The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet – Book Review

by Jennifer Donovan

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The story of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy is timeless for a reason. Whether Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice novel or the delightful miniseries featuring Colin Firth are favorites of yours, or perhaps a more modern version like Bridget Jones’ Diary (book or movie), the idea of a love/hate relationship built on prejudices built misunderstandings and two people too proud look beyond them is pure storytelling gold.

The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet is a new novel by Bernie Su and Kate Rorick, apparently an extension of the popular youtube series the Lizzie Bennet Diaries. I was unfamiliar with the source and didn’t need the background at all. I listened to the audiobook, which is read by the star of the series, Ashley Clements. She did an AMAZING job, nuancing each character’s voices in such a way that the audiobook was a production in itself. The characters are sort of over-the-top in general, and she really had fun bringing them to life. I loved this story, and I loved the audiobook version of it as well.

Lizzie Bennet is a grad student in new media who starts vlogging about her family as a school project. Her best friend Charlotte helps her, her sweet sister Jane supports her, her wild sister Lydia provides plenty of material for her, as does her mother with her obsession about marrying off her daughters. When a new young bachelor moves to town, Bing Lee, Lizzie’s mother is delighted that her eldest daughter Jane catches his eye. When his stuck-up friend William Darcy snubs her second oldest daughter Lizzie, she writes him off, but Lizzie can’t move past his words and actions. She shares it on her videos and her rapidly growing pool of viewers want more, more, more.

The classic theme really comes to life. I enjoyed the nods to Austen’s characters, but this is a modern and wholly original story as well that entertained me so much. I loved all of these characters and was sad for the story to end.

Enter to Win

Follow the instructions below to enter to win a digital download of the audiobook of The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet. Click through to listen to a sample.

New to audiobooks? I would love to win over a new convert. Digital downloads are a breeze to save to your apple device or other smartphone. This one is one in which I think that listening is even better than reading, so it’s a good one to try.

First leave a comment telling me if you have a favorite Pride and Prejudice adaptation. If not, that’s okay too. This book is a wonderful place to start!

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Email Author    |    Website About Jennifer Donovan

Jennifer Donovan has been a part of the 5 Minutes for Mom team since 2007. She writes product reviews, covers events, and manages the 5 Minutes for Books weekly column and website. She lives in Houston and blogs at Snapshot about life with her family.

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{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kimmie July 14, 2014 at 12:03 pm

Not really but I did love Austenland!


2 Jennifer H. July 14, 2014 at 12:16 pm

I read a book about an author that did reading groups on Austen books in different countries. It was very interesting but I can’t remember the name of the book!


3 Niki July 14, 2014 at 3:58 pm

I must confess: I did binge-watch the Lizzy Bennett Diaries. But if we’re picking favorites, the Kiera Knightly version of P&P is incredible. I think it really opened up the world of Austen to a wider, more “commercial” readership. The British miniseries “Lost in Austen”, though, is HILARIOUS–not a serious contender for a spot on my favorites shelf, but the way they turned a classic on its head was really fun.


4 Emily July 14, 2014 at 4:04 pm

The Keira version is my favorite too, with LBD as a close runner up. I know it’s considered blasphemy, but I never cared much for the Colin Firth version.


5 Isabela O. July 14, 2014 at 4:05 pm

I got to admit, The Lizzie Bennett Diaries was what MADE me an Austen fan, so it’s my favorite adaptation (although Emma Approved is pretty great too).


6 Killian July 14, 2014 at 4:07 pm

The BBC version with Colin Firth is my favorite, with LBD as the close second.


7 Leigh July 14, 2014 at 4:09 pm

I don’t know if I can pick a favorite! I really enjoyed LBD, but I also love the 2005 film and the BBC mini-series…


8 Lorena July 14, 2014 at 4:16 pm

It’s not my FAVORITE but every P&P fan should see Bride and Prejudice lol


9 Jennifer Donovan July 15, 2014 at 7:29 pm

It’s been on my list Lorena!


10 Daniela July 14, 2014 at 4:19 pm

I LOVED Pride and Prejudice of 1995! Colin and Jennifer were beautiful together!


11 Wehaf July 14, 2014 at 4:31 pm

My favorite version is definitely the original book. :)


12 heidi July 14, 2014 at 4:31 pm

Would have to say it’s the 2005 movie with Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen – my first and favorite!!


