In December I decided to host The Pride and Prejudice Project, which is a mix of a reading challenge and a blogging challenge. The idea behind it is to post a review of a Pride and Prejudice retelling or a review for a movie adaptation, TV show or web series based on Pride and Prejudice. The reviews or bookish lists were supposted to be posted once a month, but that didn’t happen in January, because I moved my blog from blogspot to wordpress last month and everything was a mess. But from now on I will be posting one of these posts once a month. For the first PPP post, I’m going to review The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet.
Title: The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet
Authors: Bernie Su & Kate Rorick
Published by: Touchstone
Publishing date: June 24th 2014
Twenty‑four‑year‑old grad student Lizzie Bennet is saddled with student loan debt and still living at home along with her two sisters—beautiful Jane and reckless Lydia. When she records her reflections on life for her thesis project and posts them on YouTube, she has no idea The Lizzie Bennet Diaries will soon take on a life of their own, turning the Bennet sisters into internet celebrities seemingly overnight. When rich and handsome Bing Lee comes to town, along with his stuck‑up friend William Darcy, things really start to get interesting for the Bennets—and for Lizzie’s viewers.
The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet is a companion novel to the web series, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, and it definitely feels like one. That’s not to say that someone who has not watch the web series wouldn’t enjoy this book, but someone who has watched it would definitely enjoy it a lot more. Here’s the thing, the web series shows only what happens in front of the camera, this book shows all the things a viewer has to guess while watching the web series, so this book is actually a behind the scenes to the videos Lizzie postes online and because of that there isn’t a lot that it’s completely new to someone who has watched all the episodes.
In any case, this book is funny, charming and it mocks a lot of the elements of the original book that are not relatable any more. The story is told with Lizzie’s sacarstic, snarky and completely unique voice. The only little problem is that it feels like she is telling us the story, not like she is writing diary entries, which is what it should feel like since this is suppost to be her diary. Nonetheless, Lizzie is funny and loud and she is often harsh with other people, passing judgement about everyone’s decisions. She always has an opinion and she isn’t always nice when she shares that opinion. But that makes her a flawed characters and she does grow through the book and she learns to not be so harsh on other people.
There’s two main aspects that make this book especial. The first one is that Lizzie only has two sisters, Jane and Lydia, giving the authors more time to develope their characters and to explore the relationship between Lizzie and them in a deeper way. This gives the possibility of getting to know her sisters better and to get invested in their lifes, we get to see Jane and Lydia as individuals of their own and not just as Lizzie’s sisters. The second aspect is that Lizzie is a youtuber, more than that it seems like she is a youtuber right when it became a ‘thing’ and that makes the story really interesting, because there’s reference to some of the earlier youtubers Hank Green and Felicity Day, as well as reference to Vidcon and to her surprise as her audience grows pass anything she ever imagined.
Lastly, this retelling gives us much more interactions between Darcy and Lizzie, which makes their relationship a little bit more believable, while keeping the hate that Lizzie feels towards Darcy at the beginning, even exagerating it a bit. A particular interaction takes place in San Francisco and what happens is definitely swoon-worthy.
Rating: 4 stars
Have you read this? or watched the web series? Did you like it?
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