Reread Review: The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su & Kate Rorick

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Reread Review: The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su & Kate RorickThe Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su, Kate Rorick
Length: 9 hrs, 53 mins
Published by Simon & Schuster Audio on June 24, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Humor, Retelling, Romance
Source: Publisher
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Goodreads
four-half-stars

A modern adaptation of Pride and Prejudice based on the Emmy Award-winning and hugely popular YouTube series and transmedia project 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

Though I do have a great love for rereading, I don’t usually reread a book a month after the original reading thereof. My original review for The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet posted on June 2nd. A couple days after that, I got an email from S&S about their June audiobooks, which included The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet and, despite having just read the print, I requested it because Ashley Clements narrating equals me having absolutely no will power to resist. When I first started, I wasn’t sure if I was in the mood/ready for a reread. But who am I kidding? I AM ALWAYS READY FOR MORE PRIDE AND PREJUDICE.


Listening to audiobooks is interesting, because they can make such a difference. Sometimes, they can be really distancing and completely ruin a book. *cough* Days of Blood and Starlight *cough* Other times, audiobooks can take a book that wasn’t particularly feelsy and turn it into the most emotional book ever. They can be really humanizing, particularly with first person narration, because the narration literally comes alive. Obviously, this only works with the correct casting, but with audiobooks like the Dairy Queen trilogy, it works. The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet is one such audiobook.

Without Ashley Clements, the audiobook would have been pointless. She IS Lizzie Bennet. I was actually thinking about how much I want MORE of her story but that I couldn’t read fan fiction for the Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Why? Because I would feel like a creep reading fan fiction about real people. Disregarding the fact that a) they are actors playing characters and b) LBD is essentially fan fiction itself. That’s how perfectly cast and convincing this series is for me. You cannot tell the emotional part of me that every bit of that did not happen, no matter how much my brain knows that’s not true.

Now that I sound somewhat mentally unstable, let’s talk about this audiobook some more. Now, it may seem like I felt the same, since my rating doesn’t differ, but I really didn’t. From a feels perspective, the print version was mostly lacking. I had some minimal feels about the Lizzie/Mr. Bennet moments and some crossover feels which were owed to the web series. The audiobook of The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet made me cry. It wins, hands down. I sad cried with Lydia and Lizzie AGAIN; seriously, that part always gets me. I happy cried when people got together. Basically, I was a wreck for the last hour and a half of the audiobook.

Clements does a brilliant job, obviously. I did, however, struggle a bit at first, because her narration starts off a bit mellower than I was expecting. Then again, there wasn’t anything dramatic happening yet, so the diary entries would have been more a matter of course than a true working out of feelings. Also, I really don’t like her imitation of Charlotte Lu. It’s very robotic and, yes, Charlotte is practical, but it didn’t feel right. The imitations of people she imitated a lot on the show itself were obviously quite good, because I was used to them.

The other thing I subtracted points for was this one moment where Lizzie says she friended Gigi on Twitter. Um, author people, you do not friend people on Twitter; you follow them. This is a minor point, but how did no one catch this? It sounds really silly coming from the mouth of a person who is heavily into social media; hello, she’s a mass communications major. Whoops.

Anyway, I loved this. If you can do either format, I highly encourage the audiobook. If you’ve not seen the series, WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIFE? Also, I have a strong need to reread Pride & Prejudice now because I have a serious obsession here.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

gif darcy as fitz lbd
gif boom lbd
gif sobbing lbd
My emotions are complex and all over the place.

12 responses to “Reread Review: The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su & Kate Rorick”

  1. Juhina says:

    oh WOW! that audiobook would be amazing. I also watched the series on youtube and LOVED it. I started reading this book last month but got distracted in the first 10 pages and dropped it. Now all i’ve been reading are rave reviews like yours so I think I’ll pick it up again!

    – Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf
    Juhina recently posted…June and Mid July Epic HaulMy Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      You definitely should pick it up again, and if you do audiobooks, I think you’ll be more sucked in with that version!

  2. Ahhh! I read this book too, the print version. But I have been thinking that I need to listen to the audiobook because ASHLEY CLEMENTS And now you’ve totally convinced me. Woot, woot!!
    Quinn @ Quinn’s Book Nook recently posted…Book Haul #61My Profile

  3. Nori says:

    I need to listen to this! I loved the LBD. Are you watching the Emma one? I’m not getting into it as much. I’m trying to convince my library to purchase the audiobook version.
    Nori recently posted…Panic by Lauren OliverMy Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      You dooooo! I am watching the Emma one, though I’m several episodes behind. I’ll binge at some point. I like it, but I don’t love it like I did LBD. I feel like a lot of the casting decisions are just slightly off. It also feels more like acting to me than like they ARE the characters.

  4. Okay, I need to watch this web series and get this audiobook, stat. Love all the feels.
    Audra (Unabridged Chick) recently posted…Winner!My Profile

  5. I neeeeeds it wants it the preciousssssssss
    Gillian, coming to you from wildest, most beautiful southern Africa, LIKE YOU DO recently posted…A Confederacy of DNFsMy Profile

  6. I neeeeeds it wants it the preciousssssssss must havessss
    Gillian, coming to you from LONDON recently posted…A Confederacy of DNFsMy Profile

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