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Wrong About the Guy by Claire LaZebnik
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Wrong About the Guy

by Claire LaZebnik

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133723,089 (2)None
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I think this might be one of my favorite LaZebnik's Austen-y takes in a YA novel. Ellie Withers grew up with a single mother struggling to make ends meet, but all that changes when her mom meets a struggling musician when Ellie is twelve. Five years later, Ellie has a cute, toddling half brother and an awesome stepfather who had made it big, necessitating a move to Los Angeles. Personal assistants, private school...all make Ellie's life seem extremely easy. This summer before senior year is to be spent with a tutor, working on both the SAT and college applications. Fans of Emma and/or Clueless will see some of the modern day parallels, as Ellie's forceful nature drives her best friend to apply to the same college as she does and how romantic misunderstandings occur. ( )
  ethel55 | May 29, 2015 |
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: This is a retelling of the classic Jane Austen tale Emma. I have liked some of LaZebnik’s other retellings, but I had a really hard time with this one. With the annoying protagonist and unoriginal plotline, this actually ended up being a DNF read.

Opening Sentence: It was my first idea for Mom and Luke to make a big deal out of their fifth wedding anniversary.

The Review:

Ellie Withers is getting ready to start her senior year of high school and she is one of those girls that everyone wants to be. She is gorgeous, filthy rich, extremely intelligent, and her stepfather is very famous. Lucky for her she has a really great friend that doesn’t care who her stepfather is and she has just started dating her dream guy. The only way for Ellie to be any happier is to make sure that everyone else in her life is just as happy as she is and she knows exactly what will make them happy. But when things don’t turn out exactly how she planned, she begins to realize that maybe she doesn’t know as much as she thought. But the most surprising thing is the person that shows her how wrong she was, is the person she least expected!

Ellie is a ridiculously annoying character. Personally, I have never been a big fan of the character Emma in the Jane Austen book because I always thought she was pretty stuck up and just acted really dumb at times. Ellie is the epitome of what a modern day Emma would be like and let’s just say she is not someone I would want to be around. She is very intelligent, beautiful, and rich. She knows that she has a ton of great qualities which is fine, but there is a really fine line between stuck up and having confidence. To me she just came across as really snotty, and being inside her head drove me nuts. On the positive side she does try to be a good person and a good friend, but I can only take so much ignorance before it just becomes stupidity. I imagine that as the book goes on she probably gets better, but I honestly didn’t have the patience to find out.

George is the love interest in the story and while I didn’t mind his character, I did find him to be pretty boring. He is smart and cute, but I am honestly having a hard time coming up with any other adjectives to describe him because there just wasn’t much to his character. I mean he is only twenty years old and has already graduated from Harvard which is a huge accomplishment, but instead of doing something with his life he is currently tutoring a high school student for the SAT’s. To me that just didn’t really add up, and it made me lose a lot of respect for his character. The one thing I did like about him was that he would put Ellie in her place when she would say or do stupid things. Their romance was sweet as well, but once again it wasn’t anything spectacular. While I did like him better the Ellie, I still didn’t really love his character either.

Wrong About the Guy is a retelling of the classic Jane Austen story, Emma. I have read all of LaZebnik’s retellings and while I have enjoyed some of them, others I have had a really hard time with. Unfortunately, this one fell in the second category and I ended up not even being able to finish it. To be fair, I will admit that out of all of Jane Austen’s books, Emma is actually my least favorite, so the story had that against it from the start. But what I disliked most was that it didn’t really stray much from the plotline of the original story at all. There were really no surprises and the story was so slow moving that I kept having to force myself to read it. Eventually I just didn’t see the point in reading anymore. I knew exactly what was going to happen and like I mentioned earlier in the review. I didn’t really care for any of the characters, which ultimately lead to me having no interest in finishing the book. In some of her previous retellings LaZebnik took more chances and changed things up a lot more, which I personally really liked and I would recommend her other books over this one. Obviously this was a pretty rough read for me, but if you are looking for a light beach read maybe give this one a try; you might have a better experience then me.

Notable Scene:

“Or you’ll go to different good schools,” George said.

I shook my head. “We’re going to Elton together.”

:What other schools are you thinking about?” George asked Heather.

“I don’t know …. My dad went to Steventon College. He wants me to apply there.”

“Oh, please,” I said. “You can do better than that.”

“It’s a good school,” George said, an edge to his voice.

“Whatever. Heather and I are going to get into Elton early decision. I’ve already decided that.”

FTC Advisory: HarperTeen provided me with a copy of Wrong About the Guy. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. ( )
  DarkFaerieTales | May 19, 2015 |
Pages read: 12

1) I've been burned by LaZebnik's Austen retellings before. The only one I enjoyed was of my least favorite novel.
2) This book is already so obviously not Emma. She's living with her mom and step-father and has a younger brother.
3) I quit because of the descriptions of how attractive Ellie's parents are. See chapter two. That kind of stuff just creeps me out in a YA novel.

I'm quitting while I'm only slightly behind.
  A_Reader_of_Fictions | Mar 20, 2015 |
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"This contemporary twist on Jane Austen's Emma features the signature wit and swoon-worthy romance of beloved author Claire LaZebnik's other fan favorites Epic Fail, The Trouble with Flirting, and The Last Best Kiss. ...Ellie feels like things are just fine--or would be if her mother hadn't hired George to tutor her. George has a habit of making Ellie feel a little less sure of herself, a little less on top of the world, a little less right about everything. It's almost like he wants her to be a better person than she is. When Ellie's plans for her family, her friends, and even her love life don't turn out the way she imagined, she begins to wonder if maybe she could stand to learn a thing or two after all . . . and whether it's possible--or even likely--that the perfect person to teach her is the last person she'd expect."--Publisher's website.… (more)

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