{Review} The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet

Title: The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet
Author: Kate Rorick & Bernie Su
Published: 24th June 2014
Age Group: General
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Paperback provided by Simon & Schuster for honest review
Rating: 4.5/5

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.

An intelligent, modern retelling of Pride & Prejudice 

For those of you that haven't heard of the Lizzie Bennet Diaries, they are a Youtube Vlog series, retelling Pride & Prejudice in the modern world. You can watch the videos here (which I would highly recommend you watch first - but I wouldn't say it's essential) The benefit of watching the videos first, is that they show the characters strong personalities and enhance the entire story.

The story:
So most of you would probably be familiar with the story of Pride & Prejudice. Well, in this retelling, Lizzie fundamentally learns the same lessons as Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice, but she learns in a contemporary setting that is more relevant to today's society.

As part of her uni studies, Lizzie has started a video blog where she discusses her everyday life and the people around her; her parents, sisters Jane & Lydia, new neighbours Bing Lee & of course William Darcy. As Bing & Jane hit it off right away, Lizzie's opinion of Darcy is not a positive one. I found it so interesting to watch how the modern world affected the way Lizzie and Darcy's relationship progresses. The way in which she discusses all her family & friend's lives on her vlog, and most importantly the consequences of her sharing personal details online. I can actually see this book being studied in schools in conjunction with Pride & Prejudice to highlight the relevance this story still has in today's society.

The characters:
Lizzie is quite a judgmental person, but not in an irritating, nasty way. Whether we like to admit it or not, everyone judges each other and Lizzie is no different, just a little more outspoken. But what was really interesting was seeing how her use of social media effected her views of the world. I loved seeing her admit to her mistakes and learn from them to become a better person

William Darcy is in intriguing character. We all know that Jane Austen's Mr Darcy initially comes across as a stuffy arrogant snob and in this book it's much the same. At first, when we see him through the eyes of Lizzie, he appears to be a quite boring, but as we slowly get to know him, it becomes clear that he's actually shy and a socially awkward sweetheart. He's absolutely adorable! 

Jane & Lydia are two very different sisters. Jane is the softly spoken level headed one, who doesn't have a bad word to say about anyone. Lydia is the loud, impulsive youngest sibling who isn't afraid to speak her mind. All three sister's personalities compliment each other perfectly.

The romance:
Much like in Pride & Prejudice, we must suffer through Lizzie's judgmental misconceptions of Darcey before she finally sees the 'real' Darcy. But it's this judgement by both Darcey & Lizzie that adds to the romantic tension between them, and by the end your desperate for these two to get their HEA!

Also we can't forget the positively adorable romance between Bing Lee & Jane! These two are just too sweet for words!

The writing:
I have to admit I was a little concerned before I started reading this book, that it would be an exact retelling of the video diaries but in a written format. But I was extremely happy to discover that the book offers so much more! We actually get to discover a lot of what happened 'off camera' from the videos.

I'm also not usually a fan of diary format novels, I often find it stilted and the lack of dialogue often results in the problem of being 'told' not 'shown'. But that wasn't the case here at all. The writers have cleverly included dialogue in Lizzie's descriptions, so that we actually SEE all the events and conversations actually happening - very effective!

The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet is an intelligent, modern retelling of Pride & Prejudice, with fun and quirky characters, which makes for an entertaining and thoroughly enjoyable story!

Sexuality: medium / discussions of sex
Violence: none
Language: mild
Drugs & alcohol: medium / main characters get drunk in some scenes 

What's your favourite retelling?


  1. I haven't seen any of the Lizzie Bennet Diaries, but EVERYONE keeps talking about and I'm feeling a bit behind. How great that a successful Youtube series can be turned into just as good a book. This is another one to add to the TBR, as a huge Jane Austen fan I love finding great retellings, especially when they come from good recommendations! Just might have to watch the series first :)

  2. YAAAAY! I absolutely loved this one as well. I actually haven't read the original but I can I still count this as my favourite retelling haha? Lovely review Amy!


Thanks for stopping by & feel free to leave a comment...I love comments!!! And I'm always happy to spread the comment love around :)