I’ve had Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here on my radar, so I was very pleased to have found it at my town library. This YA novel was written by Anna Breslaw.
Scarlett is a high school student living in suburban New Jersey. She lives in public housing with her mother. Scarlett loves watching Lycanthrope High on television, and writing fanfic stories about the characters. As the story begins, Scarlett’s beloved show has just been canceled. She isn’t sure what to do about this; she has devoted so much of her spare time to writing fanfic, and she isn’t ready to move on to another television show.
Scarlett starts writing a spinoff story featuring some of her classmates. This proves to be very cathartic, and helps Scarlett with some of the turmoil in her personal life. But what will happen with her classmates find out that she’s writing about them?
I enjoyed this book quite a bit. Scarlett is witty, and sarcastic, and she doesn’t work to her full potential. She’s clearly the sort that needs to get through high school and off to college where she can find more than the handful of people that she calls friends. The only thing that seemed out of place was when Scarlett seemed confused when her online friends from the fanfic world pointed out that one of her characters was a “Mary Sue”. I only have a vague interest in fanfic, and I know what a Mary Sue is, so how is it that an experienced writer with such a large following would be unaware of this trope?
I would recommend Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here. This is a fun book, and a quick read. Scarlett might have a bit of a tough exterior; she tries not to show her feelings, and the cancellation of her favorite show is a proverbial “last straw”. Despite her sarcastic attitude, Scarlett is a caring and compassionate young woman, and it was a pleasure to get to know her over the course of the novel. I am looking forward to reading more from Anna Breslaw in the future.