Friday, June 27, 2014

The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet: Review

Author: Bernie Su, Kate Rorick
ISBN: 1476763143
Book Genre: New Adult/ Romance/ Contemporary
Release Date: July 1st 2014
Publisher: Touchstone
Book Source: NetGalley


Goodreads Synopsis:
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.


Review:

I'm a huge fan of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, and that includes the Keira Knightley movie interpretation. So when I found out there was a web-series modern version of it on youtube, I just had to check it out. And I wasn't disappointed. I found the whole set up absolutely inspired, and the way they dove into the story was completely ingenious. I think I watched the entire thing at least five times. Needless to say, when I heard there was going to be a book based on the web series, I was more than psyched, I was absolutely ecstatic. 

Due to the fact that the writers of the book being the same creators of the web series, I wasn't disappointed in the fact that Lizzie's voice was perfectly translated in book form, and she was just as hilarious, quirky, and witty as seen on camera.

Curious as to how my mother would make a 24-year-old who has been dressing herself for technically decades wear a certain article of clothing? Then you don't know my mother. Or her underhanded nature. I'd managed to keep the shirt buried in a drawer since Christmas, but then there was a hostile laundry takeover. That's all I'll say.
I especially love that her mother's tendency to the melodramatic was more evident in the book than on camera, and I have to admit it made me laugh a lot.

Our longtime friend Ellen pledged to love, honor, and cover her new husband on her work's health insurance plan for as long as they both shall live, while Ellen's mother sniffled her way through the ceremony - her sniffles only slightly softer than my mother's wails (Note: Ellen Gibson was in the same class as Jane since first grade; her mother and ours cut up orange slices for soccer practice together. Mom can barely hold her head up in front of Mrs. Gibson now, as her daughters remain tragically unwed.)
The issue with writing this review is the fact that I'd already watched the web series, so the modernized concept of the story wasn't as new to me and easy to portray with excitement now over the book, because I knew everything beforehand and wasn't surprised. But if I'm to talk about this book to someone who hasn't even heard of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, then I would love to say first of all where in God's name have you been living man? That web series is one of the most epic and creative things in creation over a classic that was portrayed with such a beautiful twist whilst staying as true to the story as possible without bordering on the unrealistic. And second of all, due to the huge difference in the time setting with both stories, there were changes that were made, but I can safely say they're changes one can definitely live with and come to love.

I don't want to dive into the actual story because I may accidentally spoil things from either this book or the original classic, so I won't explain the differences I mentioned or the innovative ways particular characters, events, and backgrounds were implemented into the story. What I will say though, is that it's probably best to read the book whilst watching the web series at the same time, because one thing that didn't sit well with me was the fact that a few explanations in the book didn't give the reader enough closure or well explain the particular event because it was in the video, so it was rushed through in the book. So if you happen to be reading this book without having ever watched the videos, you might get confused on more than one occasion or frustrated by the lack of elaboration towards specific parts. It didn't necessarily cause me that much trouble because I had in fact watched the series and understood everything perfectly, so yes, I recommend you watch the episodes in chronological order according to the diary entries with say watching Monday episodes after Sunday diary entries, or Thursday episodes right after Wednesday entries… it would definitely give a well rounded picture.

The thing with this series is, I think it works so much better as a whole in the way it was introduced - adding to that this book. There were the tweets I'd read after specific events as well as photos shared on tumblr, twitter and pinterest that correlate with the story, and I think this is absolutely perfect in making the story much more realistic. The book is just another element to missing parts we never got to see. I was actually very excited whilst reading the book because so many things Lizzie hadn't shared on camera were explained in writing, which is why I think this book is a perfect addition to the Lizzie Bennet Diaries 'experience' because believe me, it's like you're living in the story, not just reading it or watching it, that in turn makes it very incredible, and certainly memorable.

Rating: 4.5/5

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