Thursday, September 11, 2014

Review | The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet

The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su and Kate Rorick
Received for review from Simon & Schuster Audio
June 2014 by Simon & Schuster Audio
Amazon + Good Reads

"A modern adaptation of Pride and Prejudice based on the Emmy Award-winning and hugely popular YouTube series and transmedia project The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is one of the most successful webseries on YouTube, with more than 230,000 subscribers and millions of views, along with thousands of followers on its related social media accounts. The fans raised more than $460,000 on Kickstarter to support the creators ($400,000 more than the stated $60,000 goal), making it the most successful campaign for a webseries in Kickstarter's history. Now, the writers behind the series have expanded Lizzie's reach to the place where she's always had a natural home: a book.

There is a great deal that goes into making a video blog. Lizzie Bennet should know, having become a YouTube sensation over the course of her year-long video diary project. The Lizzie Bennet Diaries may have started as her grad student thesis, but it grew into so much more, as the videos came to inform and reflect her life and that of her sisters, beautiful Jane and reckless Lydia. When rich, handsome Bing Lee comes to town, along with his stuck-up friend William Darcy, things really start to get interesting for the Bennet's; and for Lizzie's viewers. People watched, debated, tweeted, tumblr'd, and suddenly Lizzie; who always considered herself a fairly normal young woman; was a public figure. But not everything happened on-screen. Luckily for us, Lizzie kept a secret diary.

Following the structure of the Jane Austen classic, with each chapter also complementing the addictive videos, this standalone novel has plenty of fresh twists to delight fans and hook new readers. The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet expands on the phenomenon that captivated a generation and reimagines the Pride and Prejudice story like it's never been done before."

-Good Reads

Let's go with a 4.5/5 stars. This is definitely not as good as the original (duh) and not as good as TLB web series... But as far as a novelization and an adaptation? Not bad. Not bad at all. I'm not sure how I would have felt if I had only read with (without watching the series) but I did, so - YAY. I also really loved that Lydia's character had some sort of redemption - she's always written off! 

I promise that I'll write a full review soon. Thank you to Simon and Schuster Audio, as always, for sending me this book. Audio books are fantastic, guys. I'm a true believer.

So, for now I must go until I can bring a real review. But until that happens, here are some GIFs that will try to illustrate my love for everything Pride and Prejudice. 

So, I found out that Bernie Su was making a novelization of his award winning web series, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries and I was all like

And THEN I found out that Simon & Schuster Audio was offering ME a copy of it for review and THEN I was like

And I WAS scared because, like, I really LOVE Pride and Prejudice and even more so Fitzwilliam Darcy... and I became realllyyyy invested in The Lizzie Bennet Diaries and what if, like many great things, this book crashed and burned? 

And at first? It kind of did. 

There were some issues that made me give side eye like a baby Harry Potter...

I really didn't enjoy the way that Lizzie portrayed Charlotte. Lizzie-as-Charlotte came off as snarky, and snobby, and just kind of bitchy. And that really rubbed me the wrong way because (at least in my eyes) that characterization didn't ring true to my understanding of Austen's Charlotte or even the Charlotte Lu of TLB. 

I just wasn't feeling it - at all. I got about 10%-ish percent of the way through before I decided to set it on the back burner indefinitely. 

But THEN it was time for the semester to start and time for me to begin a 45 minute one way commute four days a week to my school campus... and that's when I decided to pick this book back up. 

I am glad that I did.

It got so much better.

I was able to relive all of my favorite parts of the original P&P story arc and I came to find that I actually enjoyed the changes that Bernie Su made to the plot and characters. For some reason, those changes were much more notable in the book than they were in the web series. But I digress. The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet was awesome. I would recommend it (and the series) to any lover of P&P. Lizzie is a great modern spin on the beloved character and you just can't go wrong with Darcy inspired character. 

Because he is everything.

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