Review: The Epic Adventures of Lydia Bennet by Kate Rorick & Rachel Kiley

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.

Review: The Epic Adventures of Lydia Bennet by Kate Rorick & Rachel KileyThe Epic Adventures of Lydia Bennet by Kate Rorick, Rachel Kiley
Published by Touchstone on September 29, 2015
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 336
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
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four-half-stars

Based on the Emmy Award­-winning “genius” (The Guardian) web series, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, this is a new novel starring Lizzie’s spunky sister Lydia as she navigates the joys and pitfalls of becoming an adult in the digital age.

Before her older sister, Lizzie, started her wildly popular vlog, Lydia was just a normal twenty-year-old plotting the many ways she could get away with skipping her community college classes and finding the perfect fake ID. She may not have had much direction, but she loved her family and had plenty of fun. Then Lizzie’s vlog turned the Bennet sisters into Internet sensations, and Lydia basked in the attention as people watched, debated, tweeted, tumblr’d, and blogged about her life. But not all attention is good…

After her ex-boyfriend, George Wickham took advantage of Lydia’s newfound web-fame, betrayed her trust, and destroyed her online reputation, she’s no longer a naïve, carefree girl. Now, Lydia must work to win back her family’s trust and respect and find her place in a far more judgmental world.

Told in Lydia’s distinctive, eccentric, and endearing voice, The Epic Adventures of Lydia Bennet picks up right where The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet left off and “offers a fresh take on Pride and Prejudice without ruining it” (The Washington Post, on The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet). Featuring fresh twists, wonderful new characters, and scores of hilarious texts, doodles, and tweets, The Epic Adventures of Lydia Bennet takes you behind the webcam and into the lives of your favorite sisters in a way that’s sure to satisfy existing fans and delight new ones.

Shut up, I’m not crying. There’s just a tree branch in my eye. That’s all. A tree branch named Lydia Bennet. The Epic Adventures of Lydia Bennet is not at all the book I expected it to be, which was disappointing at first, but Lydia’s book was ultimately much better for that. As much as I love all of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, my favorite thing is Lydia’s arc and the changes to her character. In The Epic Adventures of Lydia Bennet, she gets to develop even further, navigating those complicated new adult waters as she tries to figure out who she is, what she wants to do, and how to navigate all sorts of relationships.

gif now for the real show lbd

What I expected from The Epic Adventures of Lydia Bennet was something similar to the Lizzie book. I mean, I figured it would be set after the time of that book and the show, but I figured the tone would be light and that romance would be a lot of the subject matter. It’s not, actually. That threw me for a while, and, at times, The Epic Adventures of Lydia Bennet was hard for me to read, because so much bad stuff already happened to Lydia and it really hurt to see her go through more of it. I wanted rainbows and unicorns and kissing for Lydia, with no thunderclouds or douchey guys allowed.

However, the story in The Epic Adventures of Lydia Bennet isn’t that one. Lydia’s experience with George Wickham affected her in a big way, so it makes sense that she didn’t just get over that and fall in love Jane Austen style. The Epic Adventures of Lydia Bennet really dives into Lydia’s mental health and road to recovery. Lydia’s herself, the adorbs, but she’s also muted for a lot of the book. Like towards the end of the show, she can’t be that full-on, completely confident person anymore. MY BABY.

gif so this is what you all think of me lbd

As the novel opens, Lydia’s looking to the future, with big plans to get her associate’s degree before transferring to a college in San Francisco where she’ll live with Mary and get a degree in psychology. Mary has been seeing a counselor at her community college, and this has inspired her to consider a career in psychology. Everything’s coming up Lydia. She finally has an idea what she wants to do, and it seems within her grasp.

Only then, inevitably, things fall apart. Lydia’s spiraling back down, once again the failure her family always expects her to be. Everything ties back, of course, to all those things Lydia hasn’t quite faced down yet. It’s so painful to watch Lydia try and not get there, and then give up. How can you possibly not want the best for her? This part of the book was rough.

gif i love you lbd

Eventually, though, and don’t worry I won’t give details, Lydia gets back on her feet again. The adorbs gets haltingly back into action. She recovers her dreams, in a more realistic way, and really starts to commit to them. She faces down her past with George and learns to love herself again. This book is beautiful and inspirational and goddammit that tree branch.

gif the adorbs is back lbd

The Epic Adventures of Lydia Bennet is mostly about Lydia obviously, but it’s also about Mary, and I’m SO IN LOVE with Mary’s story. It’s potentially spoilery, so I’ll go into spoiler tags. View Spoiler » I just hope there will be a video at some point where I get to see Mary being fabulous and happy in person. That’s all I’m saying.

Speaking of the videos, I’m pretty sure I’ll be rewatching them AGAIN pretty soon, because the obsession is strong with this one. As soon as I do that, I’m going to buy the audiobook and listen to that because I need this book in every format. <3

Favorite Quote:

“Guess what: my life is not your story, jackass.”

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

gif mary and lydia lbd

2 responses to “Review: The Epic Adventures of Lydia Bennet by Kate Rorick & Rachel Kiley”

  1. I’ve been really curious about this book. I agree, the Lydia arc is just sooo good in the Lizzie Bennet Diaries. And I want Lydia to have rainbows and unicorns and kissing too. But I’m glad that this was really good, even if it wasn’t all unicorns and kissing.
    Quinn @ Quinn’s Book Nook recently posted…Audio Review: Rumor Has It by Jill ShalvisMy Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      If you’re a Lydia fan, it’s definitely going to hurt, but I personally think it’s very much worth it. LYDIA. <3333333

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