Sunday, 20 July 2014

Review - 'The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet' by Bernie Su and Kate Rorick

Simon and Schuster

This will be spoiler free.

Based off a web series based off of a book comes The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet. Yes, this book, in case you didn’t know, is based on the Emmy Award Winning Web Series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, which in turn is based on Jane Austen’s classic novel Pride and Prejudice. The book delves even further into the events of the web series, and it is glorious! If there is anything you felt needed more explaining then read this book!

I have to be honest, as much as I was looking forward to reading this book my hopes were not high, I thought it would just be a novelization of the series, which to an extent it was, but it was so much more than that, trust me on this. Not only do you really get into Lizzie’s head, find out what she’s thinking throughout the events of the series, but you also get to read about the things that you don’t see in the videos. I loved that we could just read an uncensored Lizzie, (also meaning that she actually some strong language at some point). Su and Rorick’s writing was also flawless, as was expected. Throughout my reading I could hear Ashley Clement’s voice in my head. It’s simply a wonderful read that made me incredibly nostalgic, I really miss looking forward to the next episode. It also made it even more plain how much the people behind the show, such as Bernie Su, really care about the story, and that makes it all the more enjoyable reading.

The book really delves into the story, and really fleshes out the characters and the plot, adding depth to characters, at least to me, seemed pretty 2D, (*cough* Caroline Lee *cough*), but I will say no more, (spoilers... sort of). Like I said, I thought the book would essentially be a textual version of the videos, but this was not wholly the case, it was pleasantly surprising.

That being said, a bugbear of mine was that it was very hard to watch the videos alongside reading the diary, as had been recommended to me, though this was a good idea in theory,I would have liked a guide as to how to read and watch at the same time or helpful notes before each entry as to which video to watch before each one. I found that the order changed a lot, and there was a lot of overlap, especially as she started writing about events that happened on camera. We hear from the elusive Doctor Gardiner, more about the Bennet's financial difficulties and the extent to which her parents are as Lizzie portrayed in her videos. Most importantly we read Darcy's letter! And so much more.

To be honest there isn’t much else I can say that wouldn’t be spoiler, so you if you loved the web series then you need to read this! The perfect companion to the series we all loved.

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