As an avid Austen fan, I enjoy, from time to time reading modern day versions of her classic stories. That being said I vehemently refuse to read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies or other books of that ilk. However, I am always up for a modern day twist on her work, even in movie form wether it be Clueless or Bride and Prejudice.
With the recent release of the movie Austenland, a book that I felt had a lot of potential that it didn't really meet, I felt a certain kind of itch to read some Austenesque stories. Thus, Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik was cracked open. (And by cracked open I mean my NookHD was turned on.)
The story begins by leaving out, what is arguably, one of the best known opening lines in literature. And thank the lord for that. As much as Pride and Prejudice's first words set the tone for the book they have been abused over the years and in the case of this Young Adult rendition of the tale, completely out of place. The story however does have the feel of Pride and Prejudice from the opening pages. The same character misunderstandings that makes the original such a great read. While not as well written or highbrow as the original, the prep school setting does a lot for the story. Helping to elevate the "every girl" sisters Elise and Juliana into a setting much like Lizzie and Jane's first foray into Netherfield. The story cuts out much of the supporting cast that makes the original so fun, and relegates the elder Bennets into minor characters. As much as the reader is annoyed by Mrs. Bennett's innapropriate high handedness in P&P and bothered by Mr. Bennett's indifference it helps illustrate why the sisters are who they are. One feels that that ommission left the Benton sisters back story and personalities a bit one dimensional because how is the reader supposed to understand how they come to be who they end up being without seeing more interactions with their parents.
Overall, if one takes Epic Fail for what it is, a bubblegum retelling of a well loved story, you won't be dissapointed, but don't expect to be thrilled either.