Book Review: Suddenly You by Cecilia Gray

Suddenly You (The Jane Austen Academy Series, #4)

Title: Suddenly You (The Jane Austen Academy #4)
Author: Cecilia Gray
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Young Adult, Retelling
Publisher: Gray Life LLC
Publication Date: November 6th, 2013
Pages: 145
Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Fanny doesn’t want to be at The Jane Austen Academy. She intends to lay low until graduation when she can try out for the Olympic track team. She doesn’t need friends or love. She only needs her running.

But The Academy is in danger. In an effort to save it, Fanny joins forces with the friends she never knew she wanted. Suddenly, Fanny finds herself center stage in the middle of the Academy’s biggest love triangle as the lead in the school play…only this track star can’t afford to break a leg.

The last thing that the girls at the elite Jane Austen Academy need is guys. But over the summer the school has been sold, and like it or not, the guys are coming. And they’re about to turn the Academy—and the lives of its students—totally upside down…

My Review:

Fanny Sato is very competitive – and she has to be if she wants to achieve her dream of becoming an Olympic athlete. With the rumours of the Jane Austen Academy closing down, Fanny and the other girls try everything they can to keep their beloved school open. Even if it means focused Fanny trying out for the main role in the school play. With her once ordered life getting more complicated by the day, Fanny doesn’t need the extra pressure of being an actress. Gaining the attention of the leading man and having unplanned and somewhat perplexing feelings for a gorgeous boy who is more than willing to get up to mischief and mayhem at Fanny’s bequest is not something that happens to people like Fanny. Solitary by nature, Fanny’s starting to be overwhelmed with people and their problems – can she keep her mind on her own goals whilst still being there for her new friends?

With each book in this series, I like the idea more and more. Jane Austen’s heroines all existing in the same school and supporting each other. The characters are great and Suddenly You is my favourite book from the series so far. Fanny is determined and willing to whatever it takes to get where she wants to be. Her relations with her friends and family are somewhat strained as she keeps her secrets to herself so that nothing can get in the way of her dream. And then Tran happened. I loved Tran. He’s the somewhat dangerous bad boy who doesn’t blink an eye at the opportunity for a little break and entering. He brings out the best in Fanny and their journey in this book was a pleasure to read.

I’ve not read Mansfield Park (the Jane Austen novel which Suddenly You is a modern day retelling of) and I think in many ways I enjoyed it more having no idea what was going to happen. There’s a lot of characters popping up again from the previous books in the Jane Austen Academy series and I’m still impressed with just how wonderfully Cecilia Gray makes them fit (although I’m starting to wonder just how much longer she plans on torturing a certain misunderstood movie star!). This series is fun and the books are all quick and easy to read.

Emma’s book is next (Only With You coming out later this year) and I’m looking forward to see just how everything turns out for the fashionista.

Thanks to NetGalley for the review copy.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon

Book Review: When I’m With You by Cecilia Gray

When I’m With You (The Jane Austen Academy Series, #3)

Title: When I’m With You (The Jane Austen Academy #3)
Author: Cecilia Gray
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Young Adult, Retelling
Publisher: Gray Life LLC
Publication Date: December 22nd, 2012
Pages: 147
Rating: 2 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Kat is destined to be a star and her big break has arrived at last! As the assistant to a celebrity classmate on the set of a feature film, she’s going to show everyone she has what it takes. That is, until she discovers pursuing her dreams may mean forfeiting her heart. Unless she can find a way to have both…

The last thing that the girls at the elite Jane Austen Academy need is guys. But over the summer the school has been sold, and like it or not, the guys are coming. And they’re about to turn the Academy—and the lives of its students—totally upside down…

Dive into the fabulous, fun lives of six Academy girls as their friendships are tested, torn and ultimately triumph.

My Review:

Kat Morley was born to be a star. She’s been the lead in the Jane Austen Academy school plays every spring and fall since she joined and she knows that she has what it takes to be a famous actress. When she’s given the chance to be a personal assistant to a fellow student and get to spend her winter break on a real life film set, Kat jumps at the chance. This might be her opportunity to get her big break. Cute boys, diva starlets and the pesky paparazzi threaten to ruin Kat’s break and Kat is left to wonder if being an actor is all she imagines it to be.

