The series does a wonderful job of bringing the beloved novel to life. Lizzie meets Darcy. Lizzie hates Darcy. Darcy loves Lizzie. Lizzie still hates Darcy. Lizzie loves Darcy. Plus add in genteel poverty and family problems. The show does a great job of portraying Lizzie as a cool, strong young woman and also updating the plot by changing the antiquated ideas that a woman's only role is to be married and that if a woman dares have sex outside of marriage, she and her entire family are ruined forever.
Recently, the showrunners came out with a companion novel to the show. Here are my thoughts about it.
Release Date: June 24, 2014
Source: Purchased on audio
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.(courtesy of Goodreads)
I'm starting to think that every TV/movie/visual media project should have a tie-in novel. In reality this is probably not such a good idea since most would be lazy and shapeless attempts to cash in on the success of the show. But I've lucked out and had really good luck with several adaptions I've read recently. If you liked the Lizzie Bennet Diaries on Youtube, you will love this book.
First question: Can you read this if you haven't watched the Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Technically yes, but I'd answer no. You won't appreciate the little nuances of the story or the characters unless you've seen the show. The nice thing is the book doesn't get bogged down in character details. It's not completely devoid of them, but I think the authors assume most people will be familiar with the story. Ideally, you should watch the entire Lizzie Bennet series and then re-watch it as you read this book.
I didn't re-watch the series as I was reading the book. I think it would have added to the fun, but I didn't have time. I also didn't technically read the book. I listened to it on audio. I highly recommend doing this. Ashley Clements, who played Lizzie Bennet on the series is the narrator. She does spot-on impressions of every character in the show.
The book adds a lot to the series. It follows the same timeline as the show with the same characters, but everything feels fuller. You get more details about the Bennet family financial challenges, the relationship between Lizzie, Jane, and Lydia, as well as lots of Darcy goodness. There aren't any big surprises, but everything basically feels "more."
It's a quick read (or listen). Like I said before, I would highly recommend watching the web series before starting the book. But for those who loved the show as much as I did, you should run to the bookstore to pick this up.