on 3rd July 2014
The Lizzie Bennet Diaries may have started as a school project for Lizzie, but it grew into so much more, as the videos came to inform and reflect her life and that of her sisters, beautiful Jane and reckless Lydia. People watched, debated, tweeted, tumblr'd, and suddenly Lizzie was YouTube sensation. But not everything happened on-screen. Lizzie kept a secret diary. The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet is everything you didn't see in her videos - and more. This is Pride and Prejudice as you've never experienced it before! Read The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet, watch the YouTube videos at lizziebennetdiaries.com and check her out on Pinterest, Tumblr and Twitter - become part of the sensation that's captured the imagination of millions of fans!
As a fan of both Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen as well as The Lizzie Bennet Diaries on YouTube, I was excited to read this book. It may seem strange to have a book based on a web series which was inspired by a novel written two hundred years ago but somehow Bernie Su and Kate Rorick make it work.
Lizzie Bennet is a college student who gets the idea to share her life with strangers via new media. Though her videos she chronicles her mother’s matchmaking antics, her sisters’ eccentricities and the arrival of Bing Lee and friend, William Darcy. For those unfamiliar with the story, this is a clever and fun take on a classic story. It’s easy to follow and incredibly engaging.
IF you have watched the web series you may wonder if this book adds anything more and I’m glad to inform you that it does add an extra layer to the story. This book is Lizzie’s secret diary – a place where she can tell intimate details of her life. Being personal and not having a million viewers, this diary is where Lizzie doesn’t need to censor herself. There are things in this book which Lizzie deemed to be too private to tell the world. As this story goes on we get to see more and more of Lizzie’s life which she didn’t share in her vlog. It might seem strange considering this book is told though one person’s point of view but I found this book to be less biased than the videos. Lizzie’s parents are only shown though her costume theatre in the vlog but in this book we get to see their conversations and facets of their life previously not shown. The way Lizzie’s diary shows her life is a little less politically correct and I felt like it showed people more true to how they really are. I thought it was great that whilst this book covered the events from the book, it wasn’t just retelling everything as it happened. A few pivotal vlog entries were transcribed and included but for the most part, it wasn’t just a copy.
These extra bits and pieces to the story were a lot of fun to read and I loved getting to indulge myself once again in Lizzie’s world. It didn’t add a whole lot extra to the story but it was lovely to read. I could picture the cast from the webseries playing the characters as they are in the book and adored getting to read about them in new situations. Also – we finally get to read Darcy’s letter!
If you don’t like webseries but don’t want to miss out on the sensation that is the Lizzie Bennet diaries – I recommend this book. It’s fun and clever and I think Jane Austen would be amused and proud of how well they adapted her novel to modern times. If you are a fan of the vlogs – this book adds an extra something whilst at the same time holding on to everything I loved about the videos.
Thanks to Simon and Schuster Australia for the review copy.