cover image Epic Fail

Epic Fail

Claire LaZebnik. HarperTeen, $9.99 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-0-06-192126-1

In this latest contemporary update of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, the four Benton sisters are uprooted from their life in Massachusetts to sunny Los Angeles, where everyone they meet at Coral Tree Prep has rich and famous parents. The oldest girls, high school junior and senior Elise and Juliana, are appropriately spunky and sweet-natured stand-ins for Elizabeth and Jane, appearing along with the rest of Austen's cast in adult author LaZebnik's (If You Lived Here, You'd Be Home by Now) YA debut. Darcy becomes Derek, the handsome but prickly son of Brangelina-level celebrities; Wickam is Webster, who charms his way into the middle of Elise and Derek's budding romance; and Bingley becomes Chase, who is immediately taken with Juliana and destined to end up with her, too. LaZebnik's story has the feel of a summery teen rom-com, and although the author's adherence to Austen's original narrative makes her contemporary twists (misunderstandings via text messages instead of letters, for example) less twisty, Elise's first-person narration has ample wit. For Austen devotees, this adaptation will be reassuringly familiar and charming enough. Ages 12%E2%80%93up. (Aug.)