(Note: I think it goes without saying that there will be Lizzie Bennet Diaries GIFs below…)
When I found out that The Lizzie Bennet Diaries web series was turning into a book, this was my reaction:
But I admit, I was also slightly skeptical, because can you really write a solid book based on a web series based on a classic novel. Well, I think The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet pulled it off pretty well.
There were a few things that prevented this from getting a 5-star rating from me, and I’ll list those up front.
First: this feels like a companion to the web series. I don’t think you should really go into reading this without knowing The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, or at the very least Pride and Prejudice (but even then… it’s better to know the series). I would have liked to have seen it stand on it’s own a little better. Also, I was disappointed in some character moments that weren’t in the web series that felt unnecessary in the book. I’m not going to go into details, but some of it just didn’t really ring true for me.
Lastly, while it felt mostly consistent with the web series, it didn’t ALWAYS. There’s at least one instance that became really obvious when I decided to watch one of the episodes (I watched a few as I read the book, just to see how they played out in both and because I felt like it :)), in which Lizzie got her new phone. In the book, it’s emphasized that her phone started acting up after it was dropped on the marina pier on her day with Darcy and Gigi, but in the web series it sounded like her phone had been acting up for a while and she finally got a new one when her contract came up for renewal. Maybe it shouldn’t have bothered me so much, but considering that in the Q&A in the back the authors emphasized the importance of consistency between the two, I found that to be a little too inconsistent.
However, I hate that that bothered me so much because the day where she hung out with Darcy and Gigi in the book (and was not described in the web series) was so cute and left me wanting more of those interactions! But then, of course, things got crazy with the whole Lydia thing. And thankfully, “the Lydia instance” felt a lot more balanced in the book. In the web series I think they dragged it out for weeks, which felt really disproportionate to other plot points in the series, so I appreciated less emphasis on it, yet still making the important points of what everyone learned from it.
This book made me chuckle out loud a lot, which is also a definite high point for any book. (Though there wasn’t enough Lydia-isms or Fitz for me!) I think Lizzie venting about Catherine de Bourgh amused me the most.
And of course anything that showed more of Darcy was a plus, like the aforementioned day out with him and Gigi, as well as his letter to Lizzie. I do wish we had gotten more than just a couple of video transcripts about Lizzie and Darcy’s big moments on camera, and got more of her elaboration on them, though.
I did feel like there was some additional insight and characterization to Lizzie, which I liked. I learned that she prefers a classic wardrobe over trends (which I think is obvious in the videos), that she drives a Honda Civic (me too!), that she majored in English for her undergraduate degree, and why she chose new media communications as her course of study for graduate school. Of course, I related to a lot of this which was largely why I liked these new tidbits!🙂
Though both the web series and the novel have a couple of low points for me, overall, the novel is just as totes adorbs as the series overall! If you’re a fan, it’s definitely worth checking out!
What are your thoughts of The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet?