The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet: A Book Review

Posted March 14, 2015 by Carlisa in Book Reviews / 5 Comments

The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet: A Book ReviewThe Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su, Kate Rorick
Also by this author: The Epic Adventures of Lydia Bennet
Published by Touchstone on June 24, 2014
Genres: Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Retelling, Romance
Pages: 400
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased

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.

Let me take you back to a time which is usually filled with stress, sleep-deprivation, studying (and also trying to study but epically failing), and a lot…A LOT of procrastinating. Maybe this isn’t how it is for all people, but this is usually what my finals weeks look like. So let me take you back to finals week Fall 2014. There I was, attempting to study, pulling out my books, notes, and highlighters, ready for some serious cramming…when I discovered this wonderful Youtube series called The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Seriously, it was wonderful. And if you know me, you’d know that I love all things Jane Austen, especially Pride and Prejudice. So a modern-day version of P&P to watch instead of studying? Heck yes. That’s basically all I did that week…with some studying on the side (Don’t judge. I came out of the semester with all A’s and a B+). Read my full review, along with the first episode (it’s like three minutes and totally worth your time) of the web series here. GO WATCH THIS WEB SERIES. It’s wonderful.

Anyways, little did I know that they had taken the web series and made it into a book! When I found out, I instantly put it in my Amazon cart and had it shipped to me. I had to have it in my hands and I had to read it.

Truth be told, though, I was kind of nervous to read it. What if I didn’t like it as much as the show? What if it’s like those lame “based on the movie” books? What if, what if, what if. To be fair “what if?” is a question I ponder on way to frequently in my life. But I was nervous. Mostly because I thought it might be the exact same thing as the web series and, therefore, I’d be getting nothing out of it.

I am glad to tell you that my speculations amounted to nothing. The book was great! It was basically the behind-the-scenes of the online series. You got to hear about things that Lizzie failed to (or purposefully chose not to) include in the show. It is the same story, you just get the added perspective of it being the “secret diary” as opposed to the “public, on-Youtube, for the whole world to see” version.

Recommendation: If you’re a Jane Austen fan, looking for a fun read, read it! Actually, I take that back. First you have to watch the web series. You have to. And then read it! It’s a fun, light read that goes by pretty fast for its 400 pages. I really enjoyed it.

[Sidenote: I just mentioned this, but it’s something I thought a lot about while I was reading: what should the order of things be? Should you watch the series first, or read the book first, or maybe even do both simultaneously? I have come to a conclusion. Watch the series first. If you read the book before, you’d miss a lot of things and not get their characters the way the web series helps us to do. I think simultaneously watching/reading them would be awesome, but they aren’t specific on which episodes are concurrent with her diary entries, so I don’t think it’s really plausible.]


  • Luisa Benavides

    I completely get it you reservations when it came to reading the Lizzie Bennet Diary, I had them also but now seeing that you actually seemed to enjoy it gives me some motivation to pick up the book!
    Happy reading!

    • Yeah, have you seen the web series too?
      I hope you enjoy it if you read it!

      • Luisa Benavides

        Yes! I’m super obsessed with Pride and Prejudice, so it was a must watch! I just bought it online 😀

        • YOU CAN BUY IT? How did I not know this?

          • Luisa Benavides

            I KNOW! It was news to me too, but DFTBA were selling it! Still are I believe!