If you had not the pleasure to enjoy the web series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, you will probably not have heard of this book. But if you've read my blog before, you might know that I already talked about the series here and there. I have to admit that I’m personally not a fan of adaptations, especially not of books, but this Emmy-winning series of the classic novel Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen had me not only hooked from the beginning, but continued to surprise me again and again. I loved watching the familiar characters being placed into modern day settings and see what difference to the plot the adaptation into a vlog - a video blog on YouTube in which the main character Elizabeth - Lizzie Bennet told her viewers about her everyday life - made.
After completely loving the series, which ended some months ago, I was incredibly happy to hear about the release of a book on it and bought it right away. And what can I say? I loved the book as much as I loved the series.
It doesn’t really matter if you have read Pride and Prejudice or not to understand the plot of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries (even though I’d advise you to at least watch the movie to understand all of the jokes and transformations that have been made). It certainly helps to watch the series either alongside with reading or watching all of the episodes right before it. The latter won’t take too long anyways, as Lizzie’s vlogs - as most of the non-fictional too - are only around five minutes long each. In them, the student of mass communication updates her viewers on her everyday life in a family with two sisters (look closely to find the other two from the original storyline as well) and her best friend Charlotte Lu. And yes, the one Bing Lee will turn up in town and bring his friend Darcy with him. But to get to know the details of that, I highly recommend to watch the series. Or read the book. Or both.
For readers who haven’t watched the series, it will still be possible to understand the main plotline. However, to see Lizzie talking and interacting with her siblings as well as her friends and to see her react to certain situations right as they happen, is definitely worth a watch. The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet is an amazing addition to the web series however. The readers get to re-live every situation from Lizzie’s point of view in detail and important points of the plot that are only mentioned, but never fully explained in the web series (such as what exactly Darcy writes to Lizzie in his letter), are talked about and revealed in the book. As both the book and the web series have the same writers though, it all seems more of a complete package of the story if you have both together. Especially knowing about all of the character’s posts on their social media sites during the course of the web series as well, the whole adaption becomes a very round story that can be watched and understood from different point of views.
In my opinion, The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet is wonderfully written and an amazing addition to the Lizzie Bennet universe. I got back into the thrill of the storyline immediately after only a few pages of reading and I can definitely say that the whole team did an awesome job of bringing new life and a different perspective to the original. I’d definitely recommend both watching the series and reading the book.show more
by Miriam Michel