“I think that you wouldn’t believe the problems that can be resolved just by people taking the time to talk to one another.”
The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su and Kate Rorick
Published June 24, 2014 by Touchstone
Format: Hardcover; 400 pages
Also By These Authors: The Epic Adventures of Lydia Bennet (pub. 2015)
Goodreads | Amazon
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥
I have slowly been making it through the library haul I brought home in early December. I seriously overestimated the amount of time I would have to read once I started working full-time.
But I have finally made it through this stack of library checkouts (I only DNF one; I hate not finishing a book and I only do it if it’s at least 75% unenjoyable) and I am happy to say that The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet lived up to my expectations!
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.
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.
If you are not familiar with the YouTube sensation The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, stop reading and watch this video (seriously, the rest of this post won’t make sense if you don’t).
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At first I thought it was a little strange to make a diary based off a YouTube series that’s based off a book, but there were some incentives to reading this diary, namely the extra scenes that we only get to see Lizzie & co. re-enact via costume theater on her vlog (which was a fantastic element to the show, don’t get me wrong). My favorite of these bonus scenes is the San Francisco tour date Lizzie went on with Gigi and Darcy. We don’t hear anything about that on the show so it was fun getting to swoon a bit over the awkward cuteness that is “Dizzie”.
My least favorite of these scenes involved Jane. I don’t want to go into full detail because there was definitely an element of surprise to it (this particular event isn’t even whispered about on camera, so it’s obviously a very private matter). It shocked me a bit because it felt very un-Jane like. Jane, to me, is in the same category as Eleanor Dashwood and Fanny Price (and we could even include Jane Eyre for her personal moral convictions), and I had a hard time picturing this “shock” happening to Jane Bennet. I know I’m being extremely vague–has anyone else read this book and felt the same way that I did about Jane’s “secret”?
I didn’t have time to watch all of the episodes along with reading their corresponding diary entries, but I think it would be fun to do if you’re in the mood for a LBD rewatch. I did watch a handful of my favorite episodes towards the end of the book when the plot started to thicken. This is my favorite episode, although Episode 83 – “Corporate Interview” is a very close second.
Read This Book If…:
…you have already watched (and loved!) The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Or if you are going to watch and read the diary together. The diary will only be enjoyable if you’re familiar with the YouTube episodes.
…you love Jane Austen retellings!
…you enjoy epistolary reads–each entry is pretty short so it makes for good reading if you don’t have time to sit and read for long periods of time.
…you want a book that makes you feel warm and fuzzy (seriously, you’ll want to hug your sisters, mothers, and best friends after finishing this book).
“People look different when you know their secrets. And they look differently at you.”
There’s nothing like reading this book to get you in the mood for a Lizzie Bennet Diaries marathon! I also know that Ashley Clements, a.k.a. Lizzie B herself, narrated the audiobook. It was already easy to hear in my head all of the different characters reading their lines, but I would love to hear Lizzie do her costume theater interpretations of Darcy, Ms. De Bourgh, and of course Mrs. Bennet.