The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet: Sisters and Misters

lizzie bennetTitle: The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet

Author: Bernie Su and Kate Rorick

Genre: YA contemporary (retelling of Pride and Prejudice)

Length: 400 pages

Published by: Penguin Teen Australia

Source: I bought it!

Blurb:

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.

 

So I really love the Lizzie Bennet Diaries videos.

I watched them all just after I’d finished reading Pride and Prejudice (back when I read classics…it was a weird time) and I absolutely LOVED them. I loved the sisters. I loved how it kept to the original storyline but changed certain things around. I loved the FORMAT and how I’d never seen Youtube videos like it.

And I mean, Jane is OBVIOUSLY my favourite.

And I did really like this book. I liked a lot of things about it. But let’s go to the things I DIDN’T like as much, because…well, there were a few of those too.

 

1) It felt too similar to the videos.

Honestly, I wanted more from the diary. Sure, there were a few revelations that weren’t included in the videos, but overall it felt like we were being TOLD what was happening rather than shown it – like it was only the surface of what was happening rather than a deeper look at it. And I know there are limitations with the diary format, but I would have liked to see more of her thoughts and feelings, the back-story of her and her sisters…I would have liked to see her thoughts towards Darcy develop more. Because I didn’t get the sense of getting to know Darcy at all.

I love the videos, but reading them in book version (even sometimes using a transcript from the videos in place of actual diary entries from Lizzie) was a little disappointing.

I mean, I wanted to see MORE of everyone – more of Charlotte and Bing and Lydia and Jane and Darcy and everyone else. But everything just felt too BRIEF and like it was a recount rather than a novel.

 

2) I didn’t like Lizzie as much in book form.

Lizzie does this…a LOT in both the videos and the book. She is over-the-top. She is judgemental. She is, yes, prejudiced. I do realise this was the point of the original novel. But it was a little harder to sympathise with Book-Lizzie compared to Vlog-Lizzie – her attitudes towards her sister Lydia were really quite harsh and I felt sorry for her more than I did in the videos.

 

So those were my two main quibbles.

I wanted to see more that wasn’t in the videos, and I wanted to connect with Lizzie – and in those two things I think this book fell short.

HOWEVER.

It is still a very enjoyable read. It is hilarious in places, and Lizzie’s witticisms do make it worthwhile.

I love the focus on the sisterly relationship between Lizzie, Lydia and Jane. I love that it’s about trying to achieve your dreams. I love that it’s about family. I love how it shows that initial impressions may be wrong.

So there is a lot to like in this book, and maaaany of my book blogger friends have given this 4 or 5 stars. I think it had potential to be absolutely amazing – building on a web series I absolutely loved, with characters I already knew and a really interesting retelling.

But overall, I definitely love the web series way more than the book.

 

Rating: 3.5/5 Wonderkitties

PUPPYPUPPYPUPPYPUPPY

Have you watched the Lizzie Bennet Diaries? If you haven’t, what are you waiting for?

Advertisements

14 thoughts on “The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet: Sisters and Misters

  1. I’m sorry that this didn’t live up to your expectations, Em – but glad that it was an enjoyable read overall. I actually got a copy of this way back when it was first released, but I’m LAZY and haven’t finished watching the vlogs yet, so I don’t want to read it yet. Thanks for a wonderful review. 🙂

  2. I absolutely LOVED the Lizie Bennett Diaries vlog. They were absolutely hysterical, and I marathon-watched them over a single weekend (yes, I actually took some time for sleep). Didn’t realized they’d made a book out of them. I’m not sure how I’d feel about that … One of the things I loved so much about the vlog was the creativity of it; I’m not sure that would be as sparkly and new in the book after watching all the vids. More importantly, what about seeing Lizzie’s costumes?!

    • OH MY GOSH SAME. It took me about a week to finish, which I thought was pretty relaxed – definitely could have done them over a weekend as well!! Yeah, I thought it would be difficult to translate the awesomeness of the vlogs into book format, and I definitely don’t think they pulled it off as well as they could have. And YES Lizzie’s costumes absolutely MADE those vlogs haha 😛

  3. I don’t think I particularly want to read the book just because I ADORED the vlogs so much. I’m happy just having watched them. 😉 And I seriously didn’t understand HOW you could make vlogs into a book…but whatever. I suppose it was a book then a vlog then a book again. Intense. Hehe. But those vlogs are the ONLY way I’ve ever enjoyed Jane Austen. 😉

  4. I had only seen one episode of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries before I read the book, so I guess my expectations weren’t as high since I had nothing to compare it to (apart from the original Pride and Prejudice). I guess when a book is based on a vlog series, or a classic, it can be difficult to get right 100%! Anyway, it’s a great review and as always I love the gifs 🙂

    • HAVE YOU WATCHED THEM ALL NOW??? PLEASE SAY YES. Yeah, I’m sure that would definitely affect how you thought of it. But when I watched them I didn’t even know there was going to BE a book. One of those rare instances where the visual medium comes first 😛

  5. Aww..I’m sad you didn’t like it as much as you expected. 😦 I LOVED this book! But I can definitely understand where you are coming from.. at times it did annoy me because it was similar to the videos and I often felt like because of that it was a tad repetitive. But I do agree… reading the book is not the same as watching the Vlogs, and maybe I enjoyed it more because I really enjoyed the blogs! Great review lovely! 😀

    • SO AM I. Very sad, indeed. But I’ll get over it 😛 I think my expectations were just too high, you know? A lot of people have loved this book, though, and I can see why fans of the vlogs (like me) would love it. Objectively. Just not subjectively 😛

  6. Confession: I’ve never watched the web series! Clearly I need to rectify this. *cue gasps*

    This probably wouldn’t appeal to me very much, though as I’ve never read or watched Pride and Prejudice, either. Though I can understand your disappointment — it’s just like reading a good book then watching a not as good film adaptation. Except this is the other way around. 😛

    • *gasps on cue* KARA. HOW COULD YOU. Okay okay I forgive you. But you must watch them, yes? Yes.

      Ooooh the original Pride and Prejudice is excellent!! Especially if you watch the Lizzie Bennet Diaries straight after to make sense of it. I read it during my classics craze (that is a thing, for some reason…I don’t know what came over me).

  7. I’ve still only watched half of the YouTube series, the only time I get to sit down and watch TV is the previous Block and Big Brother from the night prior. I really need to grab a copy of this one, I liked the start of the series, it was really natural but as the episodes went on, it just became a little too dramatic and scripted though. Brilliant review Em, sorry you couldn’t have enjoyed it that little bit more ❤

  8. Pingback: What Happened in September, Upcoming Blogoversary and Book Swap! | The Loony Teen Writer

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s