Book Review: The Epic Adventures of Lydia Bennet

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Snyopsis from Amazon.com:

Based on the Emmy Award­-winning “genius” (The Guardian) web series, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, this is a new novel starring Lizzie’s spunky sister Lydia as she navigates the joys and pitfalls of becoming an adult in the digital age.

Before her older sister, Lizzie, started her wildly popular vlog, Lydia was just a normal twenty-year-old plotting the many ways she could get away with skipping her community college classes and finding the perfect fake ID. She may not have had much direction, but she loved her family and had plenty of fun. Then Lizzie’s vlog turned the Bennet sisters into Internet sensations, and Lydia basked in the attention as people watched, debated, tweeted, tumblr’d, and blogged about her life. But not all attention is good…

After her ex-boyfriend, George Wickham took advantage of Lydia’s newfound web-fame, betrayed her trust, and destroyed her online reputation, she’s no longer a naïve, carefree girl. Now, Lydia must work to win back her family’s trust and respect and find her place in a far more judgmental world.

Told in Lydia’s distinctive, eccentric, and endearing voice, The Epic Adventures of Lydia Bennet picks up right where The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet left off and “offers a fresh take onPride and Prejudice without ruining it” (The Washington Post, onThe Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet). Featuring fresh twists, wonderful new characters, and scores of hilarious texts, doodles, and tweets, The Epic Adventures of Lydia Bennet takes you behind the webcam and into the lives of your favorite sisters in a way that’s sure to satisfy existing fans and delight new ones.

To be perfectly honest, I didn’t like Lydia in the The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Or in Pride & Prejudice for that matter. I never watched her videos and I was hesitant about this book. That being said, I actually really enjoyed this novel.

At first the novel started slow but then it picked up. I actually liked getting to know more about Lydia and her situation with George and what happens after. Since I didn’t watch her videos I didn’t really get to know Mary either so it was cool getting to know her here as well. Especially because instead of being one of the sisters, in this adaptation she’s their cousin.

The story follows Lydia through taking summer classes to graduate from her community college, going to therapy, living with Mary, and preparing to leave home and move to San Francisco with Mary at the end of the summer.

To do so, Lydia has to complete her college application, which is easier said than done. She struggles to find the balance between remaining true to herself but not going back to her old, self-destructive ways.

I really liked seeing Lydia grow up and figure out what she wanted for herself, instead of focusing on what everyone else expected of her. I’ll admit, I teared up at the end when Lydia finally got what she wanted but more importantly, what she needed. Great read!

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. I liked this book more than I thought I would but I don’t think I’d reread it. It’s a nice quick read but not a story I’d read again.

Stars:

4 stars

Favorite Line:

“Here’s the thing about good guys. They don’t tell you they’re good guys.”

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Book Review: The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet

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Synopsis from Amazon:

A modern adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice based on the Emmy Award-winning phenomenon, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.

There is a great deal that goes into making a video blog. Lizzie Bennet should know, having become a YouTube sensation over the course of her year-long video diary project. The Lizzie Bennet Diaries chronicled Lizzie’s life as a twenty-four-year-old grad student, struggling under a mountain of student loans and living at home with her two sisters—beautiful Jane and reckless Lydia. What may have started as her grad student thesis grew into so much more, as the videos came to inform and reflect her life and that of her sisters. 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. Suddenly Lizzie—who always considered herself a fairly normal young woman—was a public figure. But not everything happened on-screen. Luckily for us, Lizzie kept a secret diary.

The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet provides more character introspection as only a book can, with revelatory details about the Bennet household, including Lizzie’s special relationship with her father, untold stories from Netherfield, Lizzie’s thoughts and fears about life after grad school and becoming an instant web celebrity.

Written by Bernie Su, the series’ executive producer, co-creator, head writer, and director, along with Kate Rorick, the novelist, TV writer, and consulting producer on the series, the novel features a journal-entry format and design, complementing the existing web series, while including plenty of fresh twists to delight fans and new readers alike. The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet expands on the phenomenon that captivated a generation and reimagines the Pride and Prejudice story like it’s never been done before.

I am a big fan of the YouTube series, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, even though I hopped on the bandwagon after the show ended. Even so, that then gave me a 100 videos to watch, which was great for binge watching.

After obsessing over the show and re-watching episodes the creators decided to bless us fans by extending the story further by publishing a novel based on Lizzie’s diary and it’s fantastic. Besides retelling some events we’ve already seen on the show, what was great about the book was all the behind the scenes stuff. From actually reading Darcy’s letter to learning more about Jane and Bing’s relationship there was so much we don’t see on camera.

It was hard to remember that the show wasn’t real and these aren’t real people but characters. It’s just so authentic. Also, I got the audio book, which is read by Ashley Clements who played Lizzie on the show, which made the book even more fun. It was cool hearing her voice again and her doing the voices of the other characters as she would do on the show for costume theater.

In addition to behind the scenes things we also just got more information about other characters. There were a lot of things that didn’t happen on the show that happen in the book and it’s great. Especially some special Darcy and Lizzie moments that were very cute. I suggest getting this book and getting the audio one at that. It’s really the only way this book should be read/listened to. Trust me, it’s worth every penny.

Favorite Line: Truthfully I can’t just pick one plus if I could it’s pretty difficult to do that with an audio book (I should’ve written them down).

Stars: 5 out of 5. From getting to hear Lizzie’s wit again and learning more about the characters this was definitely one of my favorite books this summer. I actually liked Lydia more after reading the book (I found her kind of annoying on the show). Also the pie graphs and charts Lizzie uses to explain things are hilarious.

Borrow or Buy: Buy. Definitely buy. I’ll probably re-listen to this audio book again at some point. Also audio books are great because you can listen to them everywhere (except in bed because you might fall asleep).

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