K.'s Reviews > The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet

The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su
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it was amazing
bookshelves: 2014, 5-star, austen-inspired, contemporary, retellings, own-it-kindle, i-ship-it, to-buy-in-hard-copy, diverse-author, setting-usa, 2018
Read 2 times. Last read March 26, 2018 to March 28, 2018.

Trigger warnings: blackmail, slut shaming, abusive relationships.

As a stand alone book, this is probably a 3.5-4 star read. But as a tie-in to the web series? It's a solid 5 stars, every damn time. It adds so much depth to what we get to see on the screen. There's additional information, additional interactions, and getting to see a whole host of characters and locations that only appear in passing in the videos, like Lizzie's parents, Dr Gardiner, Catherine de Bourgh, Carter's Bar, and Pemberley Digital as a company.

In short, I marathoned the webseries again at the weekend, and then immediately started rereading this and I do not regret it for a second.

Look, this was pretty much always going to get five stars from me. Pride and Prejudice has been one of my favourite books since I went on a three week trip to France in 1998 with a mere two books - P&P and Rebecca. I read both of them at least five times during the trip. So I was more than a little excited when I discovered the Lizzie Bennet Diaries.

Admittedly, I was a little hesitant going into this that it would just be the videos rehashed in written form, but it was so much more than that. Mr and Mrs Bennet get to be their own characters, rather than just presented through costume theatre. The same goes for Catherine de Bourgh. We get to see the contents of Darcy's letter, to read about the touristy day in San Francisco in depth (I MAY have squeed a couple of times), to see Darcy's adorably awkward attempts at striking up a conversation at Netherfield and at Collins & Collins.

We get to see just where Jane and Bing's relationship was at before he left town, where Lizzie and George's relationship was at, how angry Lizzie really was at Charlotte for taking the job with Ricky Collins. We get to see Darcy at a Bennet family dinner and learn, albeit in fairly vague terms, where he and Lizzie's relationship stands by the end ((view spoiler)).

Yes, there are a few places where transcripts of the videos are used in place of the story. But they're moments that were so brilliantly presented in the videos that I'm not sure I'd want to read Lizzie's interpretation of them rather than the transcripts. And I wasn't ENTIRELY thrilled by the mentions of real world people like Hank Green and Felicia Day. But considering that the videos WERE shared by those people and it's canon that Lizzie went to Vidcon, I'm willing to suck it up and deal. I was also hoping for more Fitz and Gigi than I got, but given how little they feature in Austen's original text, it's not surprising that their parts are fairly limited here.

In short, there were a couple of niggling things I wasn't keen on, but for the most part it adds enormous depth to the characters we already know and love.
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Reading Progress

March 10, 2014 – Shelved
March 10, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
June 24, 2014 – Started Reading
June 24, 2014 –
June 25, 2014 –
35.0% "Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat?!?!?!"
June 25, 2014 –
June 25, 2014 – Shelved as: 2014
June 25, 2014 – Shelved as: 5-star
June 25, 2014 – Shelved as: austen-inspired
June 25, 2014 – Shelved as: contemporary
June 25, 2014 – Shelved as: retellings
June 26, 2014 – Finished Reading
April 6, 2015 – Shelved as: own-it-kindle
May 29, 2015 – Shelved as: i-ship-it
July 20, 2015 – Shelved as: to-buy-in-hard-copy
March 10, 2016 – Shelved as: diverse-author
August 11, 2016 – Shelved as: setting-usa
March 26, 2018 – Started Reading
March 26, 2018 –
page 190
March 27, 2018 –
page 281
March 28, 2018 – Shelved as: 2018
March 28, 2018 – Finished Reading

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