Adult Fiction, Book Corner, Calendar Girls, Other Bookish Stuff, Retellings, Uncategorized

Review: The Secret Diary Of Lizzie Bennet

 

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.

5 out of 5

This review is part of The Calendar Girls monthly blog event, hosted by the lovelies at Darque Dreamer Reads and Never Not Reading. To know more about The Calendar Girls, click here

I have always been a lover of classics, but Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice holds a very, very special place in my heart. With a main character who is as witty, charming, and yet flawed as Elizabeth Bennet, the complicated yet strangely relatable family relationships (relatable only if you are a young adult female from a Southeast Asian country such as myself), and Austen’s viciously funny narration style, it’s hard not to love Pride and Prejudice.

And it’s equally hard not to love it’s very clever, very funny and extremely endearing modern-day retelling: The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su and Kate Noble.

As the name suggests, the story is told through highly detailed journal entries by Lizzie Bennet–a twenty-four-year old grad student studying mass communications who is trying to cope with the pressures of student loans, impending adulthood and the constant interference by her mother in her non-existent love life. When a rich new neighbor moves in for the summer however, Lizzie’s life changes dramatically–and she records it all on a web series that turns her and her sisters into internet celebrities. Lizzie’s humor and snark is not really different from Elizabeth’s sense of humor in the original classic, and it was one of the things that did not make the journal entries monotonous.

The other thing that made me love this book was the plot–I was really curious to see how Su and Noble would translate The Georgian Era into the twenty-first century–and to say they did so excellently would be an understatement. In fact, you can see how much thought they have put into this novel and the amount of creativity that went into this modern-day retelling when you compare and contrast the parallels between Pride and Prejudice and The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet. I cannot go into details of these parallels because of spoilers, but rest assured: even if you have read the classic a million times like I have, this retelling will still surprise you as it adds several new twists to an otherwise timeless classic.

In fact, it was this newness that made me fall in love with The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet; in terms of plot, this novel could easily have been an original story and it would have been just as good. All the events that occur contribute greatly to the development of each and every character and not just the protagonist alone–I was particularly fond of Lydia Bennet’s character arc; while in the original classic, Austen had summed up Lydia as a hopeless case who brings shame to her family and still does not have any remorse whatsoever for her actions, Su and Noble did modern-day Lydia justice by allowing her a chance to grow and redeem herself. I was prepared to dislike Lydia from the beginning, but Su and Noble changed my mind by the end of the novel to the point that I am looking forward to reading the next spin-off novel, The Epic Adventures of Lydia Bennet.

To sum it up, The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet is a warm, heart-melting novel you should regardless of whether or not you are a fan of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice because it has all the things that a good rom/com should have: from it’s unforgettable characters, to the humorous and yet emotional storyline, and a protagonist who you cannot help but root for. Read it people!

 

read-the-book

Don’t forget to check out Darque’s  and Katie’s pick for the month here!

Image 6

Do you read classics? If yes, then which is your favorite? If no, then tell my why you don’t. Happy reading lovelies <3

27 thoughts on “Review: The Secret Diary Of Lizzie Bennet”

  1. Great choice! I love watching The Lizzie Bennet Diaries on YouTube, and I’ve re-watched several times. I’ve had people suggest the book, but I’ve never gotten around to it. I think it’s my favorite P&P re-telling!

    1. There are other retellings of P&P? I only know about Pride and Prejudice and Zombies but I haven’t read it yet. I loved this one though! It’s really clever. Highly recommended <3

      1. Oh, tons of them! I couldn’t even begin to name them all off the top of my head. Last summer I read Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld. The Hating Game is inspired by P&P. Gosh, I can’t even think of them all there’s so many…

  2. Such a great choice! Your sentence here” “To sum it up, The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet is a warm, heart-melting novel you should regardless of whether or not you are a fan of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice because it has all the things that a good rom/com should have: from it’s unforgettable characters, to the humorous and yet emotional storyline, and a protagonist who you cannot help but root for.” Really has me sold on this one! <3

    1. I am so glad! There is a youtube web series too called The Lizzie Bennet diaries–the novel is actually a spin-off the web series. You should definitely watch it–the actress is amazing!

  3. I’ve never read P&P 😲 as I’m not really a fan of classics (I did watch the BBC adaptation of it though) but this retelling sounds really funny and more relatable. Great choice!

  4. Oh wow! This seems such an interesting retelling! I haven’t read the classic but the movie…aaah the movie and Mr Darcy!!!

    1. Ikr! The movie is one of my favorite rom/coms too. And Mr. Darcy is my favorite fictional love interest. The Darcy in this book does not disappoint either 😍

  5. Oooo you were telling me about this the other day! I thought I would have to read Pride and Prejudice first (I mean, I probably should since a certain person is shoving it at me along with other books – ha, I’m a great friend) but I’m glad I don’t have to in order to read this. To be honest though, I think I’ll enjoy the modern Lizzie over classic Elizabeth.

    1. You might enjoy both but you will DEFINITELY enjoy the modern retelling! It’s so well-written and charming 😍 And that’s huge praise coming from me because I am not usually into contemporary 😶

  6. I looved the YouTube show so I should really pick this up. I didn’t know there was going to be a Lydia spinoff – that’s awesome! It’s always troubled me that I share a name with one of Jane Austen’s worst characters…

    1. Hahaha but hey atleast Lydia Bennet from the modern retelling isn’t so bad! The spinoff is all about how she pulls her life together and I really look forward to it.

      I am not sure if there will be anything new for you in this book if you have already watched the youtube series but I would still recommend it. It’s just such a fun read!

Leave a Reply