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…
Novels about fan fiction seem to intrigue me until I actually read them and then I’m like blah, you completely got fandom wrong.
Such as is the case of Scarlett Epstein Hates it Here.
In a lot of ways this book reminded me of Fangirl if Cath was a few years younger, didn’t suffer from anxiety disorder, and wrote even worse fan fic than Cath did.
Which is saying something.
The book actually has pretty decent reviews, but I find myself being in the camp that didn’t love this one. I think a lot of it dealt with the main character who I just wanted to kick in the butt. The decisions that this character made throughout the entire book were eye roll worthy.
A lot of it could be blamed on her age, but at the same time, a lot of it could be blamed have no fucking common sense (aka the perfect excuse for a plot hole).
And that’s just sort of the thing that makes you an annoying protagonist in my book. Everything about Scarlett screams get a clue. From her self insert fan fic-where she doesn’t even bother to change the freaking names, seriously girl-to her stupid crush girl’s an idiot.
And she’s not even a lovable idiot either. Constantly, we’re told be this sanctimonious character how everyone else sucks except her.
Well, Scarlett, have you looked at yourself in the mirror?
I won’t think about Scarlett because she annoys me. Rather, I will think about positive aspects of this book like it was a quick read.
That’s always a nice thing to say. I think I read this one within two and a half hours of total reading time. Not that much time to spend on something, and there really wasn’t that much effort to it. So that was something. And occasionally, Scarlett wouldn’t annoy me and I’d find myself enjoying myself to some remote degree.
Though, to be fair, that didn’t occur often.
Because Scarlett and her choices drove me fucking insane throughout the entire reading process.
I really wanted to shake her. And when I didn’t want to shake her, I wanted to punch her.
She was that dumb.
And anytime I tried to care for her problems, I just found myself either rolling my eyes or not caring.
And that was pretty much how I felt for everyone in this book including the character that died.
Oops, spoiler there. Though I didn’t tell you who bit the dust, and quite frankly you’ll be able to predict it and/or you really won’t care. Because at the end of the day, I didn’t care about Scarlett or any of her friends.
Arguably, some people might say that my distaste for Scarlett to be uncalled for. After all, she is a teenager so she is going to be a bit whiny and overdramatic, but I found nothing redeemable about this character or really likable about her.
Did I feel sorry for her?
Yeah, sort of did there.
But…but feeling sorry or for that matter pity for another is completely different than liking someone and the choices they made.
And I do not like Scarlett or the dumb ass choices she made throughout the book.
Like the love interest, I was like come on girl, have some self respect. Be like Melissa McCarthy’s character in Spy and tell the chomp that he’s a chomp and you’re over him.
But this is YA so…
You can feel in the blanks. This is one of those few times, I have to say, that I’d like a random love interest to come out of nowhere just to absolve us of the pain of having to watch the token love interest get with the main character even though said token love interest is a total douche.
Yeah, sorry I ruined that for you spoiler aversion people. But there was no way of writing this review without mentioning what an awful pairing the ultimate ship is.
I think one of the reasons I hated the ship was that it was basically a ship built on misogyny.
I don’t joke about things like this. But the entire ship revolves around the hatred of women in some form of fashion. Hell, I probably could write an essay about it for an English class if I wanted to showing how the the slut slamming of the love interest’s booty call transcends to his own disrespect towards women in general and how Scarlett in turn in looking for relationship with a misogynist because she has no self respect for herself.
And it is obvious at this point that I’ve been hitting the liquor cabinet too hard on a week night.
Overall Rating: A C. Engaging, but there was something off with this one that kept me from fully enjoying it.