Saturday, August 2, 2014

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

Title- The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet.
Author- Bernie Su & Kate Rorick.
Publish date- July, 2014.
Publisher- Simon and Schuster.
RRP- $16.99


Review time...

(A Brief) Synopsis:
You may have known her as Elizabeth Bennet. You may have known her as the girl in the video blogs. But until you read her diary, you can't really ever known the real Lizzie Bennet.
Thank you to Simon and Schuster Australia for this review cop


What I thought:
I had a rocky start with with this. The first 80-100 pages frustrated me and I felt disappointment building as I realised this book I had been so excited about proved to be just a novel sized let down. I felt pretty annoyed by that.
And the first 100 pages? I didn't enjoy them and doubt I would if I went back, even though I ended up loving the book. It had refrences to things that just made it feel wrong; a comment about how much Lizzie liked the Vlogbrothers in the first four pages- one half of which co-created the series (if I remember correctly she mentioned something similar in the vlogs, and it irked me there, too)-  and her professor mentioning VidCon might be a good idea. It felt, to put it bluntly, fake. Forced. Wrong.
And whilst I did truly love LBD, I couldn't love this just because of it. Perhaps that made me harsher in my reading- set the bar higher. Despite that, though, The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet surpassed my hopes.

I believe the moment I knew I loved it was when I read of the jungle gym and ball pool at Pemberley.

Keeping in mind how much I had come to love the characters, I disliked Lizzie more than I ever have before in this, for her attitude, especially towards Lydia. I enjoyed the fact I could really experience both sides of the story, and not just in that respect- I caught signs of things that would transpire later on, and I noticed a few things weren't phrased as the vlog-Lizzie might have, with her occasionally offensive style pf neomg nrutally honest, and I wondered if they had been quietly amended, pushed aside because of that possible offensive caused.

(The following relates to Lizzie and Darcy and may be spoilery. Highlight to read.)
The moments, later on, with Lizzie and Darcy were so worth any anguish or annoyance I may have felt earlier on; her entries about their offscreen moments, their growing understanding of each other, those were delicate and, if I'm honest, slightly squee worthy.
Rating: Excellent-
I maintain my feelings about the first 100 pages: they were unpleasant and not good for me, but I also realise that, once I grew to love it, this is a novel that compliments the series and is written successfully, and in a way that makes it all so believable.

12 comments:

  1. I just finished this book. I agree, some of it felt pretty forced. I don't think it can stand alone without the vlogs, but some of the off-screen scenes were nice.

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    1. It would have been interesting for me, I think, to read this before I watched the vlogs, though I expect I wouldn't have liked it nearly so much without the attachment I already have to the series. Maybe I wouldn't have even watched the vlogs then!

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  2. This is based on the vlog series of the same name, right? My friend Amir loved this one to bits, but then again, she also loved TBD series with all her heart =P It would be interesting to read this one without ever having watched the Youtube videos. It would be like going in blind, and I wonder if my assessment would be the same ? :D

    Faye at The Social Potato

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    1. It is! It's supposed to be the diary she wrote whilst all the vlog stuff was going on.
      The TBD series? What's that? (I did try to look it up, but couldn't find it anywhere!)
      I agree about that- I don't think for me I would have been able to enjoy it without the background love I have for the vlogs, characters already, but it certainly would've been interesting!

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  3. That is too bad you didn't really enjoy this book. I never read the series start to finish .. I swear I have so much TV to watch so the internet series I like get pushed to the side.

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    1. I hardly watch anything on the internet anymore, either- I doubt I'd have kept watching the vlogs if I had found them now, though, because I just don't do stuff on the internet so much as I used to. I'd probably have just pushed them back and forgotten about them! They're pretty good, though- I'm rewatching (slowly!) and aren't enjoying them so much, but I'm only up to ep:11 and think it really picks up around 20.

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  4. It sounds like product placement gone wrong. I can understand authors wanting to plug either sister series' or something else they're working on, but when it's blatant like that, it's just awkward and makes me not want to check it out (in this case the Vlog Brothers). I'm still only half way through watching the YouTube clips for the series, but I'm planning on giving this one a go, soon hopefully. Awesome review and sorry that you couldn't have connected with it more. Kudos for persisting past the first 100 horrid pages :D

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    1. I think that is just the description I was trying to get when I wrote my review! I just couldn't think of that word! It just felt odd how there were these mentions of things that just didn't seem to fit the story, and perhaps I'd have felt differently if I hadn't known of those things links to the creation of the series, but knowing the background it felt particularly stand out.
      Thank you! x

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  5. Looove the vlog series so much, it's amazing!! So I imagine that the bar is set pretty high in my mind for this one, as well, and I think I might also be a little disappointed like you were. I'm glad at least that you came to love it in the end!

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    1. So am I. My expectations were high, I think, and maybe if they'd been lower, if I'd loved the series forty percent less (though then I doubt I've haven wanted to read this) I wouldn't have been so disappointed for the first third or whatever, but at least it picked up!

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  6. I had just heard of the vlogs of this recently and have only gotten through about 16 so far, but I am loving them. I'm excited to finish watching them and then getting my hands on this book. I'm glad to hear it picked up after the first 100 pages.

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    1. I'm so glad to hear that- they're excellent, especially the further you get into them. I'm struggling a little now, rewatching and at number 11, but I know around 20-25 it just gets so wonderful. I think the book certainly adds to the experience, but after discussions in the comments here I don't think I'd have been able to read it alone.

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