Book reviews

Book Review | The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet

Title: The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet

Author: Bernie Su and Kate Rorick

Series: The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

Genre: Romance

Synopsis  18775263Based 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. Read More on Goodreads 

If you haven’t already, do binge watch The Lizzie Bennet Diaries on YouTube here. The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet is basically an extension from the Web Series adapting Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice into the modern era.

The Diary provides insight into Lizzie’s thought process and her decisions regarding the videos. Also, some things are difficult to communicate in video format such as heart-to-heart sisterly talks which we muddle into immensely in Lizzie’s diary. Add to that recounts of witty conversations and Lizzie’s general snarkiness and you have yourself an entertaining read.

What really impresses me is how realistically composed the diary is: family troubles, relationships, finding a job and college and your future, all things that worry a young person in this day and age are covered. The novel goes deeper when Lizzie really reflects on her character and I like how her development and her realisation of her flaws is much more apparent in here than in the original Pride & Prejudice.

For all its exterior the novel is constructed in quite a bit of depth when you think about it. The irony is that the majority of people in this novel who work in communication have trouble communicating with each other and it makes you think about how Social Media just subconsciously makes you internalize your feelings.

Of course we cannot ignore Mrs. Bennet’s unique disposition and our lovely Darcy’s awkwardness. I like to think that if Jane Austen were writing today, she’d write like this

Rating

5

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Book reviews, Discussion

6 Revealing Truths About Persuasion

Persuasion was Jane Austen’s last finished novel and after reading it recently, I was left with a few things to reflect upon.

People can have life-changing influences over your decisions 

Anne Elliot, our heroine, gets talked out of her engagement at a very young age by a mother-like figure in her life. All throughout the novel she keeps getting talked into or out of whether to pursue a relationship with a man or not. The main message I got out of this is:

How many times have we let people in our lives, friends/acquaintances make our decisions for us or influence our decisions in life to a great degree?

And it’s not until Anne starts to listen to her own instincts that she realises that she is the best judge of what is good for her or not.

It’s always best to trust your instincts 

Carrying on from the above point. Anne is possibly my favourite Jane Austen heroine, she has a sound mind and judgement which she learns to occupy throughout the novel.

Her instincts draw her towards certain kinds of people, good people, and once she stops worrying about not living up to other people’s expectations and just doing what she believes is right, things start falling into place in her life.

True love withstands all 

This one I’m not particularly rooting for however, it is one of the biggest and cheesiest aspects of the novel. Anne and her love interest Captain Wentworth have been separated eight and a half years after breaking off their engagement.

Circumstances happen to bring them together and their love stands the test of time, it stands the test of distraction by other potential lovers and it stands the test of vanity- Anne is considered to have “lost her bloom” at the time the novel is set yet, Mr. Wentworth still finds her beautiful.

On rationality & resentment 

Anne and Captain Wentworth both have opposing responses to their broken off engagement. While Anne accepts her lost chance and has a more rational approach to things, Captain Wentworth cannot help but be angry and resentful of the circumstance and Anne even.

I personally believe Anne’s rational approach is the better option because resentment leaves you in despair and agony.

On appearances & vanity 

Vanity is a huge aspect of the life of the Elliots, Anne’s family, though Anne is the odd cookie who isn’t vain at all and is super down-to-Earth about her beauty. Keeping up appearances and being pretentious for the sake of a profit, romantic or otherwise is also a scheme a few characters in the novel occupy.

The novel in its conclusion leaves you with the impression that being pretentious and vain, in the end, leaves you with nothing basically.

So don’t be pretentious and vain guys

Anyways, I didn’t just wanna do any old book review on this novel as it left me with a lot of thoughts jumbling about so I hope this persuaded you enough that persuasion is worth a read!

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Book reviews

Book Review | Sense & Sensibility

Title: Sense & Sensibility

Author: Jane Austen

Genre: Classics

Synopsis:  15924983Jane Austen’s novel tells the story of Marianne Dashwood, who wears her heart on her sleeve, and when she falls in love with the dashing but unsuitable John Willoughby she ignores her sister Elinor’s warning that her impulsive behaviour leaves her open to gossip and innuendo. Meanwhile Elinor, always sensitive to social convention, is struggling to conceal her own romantic disappointment, even from those closest to her. Through their parallel experience of love – and its threatened loss – the sisters learn that sense must mix with sensibility if they are to find personal happiness in a society where status and money govern the rules of love

 

This book, although not THE most wonderful book I’ve ever read, was interesting.

Austen places such great emphasis on her characters and in this book more than others. You will meet characters with different consciences and pasts and whom all have varying responses to the same situation. The beauty of Austen’s work I believe, lies in creating characters and situations that are still relevant to the present day.

In this novel, there was the highly important theme of secrecy. Basically, every main or sub character has some factor of concealment in their story line and it doesn’t end well obviously. There is also the social concept of marrying for money, which is still somewhat relevant. Leading people on, unrequited love and fake friendships are some other concepts explored in the novel.

Personally, I really admire how relevant the characters and themes are, the writing has a natural smooth flow to it and as always Austen has created memorable characters. However, I believe the novel dragged on which is a major turn off for me and there wasn’t as much consistency in the story as I would’ve liked.

Rating

3

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book haul

December Book Haul 

 


The approach of the holidays equals more reading time equals more books. Here are some books I bought recently

Library of Souls (Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children #3)  by Ransom Riggs

One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesley-  Reading this one for school

Yellow by Megan Jacobson- Thank you to Penguin Teen Australia for this ARC!

The Jane Austen Trio

Persuasion

Sense & Sensibility

Emma

Upon recommendation by Sarah.J.Maas and Penguin Teen Australia I picked up these books at Supanova and the lovely author signed them for me too!

Captive Prince by C.S.Pacat

Prince’s Gambit by C.S.Pacat

I plan on getting more books during this month but this is it for now! Super excited for all the books mentioned above

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