- Page Count: 288
- Release Date: April 19, 2016
- My Rating: 3 stars
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…
This is easily one of the funniest books I’ve read in a LONG time. Anna Breslaw wrote an incredibly realistic and relatable main character here.
Scarlett’s super into Tumblr, writing fanfiction, and her fandom (the Lycanthrope show she’s obsessed with reminded me of Teen Wolf). I’m not terribly into the whole Tumblr fanfiction scene, yet I could still really appreciate how well done that aspect was. From what I’ve seen, this was hilariously real. Scarlett ends up writing a total Mary Sue in her fanfic, so the book goes into one of the best discussions I’ve seen of what it means to write a Mary Sue.
The pacing was kind of slow and the plot felt a bit more like a string of events, but the characters and relationships made it completely worthwhile. Scarlett’s mother is still trying to get her life together and they’re “lower lower middle class,” but it’s not depicted as some sob story (which is super refreshing). Scarlett also becomes good friends with her pot-smoking elderly feminist neighbor, which was a fun friendship to see.
Scarlett’s voice and witty analysis of everything is by far the strongest aspect of the story:
“Ashley then swears to Never Love Again (she’s one of those every-first-letter-capitalized kinds of feelings havers) and Focus on School and Cheerleading and How Hashtag-Blessed She Is until some other boy who has a car asks her if she wants to “chill.” Then they make out in the back row of The Even Faster & Even Furiouser and she comes home with her shirt inside out, In Love Again.”
I’d give this book 3 stars because I wasn’t really able to connect with most of Scarlett’s story, yet I still loved her unique voice. I think any teen who is immersed in internet culture or likes fanfic will really love this story!