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review 2016-01-31 00:05
#CBR8 Book 5: The Epic Adventures of Lydia Bennet by Kate Rorick and Rachel Kiley
The Epic Adventures of Lydia Bennet: A Novel - Rachel Kiley,Kate Rorick

Lydia Bennet became somewhat of an internet celebrity when her older sister Lizzie's vlogs, made as part of her graduate project, went viral in a major way. Always happy to be the centre of attention, Lydia made her own videos and loved the attention she got on YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr and other social media sites. Unfortunately, when she fell in love with and trusted a man who took terrible advantage of her, she also had to face her private life being open for all to see, and her name became synonymous with "that girl whose boyfriend tried to sell their sex tape to make money". Then her sister Lizzie's powerful boyfriend paid to have the whole ugly situation go away, and Lydia was left traumatised, humiliated and heart-broken.

 

Now Lydia is trying to rebuild her confidence and look to the future. Still living at home with her parents while her two older sisters have found love and moved to big cities, Lydia is completing summer courses at community college in preparation for transferring to San Francisco, where she'll study psychology and live with her taciturn Goth cousin Mary. Trying to re-build your life in a place where everyone is aware of who you are and what mistakes you've made isn't easy, though, and Lydia is so worried that everyone around her is just waiting for her to screw up again that she retreats back into the carefree party girl persona she used to be so comfortable with. All she needs to do to get accepted at the prestigious San Francisco university she wants to transfer into is write her application essay about a time when she experienced failure and what she learned from it. That shouldn't be too difficult, should it?

 

While Lydia's had to grow a lot since her first serious relationship crashed and burned extremely publicly, she's still has a lot of healing and maturing to do. Clearly feeling inadequate in comparison to both her sisters who are working in the fields they're most passionate about, Lydia is still not entirely sure what she wants to do with her life. While she likes the idea of studying psychology, she also has doubts and gets very insecure when she realises how many years the education is likely to take. She tries to cling to her old life while being impatient to move on to a new and better one, yet is uncertain and afraid of screwing up badly again. She's also struggling to rebuild the trust of one of her best friends, her cousin Mary, as well as her sisters and her parents. 

 

The Epic Adventures of Lydia Bennet is a sequel to both the highly successful YouTube series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, which re-imagined Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice for the 21st Century (which if you haven't watched - what are you doing with your life?) AND the book The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet, which gave us a lot of extra insight into protagonist Lizzie and further re-imagining of a lot of the scenes from the original novel that didn't appear in the series. In the Austen novel, Lydia is the obnoxious and oblivious flighty youngest sister who elopes with Mr Darcy's childhood friend and later nemesis, Mr. Wickham and seems quite happy to have ended up married to him. 

 

In the modern re-imagining, Lydia may have started out similarly wild and irritating, but thanks in large part to the immense charm and skill with which actress Mary Kate Wiles portrayed her, Lydia grew to be a huge fan favourite and because the fate of Lydia Bennet of 200 years ago simply wouldn't work today, the show's writers took her story in a different direction. Running off with a man to whom you are not married wouldn't raise so much as an eyebrow in today's society, but being betrayed by your lover with the release of a sex tape would absolutely cause a stir similar to that of a Regency elopement. In both the book and the YouTube series, Mr. Darcy eventually comes through and sorts things out for the Bennet family in an attempt to make life easier for Lizzie, the woman he loves. In the YouTube series, however, Lizzie and Lydia tearfully begin to re-build their somewhat dysfunctional relationship in the aftermath of the tragedy and Lydia not trapped forever in a relationship with Wickham.

 

Kate Rorick and Rachel Kiley, two of the writers of the show, write in the acknowledgements that fans kept asking for Lydia's continued story and wanted to see that she had a chance at the same happy ending that her two sisters got. This book shows us what how Lydia's life progressed after the scandal that nearly ruined her life. There are appearances from Lizzie and Jane, but the most important supporting character is Mary, who in the YouTube re-imagining is the Bennet sisters' gloomy cousin, rather than their sister. Mary only appeared in a couple of episodes in the main YouTube series, but was quite prominent in Lydia's own videos (a spin-off of the main series). In this book she's working in a coffee shop off campus of the community college, waiting for Lydia to finish her courses so they can move to San Francisco together. She has a lovely sub-plot where she becomes the bassist of a local band, mainly through Lydia's machinations. 

