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

October 10, 2014 Reviews 2 ★★★★

The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su and Kate RorickThe Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su, Kate Rorick
Published: July 3rd 2014 by Simon & Schuster
Format: Paperback, 380 pages
Genres: Contemporary
Source: Publisher
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4 Stars

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!

You guys know how much I loved The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, right?

Well I LOVED IT! And getting to read a tie-in novel that tells us what happened to the Bennets when Lizzie wasn’t making the videos was amazing!

Although technically you don’t have to watch the Youtube videos to understand what is going on in the book, it’s important to remember that book isn’t trying to re-tell the story that the videos showed us, but rather to supplement it. Meaning that a lot of the action happens ‘offscreen’ (except really, on-screen, because they happen in the videos), and then Lizzie mentions then in her diaries or (sometimes) provides transcripts of her videos. Ideally, a reader will be sitting in front of a computer, reading the book and watching the videos to get the full picture.

I wish all tie-in novels were like this, because it doesn’t just re-tell the story of the videos, but shows us whole new sides to the characters and gives them more depth (but you have to already know them from the videos otherwise they will come across as flat!). I love that the book gives us glimpses of all the things that happened to Lizzie and her friends and family that didn’t make it in the videos. Like all the other viewers, I thought that we’d gotten the entire story in the videos, but it turns out that Lizzie was (rather surprisingly) circumspect about a few things. Oh, and we got to read THE LETTER.

But mostly, I love that we get inside Lizzie’s head. When we saw her in the videos, it was easy to forget that she’s quite heavily edited herself. She kept A LOT in, yes, but the book reminded me that we didn’t get to see everything Lizzie thought or said. For example, I’d come out of watching the videos thinking that when she picked out Lydia’s birthday present, she must have had some inkling that what she’s doing is pretty rude. But, reading that scene from Lizzie’s point of view, she didn’t have any clue! I mean, I know from watching the later videos that she was sorry, but the book really showed me that she didn’t think she was being anything but nice by picking out that present.

Another thing I liked is that we got to see Lizzie think about her actions and about how she judged other people. She said a little of this in her last few videos, but the book shows her feelings and thoughts more clearly than the videos did (I think). A further example: Lizzie didn’t seem to rude and condescending towards Ricky in the book because she explains her thoughts and feelings about him over two whole pages, and it really put her attitude towards him into perspective.

The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet was a quick, fun read that I loved because of the depth it brought to the Youtube sensation. I really enjoyed it, and recommend it to fans of the videos.

BloggingOutsideTheBox Blogging Outside the Box is a  feature at Speculating on SpecFic, where books outside the SFF banner are reviewed. It is intended to highlight some of the non speculative fiction titles I am reading and share my thoughts with readers.

2 Responses to “The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su and Kate Rorick”

  1. Bernadette @ The Bumbling Bookworm

    I ADORE this book, it’s such a great addition to the franchise without being done for the sake of it. I completely agree with you, it adds to the videos and provides insight rather than simply rehashing them. Great review!
    Bernadette @ The Bumbling Bookworm recently posted…ISFJ

  2. Natasha

    I was addicted to the videos. I actually found them by random a few months ago and watched them non stop for 2 nights, so I could finish them as possible. I wasn’t really going to buy the book, to tell the truth because I thought it would be the same as the videos. But I’m interested in seeing what the extra bits they have in the book are now 🙂

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