Books

Book 517: The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet – Bernie Su and Kate Rorick

SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

That counts as a review right?

There’s no real reason to review this book – I mean I loved it, but I also loved the YouTube series – see below for a link GO WATCH IT NOW! There’s a link to the playlist at the end of this post. Seriously, forget my review go get sucked into the drama that is Pride and Prejudice reimagined as a master’s thesis project in the form of a vlog: The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. I mean it was the FIRST digital series to win an Emmy. AN EMMY people—that’s like legit.

I’ve watched the series twice, both times I got sucked in and didn’t plan to watch them as fast as I did. It just sucks you in and doesn’t let you go. You don’t have to read the book to watch the web series and you don’t have to watch the web series to read the book, but both are SO much better if you do them together.

So much credit goes to the writers of the series (and this book): Bernie Su, Margaret Dunlap, Rachel Kiley, Jay Bushman, Kate Rorick and Anne Toole. Not only did they make an incredible adaptation of the original work, they created a totally believable and relatable 21st century story.

What I enjoyed most about this addition to the YouTube series were the private thoughts we experience through Lizzie. The original Pride and Prejudice isn’t first person, but the vlog and this book are which allow the reader to experience the emotions of all the characters in such a different and yet similar way to Austen.

I’ve always felt I was more of a Lizzie Bennet (or really let’s be honest Fanny Price with my being a stickler for following rules and minimal fun), but Su and Rorick hit it home for me with this top quote:

“I love getting the mail. It’s a personal quirk. It’s so much more satisfying than checking my email in-box, because I have to wait. The postman has to bring messages to me. Could it be a missive from a friend or relative? A check that will solve all my problems.

No. Usually it’s just bills and catalogues—but I have hope for a real piece of mail in my lifetime!” (83)

“But now my feelings have changed so much. Now I know he’s shy, and strong, and loyal. Yes, a little socially awkward, but it makes his efforts all the more endearing. Now, I know he doesn’t feel that he’s better than me. But I know that he is better. And if I could go back in time, I would do everything differently.” (356)

SERIOUSLY. I LOVE getting mail and I totally identify with Lizzie on this one. But that second quote, that quote of loss and regret and angst just hits it for me too. I’m not 100% convinced Elizabeth Bennet as Austen wrote would want to go back and do everything differently—how else would she end up with Darcy? But I can believe that Lizzie Bennet as Su and Rorick (and the others) wrote her would want to go back and do it differently and still end up with Darcy.

Recommendation: READ. THIS. BOOK. Haahaa. I mean if you like Austen and you enjoy multi/cross-media stories this is a wonderful book. It is wonderful in its own right and not just because of the vlog. I think the two pieces compliment and strengthen each other in a way that very few authors have taken advantage of to date. And reading this book really made me want to go back and watch the series again AND re-read Austen again. So it’s clearly done it’s job for me.

Opening Line: “Saturday, April 7th – ‘It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.” My mom gave me that quote on a T-shirt.”

Closing Line: “Life . . . life is pretty fantastic right now. I can’t wait to see what happens next.” (Whited out to avoid spoilers, highlight to read.)

 

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