Book Review: The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su and Kate Rorick

18775255Based on the Emmy Awardwinning YouTube series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.

Twenty-four-year-old grad student Lizzie Bennet is saddled by student loan debt and still living at home along her two sisters – beautiful Jane and reckless Lydia. When she starts recording 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, becoming an online sensation and turning the Bennet sisters into internet celebrities, seemingly overnight.

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. 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. Providing revealing details about the Bennet household, including Lizzie’s growing suspicions about her parents’ unstable financial situation and her sister’s budding relationship with Bing Lee; her anxieties about life after grad school, the perils of her unexpected fame; and her uncertainty over her future… and whom she wants to share it with.

Rating: 10/10

Overall Impression: Everything I could have wanted and more.

Recommended for: Everyone who has seen the Lizzie Bennet Diaries YouTube series.

I loved reading this book. I just recently finished watching the series for a second time, and finally got around to reading this. I read most of this book in one day. The only human interaction I had was when something amazing would happen and I would feel the need to fill my boyfriend in on the it. (He’s seen the series too, so this wasn’t totally random.) It was hard for me to talk about anything other than this book and series for a couple days after. Once that wore off slightly, I rushed out to get The Epic Adventures of Lydia Bennet (review coming soon) that just came out and am doing the same thing. I’m probably annoying my roommate and boyfriend, but I can’t help my fangirling. I have spent hours watching and reading this series.

If you haven’t watched the series, then you should go do that right now. It’s one of the most amazing things out there, and probably this best adaptation of Jane Austen I have ever seen. This is coming from a huge Jane Austen fan who has watched most Jane Austen adaptations. In fact, here is the link for the YouTube playlist. (Note: even watch the side episodes with Lydia because they become highly important later. And Lydia is awesome anyway.)

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Anyway, enough with the epic fangirling. As far as the book itself, I thought that this was a great example of how to properly combine video and books. It was filled with reference that fans of the series would pick up on, and filled in some gaps that existed in the series. Many scenes that occurred off camera were depicted in the book. Albeit from Lizzie’s perspective, but that kind of made it even better. While Lizzie puts her prejudice view of Darcy’s actions (see what I did there) on events, we get to see just how blind Lizzie was. How did she not pick up on those signs! Especially the scene in the home theater when they are staying at Bing’s. Come on, Lizzie! It’s so obvious!

Not only does this book give us a closer look at some the events that happened off camera that were mentioned, we also get some details that weren’t mentioned. Many of which adds so much to the characters that I want to watch the series again with these details in mind. Also, Darcy’s letter is in the book! And there is also a detail in that that doesn’t come up in the videos!

And of course, one of the best parts about this book was that I could hear the character’s voices in my head. I feel like this is to be expected from the people who wrote the show, but sometimes it’s difficult to translate the cadence of someone’s speech, especially when there is already a voice and way of speaking attached to the character, to book form. I thought that this was done very well which makes it even more of a joy for fans of the series to read. Great job, Bernie and Kate!

Essentially, I often could not contain my squees. I thought that this did a great job of adding even more to an already solid series. I would consider this a must read for anybody who has seen the series. It will make you love it even more, and also give you an almost uncontrollable urge to go watch it again. Now excuse me while I go watch the series again… (I said almost uncontrollable, but I lied.)

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