August 2, 2021 2:28 PM - by Zoboi, Ibi - Subscribe

In a timely update of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, critically acclaimed author Ibi Zoboi skillfully balances cultural identity, class, and gentrification against the heady magic of first love in her vibrant reimagining of this beloved classic.

Zuri Benitez has pride. Brooklyn pride, family pride, and pride in her Afro-Latino roots. But pride might not be enough to save her rapidly gentrifying neighborhood from becoming unrecognizable.

When the wealthy Darcy family moves in across the street, Zuri wants nothing to do with their two teenage sons, even as her older sister, Janae, starts to fall for the charming Ainsley. She especially can’t stand the judgmental and arrogant Darius. Yet as Zuri and Darius are forced to find common ground, their initial dislike shifts into an unexpected understanding.

But with four wild sisters pulling her in different directions, cute boy Warren vying for her attention, and college applications hovering on the horizon, Zuri fights to find her place in Bushwick’s changing landscape, or lose it all.
posted by soelo (3 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I really enjoyed this! It was great to read a joyful, well written YA novel that had diverse representation and romantic leads who were likeable. I also liked that it used Pride and Prejudice as a springboard without feeling like it had to hew exactly to the original storyline.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:43 AM on August 3, 2021

I seem to be on a track of reading Pride and Prejudice updates/offshoots for the past year or so, including this book and:

Longbourn, by Jo Baker (contemporary to P&P, servants' perspective)
Ayesha at Last, by Uzma Jalaluddin (present-day Indian immigrant community in Toronto)
Death Comes to Pemberley, by PD James (contemporary to P&P, murder-mystery flavored sequel)
Unmarriageable, by Soniah Kamal (early 2000s Pakistan)
Eligible, by Curtis Sittenfeld (early 2010s Cincinnati)

As of yesterday, I have The Bennet Women by Eden Appiah-Kubi (present-day American university setting, with multicultural and trans main characters) in my Kindle.

I've honestly enjoyed all of these books, for different reasons. I'm fascinated by what makes so many writers want to take a crack at Austen's story, and what they do with it. Pride and Longbourn were probably my two favorites, just based on the voice and writing skill.
posted by dlugoczaj at 11:02 AM on August 3, 2021 [6 favorites]

Thanks for the recommendations! In addition to Pride, I’ve read and enjoyed Eligible and Longbourne. I’m going to put The Bennet Women on my reading list.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 1:30 PM on August 4, 2021 [2 favorites]

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