The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su and Kate Rorick

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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.
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Rating: 4 stars

First things first, last year I was absolutely obsessed with The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, a web-series on YouTube. (If you haven’t heard of it get right on over to YouTube and watch it. NOW. To help you along here’s the first episode):

I absolutely loved it. It was literally my life during my second year of university, and I probably spent more time following the huge amounts of interactive media that went along with the series (e.g. Twitter) than I did writing assignments. Anyway, I think any Jane Austen fan would enjoy this series, unless you’re one of those people who gets offended by any slight alteration to the master piece that is Pride and Prejudice, in which case I’d advise to stop reading.

This book is basically a written form of the series, with a lot more detail and extra scenes that we obviously don’t see in the videos. The book is written in the form of a diary although after reading this book, and having attempted to write a diary myself, it is not a very realistic diary. But who can say the web-series is considered realistic?! So I feel this point is invalid when talking about how good or how bad the book was.

Evidently, from my rating, I enjoyed the book. How could I not after devoting so much of my time to the series?! What I loved most about the book was Lizzie’s voice. It was extremely entertaining and I felt it captured Elizabeth Bennet in modern form perfectly. It was intelligent and witty and highly enjoyable. The adaptation from page to screen and back to page again was very well done, considering the time in which they wrote the book. I particularly enjoyed reading more about Lizzie’s relationships with her parents and sisters.

However, there were aspects that left me still wanting more. I feel they published this book out of fan demand and yet they barely embellished at all on the most important aspects (in a fangirl’s eyes) of the story: Darcy’s first “proposal”, and Darcy’s second “proposal”. The parts I really wanted to know more about and there wasn’t anything new. Even the ending was incredibly rushed compared to the rest of the book and it was a little underwhelming. The book would have got the full five stars if the ending was better constructed. There was a week after Darcy’s second “proposal” that the viewers didn’t really know anything about and I thought this would have been a great thing to embellish on in the book but nope. We get a small amount of clarification. BUT NOT ENOUGH!

But overall, I do think this is a book worth reading if you love Pride and Prejudice adaptations. I did enjoy it despite its set backs and I probably will read it again at some point.

Favourite books of 2013

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Just a list of all my favourite book/series that I have read this year. I’ve read a lot of books this year and it was so hard to put them in order.

1) Penryn and End of Days series by Susan Ee (Angelfall and World After)

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Amazing start to a series which I believe will be five books. I honestly can’t wait for the next book.
Angelfall: review
World After: review

2) Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy, Frostbite, Shadow Kiss, Blood Promise, Spirit Bound and Last Sacrifice)

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A series that I should think everyone is familiar with. Entertaining, funny, heartbreaking and ultimately fantastic. I read this series in one swoop in August and still find myself revisiting it to reread snippets.

Series review.

3) Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

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The second instalment of the Throne of Glass series. This is how sequals should be done. Better than the first book and the first book was pretty great. A series everyone should give a go, because there really is something for everyone.

Review

4) His Fair Assassin series by Robin LaFevers (Grave Mercy and Dark Triumph)

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The first two books in a trilogy. Brilliant books about assassin nuns. What more can make you want to read this book?! Love love loved it.

Grave Mercy: Review
Dark Triumph: No review available.

5) The Duff by Kody Keplinger

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Love this one a lot. Perfect for a quick read. Great characters even if the storyline is a little predictable.
Review.

6) Maus by Art Spiegelman.

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Just… wow. All I can say really. Pick this up, you won’t regret it. If you do… there’s something wrong with you.
No review available.

7) The Monk by Matthew Lewis

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One of the few classics I read this year. It’s insane. If you looking for something shocking this is what you need.
Review.

8) Study Series by Maria V. Snyder (Poison Study, Magic Study and Fire Study)

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The male hero in this is to die for. I love him. Haha… But there is so much more to these books than the romance. Wonderful fantasy trilogy, with a strong heroine.
No reviews available.

9) Starcrossed Trilogy by Josephine Angelini (Starcrossed, Dreamless and Goddess)

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All about Greek mythology. I know a lot of people stay away from this when reading Young Adult but I would definitely recommend giving this series a change. It is so action packed and fast paced its great. I’m not overly fussy when it comes to mythology so it would suit someone of the same opinion.
No reviews available.

10) Blood of Eden series by Julie Kagawa (The Immortal Rules and The Eternity Cure)

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Yeah, another vampire series. But WAIT! with a twist: It’s set in a dystopian world. This series has so much potential to be one of the best Vampire series out there. Its not soppy, and these vampires are no push overs. People who have read Kagawa’s Fey series and disliked it may be put off by any of her other books. BUT PLEASE give this series a go. The writing, the world building, the characters AND the plot is utterly mind-blowing.
Short reviews but its something…
The Immortal Rules: Review
The Eternity Cure: Review

Second Kiss by Natalie Palmer

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‘Even my most humiliating moments seemed funny somehow when I told them to Jess.’ Gemma Mitchell is a normal girl who somehow gets herself into abnormally embarrassing circumstances. And while she thinks she’s the biggest loser in school because of them, there are a few people in her life who would disagree. One of those people is her best friend, Jess Tyler, who is opposite to her in every way. He’s popular, good looking, athletic, and intelligent, and he can’t get enough of Gemma. But while Gemma is dealing with problems like wrong locker combinations and Valentine’s Day dances, Jess is living in a world of serious issues that are foreign to Gemma, until she realizes that he’s holding on to her for dear life. Humorous and true to life, Second Kiss is an entertaining saga about a boy and girl who find that their lives have a lot more meaning once they have shared them with each other.
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Rating: 4.5 stars

I’m still fanning myself over the cuteness of this novel a full 24 hours after finishing it. Which let me say surprises me no end. After reading the synopsis I was a little apprehensive about starting it. I’ve never had that much fun with young adult contemporary, I’ve always preferred fantasy because I read to escape and contemporary doesn’t make me feel like I’m escaping honestly. Why would I want to read about other peoples problems unless they involve a dragon or two. Not to say that I absolutely loathe contemporary, I’ve read quite a lot of it and they aren’t all bad. But I have to say I think this is one of my favourites in this genre. I have no idea whether its just because I read it at the right time and I was feeling particularly connected to the book, or it really is a good book.

The first half of the book I felt like I was going down memory lane to when I was a 14/15 year old, in Year 9 at Secondary School doing stupidly naive things and embarrassing myself to the point that I would look back when I’m 20 and cringe inwardly. I actually found it rather refreshing and realistic. The majority of contemporary YA novels nowadays seem to focus on 16 to 18 year olds and it was nice reading from a slightly earlier age. Although at times you do find yourself just facepalming and thinking “WHYYYY?! Are you blind?!” at the main character Gemma. But when you think about it when I was that age I probably would have been doing exactly the same things.

The romance was lovely. I did find myself wanting to bang their heads together, but it was so adorable that I can’t dislike the book because of it. I loved the parents’ role in this aspect of the plot too. It was amusing and as a reader you can really understand exactly what they are thinking. I think the only downside of this book was a lack of proper interaction with the lesser characters, when the book finishes there are some loose ends which probably should have been tied up especially concerning Trace.

Overall, it was a quick, enjoyable, light and just a bit fluffy read and I think if you’re in need of a book that you can just plough through in one sitting, that has a cute romance and a little family drama on the side this is it.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.