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…
I have to hand it to this book, Scarlett Epstein is hilarious. She’s a wacky, quirky protagonist and I honestly want to be her friend!
That being said, the fan fiction excerpts didn’t do it for me. The style was definitely reminiscent of Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, and I didn’t like it then either. If I want to read some paranormal werewolf romance, you can bet I would go for an authentic one. Not a made-up world within a contemporary setting. The dichotomy was a little too jarring for my tastes, even though the whole point was that Scarlett drew from her everyday life (hello Mary Sue!).
I liked how some people were depicted, like Ashley as a JLaw type. Somehow, those metaphors painted a super-vivid picture. I think she was made to be a little too mean, but I’m glad we got to understand her motives. I really enjoyed the friendship with Avery and the Girl Geniuses as well.
Dawn was a fantastic mother (she’s human and she tries!), and I’m still on the fence on Scarlett’s father. His words were scathing, but mostly because I think Scarlett sees the truth in them. Thank goodness for Ruth. She really saved the story.
As for dear old Gideon, I get it. He’s young, insecure, and just growing into himself. I forgive some of his crass choices because he did some darn romantic things. The sheep? I still can’t get over it. He’s trying in his own way, and I hope Scarlett can appreciate that. I wish them the best.
- Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell
- The Universe Versus Alex Woods – Gavin Extence
- The Reese Malcolm List – Amy Spalding
- 4 to 16 Characters – Kelly Hourihan