When I’m With You is a modern adaptation of Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey. I studied the original text at university as part of a gothic literature class and whilst I never imagined the story on the set of a Californian film, it works surprisingly well. Kat is curious and hard-working. Her single-minded focus towards her goal is admirable yet makes her somewhat unapproachable by the other students. I liked the cast of characters that she met on set. Josh Wickham makes another appearance in this series – and I think it’s terrific how Cecilia Gray has used him as yet another Austen character whilst still maintaining him as believable and consistent with what readers of the Jane Austen Academy series have come to expect from the previous books. Izzy Engel and Henry Trenton are great too, each for their own reasons.

One thing I didn’t particularly enjoy about this book was Kat’s naivety. I didn’t believe it nor did I find it in tune with who I believed her to be as a character. I understand that in the original Jane Austen story, Catherine Morley’s innocent view of the world was how a lot of the plot was driven but due to some of the other differences between these two characters I just didn’t believe Kat to be that trusting. I didn’t quite understand why certain things happened and I feel like those events were just so it would be in tandem with Northanger Abbey.

This book is cute and charming. I like that it can be read without having knowledge of the book it’s based on – and perhaps I would have enjoyed it more if I had not been subconsciously comparing the two. The romance is adorable (I loved Henry’s hats!) and despite this book being mostly set away from the Academy, there is still the unspoken camaraderie between the girls – even if Kat doesn’t quite realize it yet. Despite my low rating of this book, I do enjoy the series and am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

Thanks to NetGalley for the review copy.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon

Book Review: So Into You by Cecilia Gray

So Into You (The Jane Austen Academy Series, #2)

Title: So Into You (The Jane Austen Academy #2)
Author: Cecilia Gray
Genre: Contempoary Romance, Young Adult, Retelling
Publisher: Gray Life LLC
Publication Date: November 6th, 2013
Pages: 149
Rating: 3.5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Sweet and sensible Ellie hasn’t met a problem her mom’s yoga mantras can’t fix. But when Ellie’s parents threaten to pull her from the Academy just as her flirtation with the cutest boy in school heats up, will Ellie be able to keep her cool?

The last thing that the girls at the elite Jane Austen Academy need is guys. But over the summer the school has been sold, and like it or not, the guys are coming. And they’re about to turn the Academy—and the lives of its students—totally upside down…

Dive into the fabulous, fun lives of six Academy girls as their friendships are tested, torn and ultimately triumph.

My Review:

Ellie has always been her parents rock. When they’re travelling the world in search of spiritual enlightenment, Ellie is the one to make sure the bills get paid and that everything runs smoothly. But there are things Ellie can’t control. Her parents decide to move to another continent and open up a yoga studio and they want Ellie to come with them. With the Jane Austen Academy being the home Ellie always wanted, she’s not sure she can leave just yet. Especially not when her flirtation with the gorgeous Edward is starting to get interesting.

Ellie is one of those characters I couldn’t help but like. She’s a little out of her depth but she’s smart and sensible and doesn’t fall apart like other girls would. When faced with possible eviction from her beloved school, she finds a way around the limitations. That said, she’s still fairly timid and has many personal challenges that try to overwhelm her. I loved Emma in this book. She’s a mix of Emma (from Emma) and Marianne (from Sense & Sensibility) and Gray has done a great job combining the characters whilst still giving the readers someone new. The scenes with Lizzie and Dante were great to read and I loved that just because they had their happy ending doesn’t mean that everything’s perfect.

I enjoyed the romance in So Into You a lot more in this book than the first of the series. Ellie and Edward have had time to get to know each other and things didn’t feel quite as sudden and Lizzie and Dante’s relationship. I liked them for each other and was more than satisfied by the ending.

The concept for this series – having Jane Austen’s heroines all modernized and familiar with each other – is still one that I like. It’s developed a bit more here with us getting to know some more of the girls (like Fanny from Mansfield Park) within the confines of the Academy. I’m really impressed with how Gray is interweaving the stories and characters together. This book is quick and fun with characters true to Ms. Austen’s but still somewhat original. I will definitely be reading the third book in this series – When I’m With You  – which is Kat’s story, a retelling of Northanger Abbey.

