26 February 2018

[Review] The Secret Diary of Lydia Bennet - Natasha Farrant


Release Date:  October 25, 2016
Publisher: The Chicken House
Format: Hardcover
Goodreads Amazon

Summary from Goodreads:
Lydia is the youngest of the five Bennet girls. She's stubborn, never listens, and can't seem to keep her mouth shut--not that she would want to anyway. She's bored with her country life and wishes her older sisters would pay her attention . . . for once!

Luckily, the handsome Wickham arrives at Longbourn to sweep her off her feet. Lydia's not going to let him know THAT, of course, especially since he only seems to be interested in friendship. But when they both decide to summer in the fasionable seaside town of Brighton, their paths become entangled again.

At the seaside, Lydia also finds exciting new ways of life and a pair of friends who offer her a future she never dreamed of. Lydia finally understands what she really wants. But can she get it?

A fresh, funny, and spirited reimagining of Jane Austen's beloved Pride and Prejudice, The Secret Diary of Lydia Bennet brings the voice of the wildest Bennet sister alive and center stage like never before.

What I Thought: So.. I really love Pride and Prejudice, like a lot. Because of that, I'm a sucker for any retelling of the classic in any form. There've been some EXCELLENT ones (The Lizzie Bennet Diaries!!!) and some unique ones (Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld) and then... this one.

It definitely wasn't a bad read. I really liked the story, honestly -- where Lydia went, why her and Wickham ran away together, and how things resolved. I think all in all, the plot was decent, and did a good job filling in the blanks that most Elizabeth perspectives leave out. 

HOWEVER. It sort of felt like I was reading reasonably good P&P fan fiction, rather than a real and published book. It read like someone trying really hard to emulate the language and feeling of Austin and just not quite hitting the mark.

I just want to love poor Lydia so badly, and every retelling makes her so unlikable. This is the closest I've come to liking her, but even here... Her own diary didn't make me able to love her, and I feel like if this were just a little more well written, it would have.

One major perk: It ignited a fire to reread P&P, so I'll probably be doing that soon.

Read this if: you really like Pride and Prejudice and are willing to read a decent plot poorly written. 

Out of 5☆: 3/5

This book was 3/20 in 2018.

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