13 Tiana Smith July 14, 2014 at 4:37 pm

I’d have to say Pride and Popularity by Jenni James – Definitely one to read if you like Austen adaptations!


14 Lizbeth G. July 14, 2014 at 5:35 pm

My favorite adaptation of Pride and Prejudice is definitely the one with Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen….I think I’ve watched that movie about 30 times!


15 Sue Barney July 14, 2014 at 6:10 pm

My favorite adaptation of Pride and Prejudice is the one with Keira Knightley n Matthew Macfadyen :)


16 holdenj July 14, 2014 at 6:14 pm

I don’t, the original is my favorite, although this sure sounds like a fun update!


17 Christine L. July 14, 2014 at 6:17 pm

My favorite is the BBC miniseries starring Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth.


18 Miss Wisp July 14, 2014 at 6:20 pm

The 2005 film is my favourite adaptation. It is perfection.


19 Chloe N July 14, 2014 at 7:23 pm

I love the Keira Knightly version, it’s one of my favorite movies of all time


20 Aileen July 14, 2014 at 8:05 pm

Confession Time: I have yet to see a movie adaptation of P&P, but I do want to. Seeing as I have only seen LBD I guess I have to deem it as my favorite adaptation.


21 Daniel M July 14, 2014 at 8:51 pm

have only seen the original


22 Martha G July 14, 2014 at 10:07 pm

I love the BBC Pride and Prejudice mini-series, but I also ADORE the LBD.


23 Shannon July 14, 2014 at 11:46 pm

I am a diehard fan of the Colin Firth BBC version!!!


24 Jane L July 15, 2014 at 12:45 am

Lizzie Bennet Diaries! Why I’m entering. :-p


25 Cayleen July 15, 2014 at 6:07 am

I enjoy watching the Colin Firth version because my mother and I use to binge watch the show together. But it’s definitely a tie between the 2005 movie and the LBD. How can you possibly choose between Matthew Macfadyen and Daniel Vincent Gordh??


26 Dahiana July 15, 2014 at 7:43 am

I haven’t watched many of the adaptations, but I am planning on it. By far my favorites are the movie with Kiera Knightley and the LB Diaries youtube series.


27 Nicole Bowman July 15, 2014 at 9:54 am

The only variation I’ve enjoyed immensely was LBD. I was so excited every week to watch the vlogs! :)


28 Suzanne July 15, 2014 at 10:13 am

My favorite is the Colin Firth version, but if I don’t have that much time, I also love the 2003 P&P a Latter-day comedy. But, of course I love the Lizzie Bennet Diaries.


29 Efrat July 15, 2014 at 2:15 pm

I really like LBD, but my favorite Pride and Prejudice adaptation is still the BBC mini-series from 1995, with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle.


30 Christine July 15, 2014 at 11:19 pm

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries might actually be my favorite. I love the BBC miniseries, but it can get long. I also love the Bollywood adaptation Bride & Prejudice.


31 Krista July 16, 2014 at 7:09 pm

Umm, just everything even remotely P&P related! Especially the 2003 movie version and Bride & Prejudice.


32 Noreen July 16, 2014 at 10:46 pm

I love the original book but autsenland was a great movie


33 Angela Saver July 17, 2014 at 6:28 pm

My favorite adaptation of Pride and Prejudice is the one with Keira Knightley & Matthew Macfadyen! We loved it!


34 Amy M July 19, 2014 at 9:02 am

Nobody doesn’t love Colin Firth, but I’m a pretty big Jennifer Ehle fan, too. Still, nothing beats the real words on the page.


35 Kimberley July 20, 2014 at 6:47 pm

My favourite is definitely the original book, followed closely by the Lizzie Bennet Diaries! It stays so true to the intent, while creating a story plausible in modern times. I’ve got to say that Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was a good laugh, though!


36 Crystal Rose July 23, 2014 at 7:33 pm

I don’t have a favorite but I did love Austenland.


37 Emma July 25, 2014 at 6:56 pm

My favorite version is the Colin Firth/Jennifer Ehle adaption! But I do enjoy the Keira Knightley as well.


38 Christine Jensen July 25, 2014 at 9:36 pm

Oh gosh, I love Pride and Prejudice, and I love adaptations. A favorite is hard to pick, I really like the Fitzwilliam Darcy Gentlemen, by Pamela Aiden.


39 Krista July 26, 2014 at 7:21 pm

Score! I can’t wait to listen to this. Thanks for the giveaway!


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