by Bernie Su and Kate Rorick
Touchstone (June 24, 2014)
Interest Level: Young adult/Adult
Fiction * Classic Retellings * Sisters
Based on the Emmy Award–winning YouTube series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.
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 Carter’s 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 sister’s 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.
About the vlog:
Back in 2012, Hank Green (of the Vlogbrothers fame) proposed to his viewers the idea of telling a classic story through modern media; specifically, he wanted to tell a modern Pride and Prejudice through a series of scripted vlogs. His idea became The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, a Primetime Emmy Award winning web series with video views over one million.
With the success of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, Pemberley Digital has gone on to create similar web series. So far, in addition to the Lizzie Bennet Diaries, Pemberley digital has produced 4 other series: 2 spin-offs starring Gigi Darcy (Domino and Welcome to Sanditon), a series based off of Jane Austen's Emma (Emma Approved), and a show based on Mary Shelly's Frankenstein (Frankenstein, MD) is slated to premiere this autumn.
Carolyn's thoughts on the book:
I first discovered the Lizzie Bennet Diaries about a year ago and fell in love with them. I watched all of the videos (about 100) over the course of a couple days. I have always been a fan of Pride and Prejudice (as well as all other Jane Austen novels), but I had never seen any modern adaptations that worked for me until stumbling upon the vlogs.
Consequently, when I heard several months ago that a companion book was to be released, I was thrilled. I picked up a copy as soon as I could and devoured it just as enthusiastically as I ate up the vlogs. The book perfectly fit in with the videos. Since most of the action of the story happened off camera and was later relayed to the viewer through reenactments (or costume theater, as Lizzie Bennet prefers to describe it), the story flowed more clearly through the book for me. The reader receives more of the story and more details, as Lizzie recorded two or three minute videos twice a week on her vlog but wrote 4 or 5 page entries often 3 or 4 days a week in the book. Additionally, the story in the book is less biased than what viewers get, because in the videos, as Jane Bennet says, "Lizzie sees what Lizzie sees".
The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet is perfect for fans of the video blogs or fans of Pride and Prejudice. I would highly recommend reading each entry in the book and watching the corresponding video(s) for readers who haven't seen or read this adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. I sincerely wish that I had the opportunity to read the book when I first binge-watched the vlogs.