Author: Bernie Su, Kate Rorick
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance, HumorPublished: June 2014
My Rating: 5/5
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.
For those of you who don’t know, I’m a huge fan of Pride and Prejudice. I’ve read many spin-offs and sequels, and watched many adaptations. About two years ago, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries came out, and it’s definitely one of the best Pride and Prejudice adaptions out there.
Lizzie Bennet, a grad student, starts making vlogs for class, talking about her life, her friends and family. But, of course, a lot of crazy (and dramatic) things start to happen, and we get to see all that through her videos :) So this is basically a modern adaption, and they did a WONDERFUL job at changing things for this century. It’s flawless, I’m saying. FLAWLESS.
Here's the first episode for those of you who have not watched this:
So The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet is the diary she keeps while doing her vlogs, she actually mentions it a few times in her videos.
I have to say that I was really surprised to see how it all matched with the information from the videos; makes me wonder if they had actually written this book when they were working on the web series. Because there were all those little details… and I’m glad they released this, because when rewatching the series I actually understood a lot more things than before, things she writes about in her diary but barely mentions in front of the camera. And yes, I just had to rewatch the whole thing after reading this book. How could I not? This was like a little Behind-the-scenes, but more awesome.
Now let’s talk about some of the things you get to know a little bit more of when reading this diary (minor spoilers ahead):
Lizzie complains a few times about her makeup in the first video. Now, I don’t know if they did it on purpose, I guess they did, because it’s pretty obvious her makeup changed after that. And I did want to bring this up because I remember realizing this when I first watched the series. Like she saw this mistake and fixed it right away. Makes it a little more real. Details.
Darcy did want to play Just Dance at Carter’s. Yes, he did. How adorable is that :3 Now, just imagine Darcy playing that game.
After Charlotte says she doesn’t want to play Just Dance with Lizzie and that she can just go and embarrass herself on her own:
Embarrass myself? As if. I rule at Just Dance.
“If you like, I‘ll –” Darcy cleared his throat, but I didn’t hear the rest because I was digging in my purse for quarters.
Jane and Bing Lee did ‘bing’. I was really surprised about this. The sweet, innocent Jane Bennet? After just knowing a guy for a few months? Well, yes. And this all happened before Bing left town. Not cool, Bing.
Is there anyone besides Caroline who knows how to use Google? I always wondered this while watching the series, and Lizzie does mention it. I also wonder how they never found out about the videos on Twitter. Apparently people’s way of communicating in this series was via Twitter. Were there no watchers writing to Darcy or Bing telling them about the videos? Weird… But whatever, I’d still buy it, this whole thing is just too good. I’m not going to spoil this for myself. I’m going to say she has very loyal viewers. Period.
Darcy’s adorable self. And how mean Lizzie was to him… But then again, we all know the whole story, she did have the right to treat him like that.
I feel really bad for him when he asks how the sound was when connecting her laptop to Bing’s TV, saying very proudly that he set up the speakers, and she just says ‘Mediocre at best’… My heart :’( he was all happy he could help her… But, again, Lizzie’s way of treating Darcy is understandable. We know.
And if my little heart hadn’t had enough after that thing with the speakers, we actually get to see his ‘I wouldn’t dare hate you’. Aw :’(
We get to read Darcy’s letter. Although if you’ve read the original book then you’d have an idea of what’s in this letter. They also talk a little bit about it in the videos, but long after Lizzie got it from Darcy.
Lydia is very loveable. I think this is the only Lydia I’ve ever liked. I’ve always been like ‘Yeah, you go, silly Lydia. You go marry that Wickham and please just get away and be miserable’. Never a fan (although we do have to thank her for bringing Mr. Darcy and Lizzie a lot closer with her stupid decision). But this Lydia is different, and she got to learn from her mistakes (and actually hugged Darcy when she found out he was the one who helped them, aw). When I watched the series the first time I did wonder how they were going to fix the whole tape thing. Getting her married to Wickham wasn’t really going to fix things…
Mr. Bennet knowing about Lydia’s scandal. We know that they tell Mr. Bennet about the tape, the videos and everything. But we don’t get to see much of that interaction, since he doesn’t get to be in the videos. I thought it was really sweet to see him comfort Lydia and talk about how she was just a little baby not long ago… Man, it was already bad enough how they made me tear up when watching the series. The book didn’t go easy on me either. This part is so emotional.
SO MUCH DIZZIE. Yaaay! There’s actually a little bit more DarcyxLizzie in the book. It’s endearing :3 I think this adaptation has the highest level of interaction we’ve seen between these two. In the original book they don’t really interact that much. How would they? I’ve said it before; people think that Pride and Prejudice is just about the love story between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet. But it’s not. There’s a lot more than that. They’re barely together! It was, after all, the 19th century.
And then! AND THEN!!
The book contains a Q&A with the authors, and this was the last question:
What’s next for Lizzie, Lydia, Darcy, and Bing?
Kate: What’s next in terms of their stories? Well, perhaps you’ll get to find out in the near-ish future…
WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?! I’M DYING.
Now I wanted to share some of my favorite parts/quotes from the book. The list was a lot longer, there are so many good things in this book!!
- “Oh, hi, Charlotte, it’s so good to see you!”
- I left her office feeling a little more confident, and came home to what was apparently the World Ending (TM my mother).
- Bing Lee went to Harvard. When my mother found this out, Bing Lee went from a major catch to the mythical unicorn/phoenix/centaur she’d always hoped would wander into her daughters’ lives.
- Yes, women should be able to go out and have fun without fear of consequences the way men do – but that’s not reality.
- Charlotte shot me her patented “you’re-an-idiot” look. Which is awfully close to her normal face, …
She hasn’t told Bing about them. (Thank God.)2. She hasn’t told Darcy about them (THANK GOD.)
- Yes, he was wearing a scarf. In July. In California. Inside.
- “Thank you for the dance,” he said before he bowed (yes, bowed) and walked away.
- Mom drove straight home and promptly collapsed on the couch, wailing that life was over. Not just Jane’s life, or her life, but all life.
- “Hi, mom, it’s Lizzie… No, everything’s fine. Charlotte sends her love… No, she’s not married yet. …”
- DARCY: Two parts of me have been at war. Your… odd family, your financial troubles - you’re in a different world from me. People expect me to travel in certain circles. And I do respect the wishes of my family, but not today, I’ve tried to fight it for months now, but Lizzie Bennet… I’m in love with you.
DARCY: I can’t believe it either. That my heart could completely overwhelm my judgment.
- LIZZIE: You were unaware?! THEN WHY DON’T YOU WATCH MY VIDEOS?!
DARCY: What videos?
- Ode to a Broken Phone (this whole thing is pretty much flawless, Lizzie is hilarious)
I seriously recommend this web series and the book to everyone. Just EVERYONE.
Thank you for reading! Bye-Bye! ♥