Thanks to NetGalley for the review copy.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon

Book Review: Fall For You by Cecilia Gray

Fall For You (The Jane Austen Academy Series, #1)

Title: Fall For You (The Jane Austen Academy #1)
Author: Cecilia Gray
Genre: Contempoary Romance, Young Adult, Retelling
Publisher: Gray Life LLC
Publication Date: November 6th, 2013
Pages: 144
Rating: 3.5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
It’s obvious that Dante thinks he’s way too good for Lizzie. And Lizzie knows Dante is a snob with a gift for pushing her buttons. But things are changing fast this year at the Academy. And when Lizzie’s quest to stop those changes blows up in her face, taking her oldest friendship with it, she has nowhere else to turn but to Dante, with his killer blue eyes, his crazy-sexy smile, and his secrets… Secrets Lizzie can’t seem to leave alone, no matter how hard she tries…

The last thing that the girls at the elite Jane Austen Academy need is guys. But over the summer the school has been sold, and like it or not, the guys are coming. And they’re about to turn the Academy—and the lives of its students—totally upside down…

My Review:

I think the idea behind this series is fantastic. A modern-day retelling of Jane Austen’s novels – with the characters from each novel being friends with each other! Fall For You, the first book in this new series, is Lizzie’s story. She loves the Jane Austen Academy and is horrified when the former-all girls school opens its doors up for male students. And that’s not the only change being made. Room mates and a headmistress who is more about the bottom dollar than the students is enough to drive Lizzie crazy. Not to mention Dante – a new student who has formed a less than impressive first impression on (and of) Lizzie.

Lizzie knows that she has to do all she can to save the Academy she loves before it’s too late – and Dante better not get in her way.

There’s a lot going on in this book and I think too much was attempted in such a small number of pages. We get introduced to the Academy, to the heroines, to the heroes and have a complete story all in less than a hundred and fifty pages. It didn’t completely work for me. I love the idea of Lizzie being friends with Ellie (Eleanor from Sense and Sensibility), rivals with Anne (from Persuasion) and not entirely sure of Emma (from Emma). It’s a fabulous idea. And the fact that they’re not all bosom buddies is even better! I strongly believe that not all of Austen’s original characters would be BFFs because of their fairly strong – or overly passive – personalities. I loved how well the story as a retelling worked considering it’s set in a boarding school and how well Gray substituted some of the original minor characters with what will be major characters in this series. I really thought it was clever.

Unfortunately I felt like Lizzie’s story wasn’t given enough room to really blossom. Her interactions with Dante were gorgeous. There’s one scene in particular where the tension between the two of them had me completely absorbed with their chemistry. But their relationship felt so sudden to me that I felt a little short-changed. Their scenes together were few and short. It needed to be bigger and more dramatic and just more. As Darcy and Elizabeth’s counterparts I knew they had to be together but I wanted to feel they’d earned their relationship as Dante and Lizzie within the bounds of this novel.

This is a fairly quick read and it was a fun one. I loved the cross overs with Austen’s original works and enjoyed seeing how Grey would integrate the stories. I was lucky enough to get review copies of the next two books in the series and I’m excited to see how Grey tackles Sense and Sensibility as well as Northhanger Abbey

Thanks to NetGalley for the review copy.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon

Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Beginnings in Books

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of their bloggers over at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join.

The topic for this week is: Top Ten Favourite Beginnings or Endings in Books

When I saw this week’s topic, I thought that I’d do what I normally do when there’s a dual option. Pick five of each – five beginnings and five endings. The only problem was when I started choosing my favourite beginnings and I got waaayyy past five. Way past ten. But I have narrowed it down to my favourite ten beginnings. And just because I can, two of my favourite endings.

I’ve got a fairly terrible memory. It’s why I write everything down. I often forget character names as  soon as I’ve finished reading a book – it’s why for every book I read I have my own little cheat sheet with important details written down. So I don’t remember many quotes. And I don’t remember all that many beginnings. But the ones that I do remember are from books that have had some kind of profound impact one me.

BEGINNINGS: 

 

Pride and Prejudice The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1) Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.
This is the book that started me seriously reading classic literature. Before that I was a contemporary girl all the way. I think it’s fantastic that the opening line really does encapsulate what the book means to me and is still relevant hundreds of years later.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas AdamsFar out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun
– 
Much like the first line, this book is just silly.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. RowlingMr and Mrs Dursley, of number four Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.
– 
I don’t think I ever realized what an impact this series would have on my life when I first read these words. But now, 13 years after I read them for the first time I still adore Harry and his adventures as much as I did when I was 12.

Bridget Jones's Diary (Bridget Jones, #1) The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Chronicles of Narnia, #5) Alice's Adventures in Wonderland Matilda

Bridget Jones Diary by Helen FieldingI will not drink more than fourteen alcohol units a week.
– 
Possibly my first array into chick-lit but not my last.

