Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet

The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet
By Bernie Su and Kate Rorick
Simon & Schuster, 2014. 380 pages. Fiction.

When Bernie Su and Hank Green decided to adapt Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice for a modern audience and present it online through video blogs, they had no idea how popular their show would become. Now a winner of numerous awards, including a Primetime Emmy (a first for a web-based series), The Lizzie Bennet Diaries tells the story of grad-student Lizzie Bennet, who starts a year-long vlog as part of her thesis project, capturing the stories of her sisters, Jane and Lydia, the wealthy Bing Lee and his sister Caroline, Ricky Collins and his company's investment partner, Catherine de Burgh, and, of course, the snobby William Darcy. The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet is a companion to the web series, adding new detail that Lizzie didn't share with her online audience.

Even though the book is officially a companion to the web series, it does stand alone as a story in itself (although I highly recommend watching the web series - they did a phenomenal job on it with absolutely no budget). What I liked the most about it was the way they were able to stay very true to the books while making adaptations that make it true to modern life. This is probably not going to appeal to Austen purists (the ones who want everyone in a bonnet) and those who have only watched the full-length Austen features will probably be a little shocked at how blunt Lizzie can be at times. But over all, it was an entertaining book that had all the elements of an Austen novel in a modern setting. The book does have some language and some innuendo.

Be warned: if you watch the web series, it is very, very addictive.


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