I read this book because a Barnard Women's & Gender Studies grad is the author's sister. And also, I read YA like a mofo. Breslaw's voice is witty and true, which I know because I work with college students and lurk in their Facebook groups.
The eponymous Scarlett hates it in suburban NJ where she lives with her single mom and has few IRL friends. Mostly she hangs out with people whose ages and genders she assumes from their personas in her Lycanthrope High fan fiction group. Lycanthrope High is a newly canceled TV show about werewolves. At Scarlett's own high school "as far as school is concerned, I'm the president of the Misanthrope Society. Also the only member." She's got one real life friend, Avery, whose older sister Ashley is one of Scarlett's chief tormentors. Ashley has recently taken the tormenting to a new level by dating Scarlett's ex-best friend Gideon. Gideon used to be a dork like Scarlett, but he's popular now, which is appalling. The popular kids, the boys anyway, are drunken jerks who literally trample an old lady's flowers, just to be assholes.
Scarlett is a mostly white/passing, heterosexual kid, who seems to be able-bodied and pretty, but she lives in a world with queer kids, and people of color, and she and her mom are living paycheck to paycheck. She's paying attention to and resisting society's gaze when and how she can.
And every time I try on bras or jeans in a department store and some saleswoman says they fit me "right," they feel so tight I can't breathe, so I size up, because the patriarchy.
Speaking of the patriarchy, she also calls out specific misogynists.
Another weird long silence, the opposite of the knowing ones we use dto have when we were kids, during which I pray for Aaron Sorkin to swoop in and write my life for the next two minutes (sans the cis-hetero-white-male-on-a-soapbox part).
(I hate how much I love The West Wing. Except Toby Ziegler. I hate his smug cis-hetero-white-male righteousness the way liberal men hate "that woman.")
Except Scarlett may not be entirely woke to gender issues. She writes a fanfic piece in the Lycanthrope universe where she positions girls as being jealous of sex robots. The story-within-a-story isn't my favorite part of SEHIH, but what do I know? I don't read much fanfic, other than a very brief foray into Olympic gymnast slash. I love when Scarlett recognizes how she sees the world (novels anyway) through her personal lens, which skews toward F. Scott Fitzgerald.
"...maybe in Daisy's unwritten book, Gatsby is a flashy, patronizing asshole who thinks he could win her with money and fancy stuff. And that might be an even better book."
One of Scarlett's best burns "...who is Comic Sans in human form." She also calls the above sex robots "the robot-girl equivalent of a beach read." I told you Breslaw is witty (and I'm not the first one to notice, if her 27.7K Twitter followers are any indicaiton).
As much as I want to quote more sassy, feminist one-liners, I won't spoil the story for you. There's no wait at NYPL for the ebook anymore, now that the book has been out a year.