Reviewed by Giselle Carlos, age 18

Epically Earnest by Molly Horan

Jane Grady is notorious for being the “bag baby,” but all she wants right now is a prom date. As a one-year-old found by her future father and aunt in an oversized Gucci bag at a train station, Jane found both internet fame and her true family early in life. But now, as a teen about to graduate high school, Jane is just trying to find the courage to ask her age-old crush, Gwen, to the prom. When Gwen comes to town, Jane knows that this is her chance to finally ask her out. She enlists the help of Algie, her best friend and soulmate (and also Gwen’s cousin) to fulfill her dreams and secure a prom date (and maybe even the relationship she’s dreamed of since she was little). With a hint of inspiration from Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, Molly Horan crafts a heartfelt telling of young love, identity, and family.

Epically Earnest is a quick and fluffy read that is perfect for days spent lounging around the couch inside. However, where Horan falls short is in her pacing. The text finds dips in energy at times, leaning towards blander tones. The Gen-Z-esque language is also a weak point in Horan’s writing, at times coming off as unnatural. However, the intrigue surrounding Gwen and Jane’s relationship is enough to keep the story moving forward. The subplots also add an extra element to the novel, with the development of a relationship between Algie and Cecil, Jane’s cousin. At the same time, there’s also a question of whether Jane will investigate her heritage after Algie submits a DNA test and finds that Jane has some family nearby. Overall, Epically Earnest is well-rounded and sweet for the day but might be forgettable in the long run. Recommended for rainy days inside and for those 13 and up.

3 stars of 5 stars

Find this book in our catalog: Epically Earnest

Catalog Number: YA FIC HORAN,M

197 pages