some issues, this was one of my favorite debuts of 2016. The characters were so funny and Scarlett's character was so relatable. She was so snarky, intelligent, and fun. She was so surprisingly relatable and raw and real that I would find myself laughing out loud, talking to the characters, and...occasionally muttering "yaaas" and scaring my sister. This book made me feel a myriad of different emotions -- most positive, some negative. This wasn't the perfect book, but it was still pretty great.
Let's just get the negative stuff out of the way. I really didn't like the love interest, Gideon. There was some really great character development, but by the end, I felt like he didn't deserve Scarlett. They should be friends again before they get into a serious relationship considering the drama that unfolded throughout the book. He was an ass half of the time. He had the potential to be a total sweetie-pie, but he made some pretty awful decisions...Which was also kind of great. Most male characters in YA-contemporary books aren't guys! They're the ideal guy for young girls, but they aren't very realistic. And although Gideon was an ass, he was still very realistic. I kind of want a book about Gideon because I want to know what was going on in his head.
Ashley is as fake as bologna. Julia and I established this early on in the book in our online Goodreads discussions, and if you read our discussion posts, you'd probably know of my deep loathing for Ashley. She was the perfect fake popular girl that you most likely encounter in high school. Sometimes I would cackle and point at my book and tell my sister, "That's
!" Her attitude made me laugh, but absolutely livid at the same time. It boggled me that she could be so shallow....
Avery...Okay, I'm not going to go into much detail with her character, but I thought she was a precious bean. I loved how nerdy and funny she was. She was such a good friend to Scarlett and I really wish that she was featured in the book more.
Ruth! I can't wait to discuss Ruth during the live show, because I have so many spoiler-y thoughts about her. Long story short, I really loved Ruth. She wasn't the typical older woman in YA. She had such a cool back story and she was so funny! I love love love Ruth. More details coming during the live show!
Let's get into Scarlett's character. She had her flaws, trust me, but she had this amazing and natural character arc that I just really loved. There were a few moments during the book where she kind of annoyed me, but her attitude at the end of the book really made up for it. She was so well spoken and when she committed herself to something she enjoyed, she'd do amazing things. She's such a great writer, and I looked forward to the sections of the book where her fanfiction was featured. Her characters were based on people around her, but story and plot were really interesting. I really wish I had the whole story. If Anna Breslaw had included the whole fic, then the book would be longer, but really cool.
A Couple Issues That I Had:
- WHY DID SCARLETT DRINK SO MUCH? She's only 16 and easily accessed alcohol all the time! I got really irritated every time Scarlett would drink that shit.
- Scarlett's dad. I'll go into this bit during the live show, so keep an eye out for the announcement on Twitter!
- Dawn's mothering....
Favorite Character: Scarlett
Least Favorite Character: Scarlett's dad or Ashley
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Don't forget to check out the LivTheBookClub's next BOTM! We're reading Furthermore by Tehereh Mafi!