Twenty-four year old grad student Lizzie Bennet is saddled with student loan debt and still living at home along with her two sisters;beautiful Jane and reckless Lydia. When she records her reflections on life for her thesis project and posts them on YouTube, she has no idea The Lizzie Bennet Diaries will soon take on a life of their own, turning the Bennet sisters into internet celebrities seemingly overnight.
When rich and 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. But not everything happens on screen. Lucky for us, Lizzie has a secret diary.
The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet takes readers deep inside Lizzie's world and well beyond the confines of her camera from the wedding where she first meets William Darcy to the local hangout of Carters bar, and much more. Lizzie's private musings are filled with revealing details about the Bennet household, including her growing suspicions about her parents unstable financial situation, her sisters budding relationship with Bing Lee, the perils of her unexpected fame, and her uncertainty over her future and whom she wants to share it with.
Featuring plenty of fresh twists to delight fans and new readers alike, The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet expands on the web series phenomenon that captivated a generation and reimagines the Pride and Prejudice story like never before.
I loved watching the video diaries last year so when I found out they had written a book based around it, I went straight online to find me a copy. And although it was very different to the videos, because of the different media style, Lizzie's voice came across so clearly and it was so easy to read and fall back into her story.
If you haven't watched the videos, or at least not for a while, I would recommend watching them alongside reading the diary; there were a few little things that Lizzie mentions in the diary that I had forgotten were portrayed online. But mostly, it was like an amazing behind the scenes thing with extra secrets and juicy bits of gossip that is hinted at in the videos, or not even mentioned. Like Jane's scare or Lizzie's relationship with her father, or her mother setting the curtain on fire at dinner. Oh, oh, oh! How could I forget? Viewers of the videos will know about The Letter. Well, guess what? It's included! I actually squealed a little when I found it! All this extra information was just amazing to read and made me feel a lot closer to Lizzie as she goes through everything from meeting Darcy to Charlotte leaving, from Lydia's dramas and meltdown at Christmas to George's awful behaviour explained.
Lizzie is prejudiced, or at least stubborn in her first impressions. We all know that, but this really came across in her diary. In the videos, we did get the impression that 'Lizzie sees what Lizzie sees' but reading it for yourself, even from Lizzie's perspective, you can tell that she is just seeing what she wants to. Especially in the case of Darcy, and to a lesser extent Lydia. It was really interesting hearing about Lizzie's insecurities over making and posting the videos, about putting her and her family's lives online and how it effects them.
Lizzie's diary was unfiltered, unlike her videos, so you could really feel how everything got to her. I mean, my heart broke when I watched what happened to Lydia but reading about it from Lizzie's perspective was something else. From Lizzie's perspective, you can tell it is hurting her that she can't do anything to help her little sister but you also read that Lizzie is doing everything she can to coax Lydia out of her shell and to understand her properly, not just as that crazy party girl.
Reading Lizzie's diary, I fell back in love with her story. Lizzie and Darcy is a love story for the ages but what I adore about this modernisation is Lizzie's relationship with her family, especially her sisters. As she begins to understand that she was judging too harshly, she makes the effort to connect with Lydia as she is, not what Lizzie or anyone else expects her to be. This modern version of the story resonates with our society as much as the original did and I loved hearing it again.
Published 1st July 2014 by Touchstone. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for my copy in exchange for an honest review.