Thursday, November 6, 2014

Review: The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Kate Rorick and Bernie Su

The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Kate Rorick and Bernie Su

Blurb from Goodreads:

Based on the Emmy Award-winning YouTube series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.

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. But not everything happens on-screen. Lucky for us, Lizzie has a secret diary.

The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet takes readers deep inside Lizzie's world and well beyond the confines of her camera:  from the wedding where she first meets William Darcy to the local hangout of Carter's bar, and much more. Lizzie's private musings are filled with revealing details about the Bennet household, including her growing suspicions about her parents' unstable financial situation, her sister's budding relationship with Bing Lee, the perils of her unexpected fame, and her uncertainty over her future, and whom she wants to share it with.

Featuring plenty of fresh twists to delight fans and new readers alike, The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet expands on the web series phenomenon that captivated a generation and reimagines the Pride and Prejudice story like never before. 
My Review:
I have to start this review by saying that I have never seen the YouTube videos on which this book is based.  However, I have read every Jane Austen re-telling imaginable and am usually in love with all of them.  Something about this one just didn't wow me.  Lizzie was boring!  Also, the Charlotte character was just odd.  Mrs. Bennet was also WAY too over the top -- even more so than the original P&P or any re-telling I've read before.  Although the characters were superficially based upon P&P, they ended up falling flat for me and being too divergent from the real trope.

I would definitely recommend one of my favorite P&P re-tellings, Unleashing Mr. Darcy, over this book, or my favorite Emma re-telling:  Dear Mr. Knightley; but there are many great YA/NA re-tellings as well:  Solving for Ex or the wonderful Jane Austen Academy series by Cecilia Gray, for example.  Unless you are a big fan of the YouTube videos, there are many other books that will satisfy your Jane Austen craving.
"Two parts of me have been at war. Your... odd family, your financial troubles- you're in a different world from me. People expect me to travel in certain circles. And I do respect the wishes of my family, but not today. I've tried to fight it for months now, but Lizzie Bennet . . . I'm in love with you." 

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