Title: “The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet”
Author(s): Bernie Su and Kate Rorick
Genre(s): romance, contemporary, adaptation
Part of a Series: No
Why I read it: Because I loved The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.
Summary: A modern take on Pride and Prejudice, the diary documents the year Lizzie Bennet spends filming her life—the good, the bad and the craazy. Usually in the form of Lizzie dressed up as her mother, talking about marriage all the time. Then the Lees and Darcy show up, sending Lizzie’s life spinning in several directions. As her sister Jane falls in love with Bing Lee, Lizzie falls in hate with Darcy. Lizzie does her best to survive being in Darcy’s company as her videos take off in popularity. But she suffers a few setbacks—first a fight with Charlotte, then Jane leaves after Bing breaks her heart. Lizzie is left alone and flounders a bit, unsure what to do next. But her videos lead her to her next steps and once again throw her in Darcy’s company. But things are different this time. She finds Darcy less annoying and actually starts to get along with him. Is romance around the corner?
Review: I loved this book. So before I go into raving mode, let me explain why it got four moons rather than fie moons.
The book is based on a web series. I expected more of what we didn’t see. But there were several entries that just repeated everything we had seen on The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Nothing much new there. There were a couple which were direct transcripts of things that had happened on the show. I wanted more than that!
But starting with the middle of the book, around the time of Bing’s party, we started to get more of what we didn’t see. The diaries finally did what I expected them to do—add another layer to the videos we hadn’t seen. More about Lizzie’s growing feelings for Darcy. We saw more of their interactions off screen, especially once Lizzie starts to shadow at Pemberley Digital. The relationship between Lizzie and her parents is better explored here as well since the Bennets never appeared in the videos. (Well, Mrs. Bennet does appear in one but we never see her face). There is also something revealed about Jane that was never even hinted in the videos and was a big surprise to me.
I had the Kindle edition, which was interactive. At the end of each chapter was the corresponding video from the series. For those who had watched the videos before, they could get refreshers. And for those who are picking up the book for the first time, they can watch along with the entries. It’s a great idea.
Bottom line: A good read for Austenites.
Should e-books become more interactive?