ARC Review: The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet


May 20, 2014 by Alice in Readerland

Lizzie BennetA 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 Bennets’ 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.

Written by Bernie Su, the series’ executive producer, co-creator, head writer, and director, along with Kate Rorick, the novelist, TV writer, and consulting producer on the series, the novel features a journal-entry format and design, complementing the existing web series, while including plenty of fresh twists to delight fans and new readers alike. 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.

Special thanks to the publisher, Touchstone for giving me an ARC of this title solely in exchange for an honest review. The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su and Kate Rorick will arrive in stores June 24th, 2014. 

One of my favorite things about the Lizzie Bennet Diaries was Lizzie’s voice. In Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, we don’t get first person narration from Elizabeth, but we do in the webisodes. I thought Lizzie’s voice was opinionated, funny, and relateable right from the start, so when I heard that there was going to be a book out, I was really excited to hear more of Lizzie’s voice!

Me, upon being reunited with Lizzie.

I loved getting a more detailed look at Lizzie’s life and seeing things that didn’t happen on-camera. We get a closer look at her school (including her New Media teacher), we get conversations with Lizzie’s dad (who is a lot like her), and of course, we get new scenes!

My favorite scene out of this book was the scene where Lizzie, Darcy, and Gigi are touring San Francisco! I remember being sad that we didn’t get to see it on video, so it was really fun to read about it. We’re given more Lizzie/Darcy interaction and the San Francisco setting was really cool.

Something else that I enjoyed about the book was that, when you compare the videos to Lizzie’s diary, Lizzie can be an unreliable narrator, which makes for some humor.

Anything else I say is going to spoil it, so I’ll just stop there!

Cynical Cindy Says

Something I was really disappointed in was that there were a few pivotal scenes that were written in “transcript” format instead of 1st person Lizzie, and I really wish that I could’ve known what was going on inside Lizzie’s head. Without the actors or Lizzie narration, I felt those important scenes fell flat.

In short: If you’re a fan of the Lizzie Bennet Diaries, then you should definitely read this book!

And maybe rewatch the episodes while you read. Because, believe me, you’ll be all:

4 Teacups

4 out of 5 teacups

12 thoughts on “ARC Review: The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet

  1. acps927 says:

    I can’t wait to read this! I will probably need to brush up and rewatch at least some of the episodes! ;) And Ashley Clements narrates the audiobook! I need that in my life.

  2. I’ve never seen The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, but my book club friend told me it’s awesome. She says it’s her favorite adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, so I really want to see it :) I didn’t know they were coming out with this book, but it sounds fun!! I guess I should watch the show first though :(

  3. I cannot wait to review this – you’re so lucky to have an ARC! Love The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, rewatched them all when we did Pride & Prejudice in one of my college courses this year. I like to think it counts as study ;) Excellent review, and loved the gifs!

  4. Candice says:

    SOOOOOOO pumped about this one! Like I literally cannot wait for this to come out. Probably should pre-order it too. Why isn’t it the end of June yet?!

    Anyway, glad the book was so good and you enjoyed! :)

  5. Lynn says:

    Fun review, yours is actually one of the first ones I saw on this book. I love Lizzie and will be reading this!

  6. bee188 says:

    Whaaaat?! This is a book? I loved the Lizzie Bennet Diaries! So cool! Thanks for sharing! Bee @ Bee Reads Books

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