 

Having listened to the audio book of Pride and Prejudice at the end of last year and then read Jo Baker's Longbourn, it's interesting to have three very different versions of Lydia Bennet and her story in my head. The modern version is the only one I'd really be interested in reading more about, though, and I'm really glad that Rorick and Kiley decided to pen the continuing story of the youngest Bennet sisters, to give fans of the show an idea of what the future brings for her. It was absolutely nice to catch up with the older sisters and seeing where their lives had taken them, but getting more Lydia and Mary was more fun than I was expecting. Like in the series, Lydia occasionally really annoyed me and I kept wanting to shake her for some of the choices she was making, but slowly but surely, she figures out what she wants and who she wants to be, and in many ways, that was even more satisfying than her sister's Lizzie's development. Lydia's views on Dracula were also hilarious. Absolutely a worth-while book to pick up if you liked The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

Source: kingmagu.blogspot.no/2016/01/cbr8-book-5-epic-adventures-of-lydia.html
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review 2015-07-02 22:57
THE SECRET DIARY OF LIZZIE BENNET BY:BERNIE SU
The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet: A Novel - 'Kate Rorick','Bernie Su'

 

 

    I am pleasantly surprised by this book. I honestly had some reservations at the beginning, I wasn't sure just how well a modernization of a classic like Pride and Prejudice would translate. I have to say that I believe it came across quite well. The only thing I had trouble picturing in a modern setting was the mother still trying to marry off all her daughters to wealthy bachelors, because that was (in her mind) the best they could possibly hope for. That ideal felt too antiquated to belong in this time period, in my humble opinion.

 

 

   Other than that I thought  most everything else, including the main themes of the original story, shone through brilliantly. I must admit though that after I devoured this book, I then went and watched the YouTube videos that it was based off, and I thought those were fabulous. I might be slightly biased there though, just for the fact that I actually got my daughter to watch them with me and she really liked them too....she even asked to borrow the book when I was finished!

 

(yeah this was a huge victory, she's 12 and a total busy body who has a really hard time getting/staying interested in anything book related. *Insert devastating sad face* So yeah, total win for team mom!)

 

   I think that's probably the best part about this story, it bridges a gap between generations. I mean obviously I would love to see youngsters picking up the Jane Austen original, but quite frankly I don't think a lot of them are. So this was a really genius way to bring a classic story to a new demographic. And who knows, maybe this new group of enthusiasts for The Lizzie Bennet Diaries will be so taken with the story that they'll want to pick up Pride and Prejudice and see where it all came from.

 

   

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text 2014-09-17 19:00
The Lizzie Bennet Diaries (Not A Book! Well, not originally, I think they made a book of it later...)

Just an update on what I've been doing lately, since I wasn't reading...woah, that sounds crazy huh? Well,

Lizzie Bennet Regrets Nothing

That's right! You might wonder now what I've been doing instead. Don't worry: this post is all about informing you exactly of what! For those of you who recognised the gif, YES INDEED I'VE BEEN WATCHING THE LBD!

And of course, for those of you who have no idea what 'The LBD' is, I'll explain!

The LBD stands for The Lizzie Bennet Diaries and simply takes less time to type. It's an awesome web series (which you can watch for free on youtube) based on Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice - the 'Lizzie Bennet' kind of gave that away, huh?
Anyway, I really, really, really enjoyed it because the actors are genius in their roles as Jane Austen's characters. Of course some things differ from the actual story, but that's what makes it fun and realistic for this time period! The plot is pretty much the same (we still have a marry-crazy mother, an energetic younger sister, a Wickham and a certain mister Darcy) but I love how they worked it out for this series! Also, the episodes are only 4/5 minutes long so you can watch one whenever you feel like it or have some spare time.
Interested? Here you go!

