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Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su and Kate Rorick

Title:  The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet

Author: Bernie Su and Kate Rorick 
Publisher:  June 24th 2014 by Touchstone
ISBN: 1476763216 (ISBN13: 9781476763217)
Pages:  288 pages
How I Read It: ARC NetGalley ebook
Genre: contemporary, romance, retelling
My Rating: 4 crowns


A modern adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice based on the Emmy Award-winning phenomenon, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.

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 chronicled Lizzie’s life as a twenty-four-year-old grad student, struggling under a mountain of student loans and living at home with her two sisters; beautiful Jane and reckless Lydia. What may have started as her grad student thesis grew into so much more, as the videos came to inform and reflect her life and that of her sisters. 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. 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. 

The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet provides more character introspection as only a book can, with revelatory details about the Bennet household, including Lizzie’s special relationship with her father, untold stories from Netherfield, Lizzie’s thoughts and fears about life after grad school and becoming an instant web celebrity.

Okay, never one to be at the forefront of what’s ‘hip’, I admit to jumping on the “Lizzie Bennet” train late – way too late. Finally when the YouTube sensation had crossed my path enough times I decided to check out a couple of videos (each only ranging from about 3-4 minutes) – in a word “AWESOME” – loved them! Fortunately fate would see me train jumping at maybe the right time after all, as two years on from the online sensation the book has just been released *happy dance*.

I say it right from the start, I love Pride and Prejudice and I am not afraid to sample the plethora of material out there pertaining to the original, spin-offs and modern adaptations. However, if you live and breathe everything about Lizzie and Darcy and are open to a very modern and highly amusing adaptation, then this is the book for you. The book does stand alone but obviously an appreciation of the original Austen story and maybe a visual sighting of some of the characters from the web series will very much enrich your experience. And if you have already watched the web series you will not be disappointed as so much more depth and detail and behind the scenes intrigue is contained in this book.

The very clever aspect of this book is how it faithfully follows plot lines and moments of Pride & Prejudice. Faithfully, but with a modern retelling that allows it to make more sense in the present day.

Darcy: “I know you like to walk, but if you prefer, we can have the car ….”
Lizzie: “No. It’s too nice a day to not walk”


Ms De Bourgh: “Do you go by Lizzie or Liz? …… Of course it’s Liz. No grown woman would ever go by such a juvenile name as Lizzie”.

For all its amusing anecdotes and re-enactments, there is still some really worthy messages:

“Charlotte sends her love …. No she’s not married yet … because she’s working very hard and doesn’t need a man to define her”.


“I have a lot of ambitions and dreams for what I want to do with my life: I want to be able to effect change. To make at least my small corner of the world better in some way. To inspire and be inspired."

If you're a fan of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, then you must read this book! I thoroughly enjoyed it as it gives the web series an added dimension; the two really go hand in hand, complimenting each other and perpetuating the never ageing tale that is Pride & Prejudice.


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