Series: The Lizzie Bennet Diaries
Published by Touchstone on June 24th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Buy: Amazon, B&N, Book Depository, Chapters !ndigo
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.
Confession: I never finished Pride and Prejudice. Nor have I seen the web series of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, which got all the Twitter buzz a few years back. The funny thing is I’m all for retellings because the thing with retellings or adaptations is that they’re compelling. I know I said before I’m not so big with predictable-ness, but with retellings I embrace the predictability of the story. I like seeing how the author changes things to make it their own. Unless I’m motivated (i.e. for a class) classical literature can be quite dull and not so compelling. For me Pride and Prejudice fell into the not so compelling category, which is a shame because everyone I know said it was good and is constantly gushing about Darcy and Elizabeth. I think I was hoping for some instant Darcy and Elizabeth banter that is expected to happen right away, but instead we are first introduced to Mrs. Bennet and for her to see her daughters marry off wealthy. I know that she is only looking out for her daughters’s well being, but sometimes when I read books like these it makes me feel like I’m privileged to be living in modern time where my parents aren’t forcing me to marry at a young age but are more like “You must study harder so you can get a good job in the future.” But, anyways, this review isn’t about Pride and Prejudice so forgive me for the bit of tangent.
As far as the storyline goes for The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet, it’s recognizable to the original novel. You know what’s going to happen, but just like with the BBC version of Sherlock there are twists and it’s very modern which makes the story more compelling than the original. I liked Lizzie’s voice. She was authentic and humorous. There were so many moments I found myself relating to Lizzie, Jane, and Lydia. Lizzie tries to be the best sister she could and I liked how she has Jane’s back when Bing suddenly dumps Jane. She didn’t seem to have the best relationship with Lydia, even though the Bennet siblings might seem close at times. They often bicker like older and younger sisters do but when something unforgivable happens it takes a long time for Lizzie to forgive. Speaking of sibling relationships, the mother was a bit annoying with her quest to find her daughters a wealthy man to settle down with but I enjoyed that they’re also close with their father, who is pretty insightful at times. I laughed when they’re trying to comfort their daughters at times.
I said before I hadn’t finished Pride and Prejudice but the storyline for The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet follows the book really well. So, at last, Darcy and Lizzie’s relationship. They didn’t like each other at all when they first meet. Though my impression of their romance was that Darcy was a bit stoic and Lizzie did all the talking and then there were months where they didn’t see each other. Like okay I’m waiting for that epic moment for Darcy to show up and be more interactive…to show his affection in some way (like small hand to back gestures, secret flower delivery, etc.), but nope. Then, out of the blue Lizzie started to realize she has feelings for him (after months of not seeing him or seeing him on and off within the distance and not having much of a conversation) and that he has a different side to him that she didn’t know about. Yeahhhh I wasn’t buying the whole romance and if that’s what happens in the original storyline then I don’t think I’ll be able to finish the book ever.
No, seriously, I like the humor and I like how Lizzie is more career oriented, but I just can’t accept that she falls for him the moment he makes an interaction with her 5 chapters later when they disliked each other 2 chapters before. So if you’re like me and haven’t finished reading Pride and Prejudice I thought the Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet was a pretty awesome retelling. It stuck to the original storyline pretty well. There were so many laughing out moments and all the emotions moments that made me want to try reading Pride and Prejudice again.