Oh by the way, Hank Green developed this (with Bernie Su) so if you didn't have enough reasons to give this a shot, now you do (;

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review 2014-07-16 02:13
#CBR6 Book 72: The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su and Kate Rorick
The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet: A Novel - 'Bernie Su', 'Kate Rorick'

On the 30th of April 2012, internet geek goddess Felicia Day recommended a new YouTube series called The Lizzie Bennet Diaries on her YouTube-series The Flog. As a huge fan of most things Austen (I just can't with Mansfield Park, it's so boring), and as someone very interested in modern adaptations of classical works, not to mention willing to trust Felicia Day as I monthly tune in to her Vaginal Fantasy book club, I decided to check this thing out. I didn't really have a lot of experience with vlogs as a medium. With the exception of Ms. Day's own Flog, I hadn't really watched any. But I do know my Pride and Prejudice, and the concept intrigued me. 

 

Having now pinpointed the date when Ms. Day first recommended the series, I can conclude that I started watching The Lizzie Bennet Diaries with episode 8: Charlotte's Back! I got hooked really early on. At first, there were two episodes a week, and I quickly grew to wait with bated breath for each one. Then I discovered that the creators weren't just doing videos, there were fictional accounts for most of the major characters on Twitter and Tumblr, Pinterest and other social media sites. Vivacious youngest sister Lydia Bennet started making her own video blog, so I got more content. Occasionally, there would be a Q & A video. If I was really lucky, I'd get up to FOUR videos in one week. Mondays and Tuesdays were seriously the best days of my week, because I'd get a new short video showing me the further adventures of Lizzie, Jane and Lydia Bennet, as well as Charlotte Lu. It didn't matter that I knew the source material. The creators, Hank Green and Bernie Su, twisted and adapted the story in such creative ways, turning Mary Bennet into the Bennet's Goth cousin, and Kitty became Lydia's cat. All of the parental characters and non-core cast were portrayed through costume theatre. This made it even more exciting every time a new actor actually appeared in the videos! 

 

By the time they actually showed Darcy in person, with video 60(!), I would probably have given up a limb or at least a digit if that was what was required to keep watching the videos. The show lasted for more than a year, and I watched faithfully for most of it, so delightful with almost all the changes they made to the story. Giving Charlotte a much more prominent role, the way the story arc developed for Lydia - SO much better than in Austen's original. I contributed to the Kickstarter campaign and am now the proud owner of the full DVD box set. There was no way I wasn't going to buy this book, and because I loved all the characters, I was unlikely to dislike it.

 

With The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet, Bernie Su, the creator of the show, and Kate Rorick, one of the main writers of the YouTube-series, who also writes romance novels as Kate Noble, are able to adapt and modernise the bits of Pride and Prejudice that they just weren't able to fit into the videos. They can show the Bennet parents' reactions to Lizzie turning down Mr. Collins' lucrative job offer, they can relate the awkward first meeting between Lizzie and Darcy at the Gibson wedding. Fans are able to read Darcy's letter to Lizzie after he declares his feelings for her, and she furiously rejects him. As a companion to the YouTube series, this book really gives rabid Austen-fans the full modernisation.

 

If you're not at least a fan of the YouTube-series already, or you're not all that happy about all sorts of fan ficcy interpretations of Jane Austen's works, then this book is not for you. The main reason I'm not rating the book a full five stars is that some of the scenes I'd sort of hoped to get Lizzie's more in-depth take on (as this is her personal diary, after all), namely episode 60 (where Darcy first appears and declares his love for her) and episode 98. In the story, it's also perfectly understandable that Lizzie may not actually have been able to write down her full feelings about the two events. And the videos are there for all to see. If I were Lizzie, I certainly wouldn't have prioritised writing in my diary after the events of episode 98 - but I'm not her. I'm a rabid fangirl, and I want details! Still, these are minor nitpicks, and I really did enjoy the book. If this whole thing was a bit to TL, DR for you, in conclusion, I would highly recommend The Lizzie Bennet Diaries with all the spin-off videos (all available for free on YouTube) and if you like those, this book. 

Source: kingmagu.blogspot.com/2014/07/cbr6-book-72-secret-diary-of-lizzie.html
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url 2013-10-01 20:09
Emma Approved Premieres Monday!

I'm excited for the new Pemberley Digital adaptation. Welcome to Sanditon fell short in my eyes, but The Lizzie Bennet Diaries was so great it's become the topic of my Master's Thesis. I have a good feeling about Emma!

Source: www.hypable.com/2013/09/20/emma-approved-october-7-premiere-date
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