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by CS LewisThere was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it
– 
Because sometimes in real life (as in fiction) names do play a part in how we see people.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis CarrollAlice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the riverbank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, ‘and what is the use of a book’, thought Alice, ‘without pictures or conversation?
– 
Exactly. A book without pictures? What’s the point? 😉

Matilda by Roald Dahl: It’s a funny thing about mothers and fathers. Even when their own child is the most disgusting little blister you could ever imagine, they still think that he ors he is wonderful.

The Princess Bride The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #1) The Sky Is Everywhere

The Princess Bride by William Goldman: This is my favorite book in all the world, though I have never read it.
– 
This is my favourite book in all the world, though I have read it a thousand times. Slight exaggeration, perhaps. But seriously.  I love this book. I like it’s humour and it’s bluntness. Life isn’t fair. I think it’s one of the first books that I’ve read where things don’t go the hero’s way just cause he’s handsome and has a good heart. Or that the heroine is called out on her shallow vapidness. And that, no matter who you are, sometimes life sucks. You can be young and in love and still captured by pirates. Or kidnapped by a giant… okay – so maybe it’s not so universally applicable. But it’s still fantastic and I love the opening line.

The Bad Beginning by Lemony SnicketIf you are interested in stories with happy endings, you would be better off reading some other book.
– 
It’s lines like that just make me want to read MORE!

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson: Gram is worried about me. It’s not just because my sister Bailey died four weeks ago, or because my mother hasn’t contacted me in sixteen years, or even because suddenly all I think about is sex. She is worried about me because one of her house-plants has spots.
– 
Because a grandmother who thinks her granddaughter’s mental health is reflected in a plant is definitely someone I want to read more about.

Endings

 

Charlotte's Web Breaking Dawn (Twilight, #4)

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White: It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both.
This book made me cry. I remember reading this line (actually I think I was so little it was my big brother reading it to me) and weeping.

Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer: And then we continued blissfully into this small but perfect piece of our forever.
– 
Okay, so maybe I’m no a Twilight fan. But I liked this line because I thought it perfectly summed up the entire four novels. For me, this series wasn’t about vampires or some evil Italian cult who wuss out of a final battle after all that build up (okay, maybe I’m still a little bitter about how things went down in book 4). It was about love. The kind of love that does best when it’s isolated and all-consuming. In a creepy obsessive way but it works for these two so who am I to judge. But yes. I do like this line because for me – it is Bella and Edward.

Those are my favourite beginnings and a few endings thrown in for good measure! Do you like any of my quotes listed? Have any betters ones? Please share! 😀 Hope you all have a fantastic week!

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The Lizzie Bennet Diaries: Episodes 81-90

It’s Friday! And that means that it’s time for my second last recap and review of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries!

So this week I’m re-capping and sharing my thoughts on episodes 81 through to 90. We’re nearly finished the series!
Note: For some reason the Lizzie Bennet website has been down for the past week whenever I’ve tried to visit. This week all my links for the videos will direct directly to YouTube.

Taking a leaf out of Candide, Lizzie is going to tend to her own garden and keep out of other people’s personal lives… unless they ask her for help. But her new-found vow is tested when Gigi and Bing Lee both make an appearance in her video. Bing might not be as over Jane as we have been lead to believe and it seems like finally (yes, finally!) Bing has caught on to the fact that these videos aren’t just for Charlotte (Awkward – Ep: 81)

Two's company... three's a crowd? Bing makes this video slightly awkward

Two’s company… three’s a crowd? Bing makes this video slightly awkward

After three weeks at Pemberley Digital, Lizzie is settling in nicely and Gigi wants to clear something up for the nice viewers watching Lizzie’s drama unfold online (Checks and Balances – Ep: 82). It seems there was more in Darcy’s letter than Lizzie revealed and Gigi sheds light on just how deep the divide between Wickham and Darcy is. It seems Lizzie might have to rethink her stance on Mr William Darcy…

Sparks fly! The chemistry is tangible!

Sparks fly! The chemistry is tangible!

Lizzie seems to have remembered that she’s in San Francisco for school, so it’s time to film an interview with the CEO of Pemberley Digital for her independent study (Corporate Interview – Ep: 83)! Enter Darcy – who is more than willing to find time for Lizzie. The tension between the two has gone from blatant hostility on Lizzie’s part to flirty giggles and palpable chemistry. In an attempt to show Lizzie why she’s special, Darcy agrees to participate in some more costume theatre – this time impersonating his sister, Gigi, and best friend Fitz – even taking the opportunity to raid the costume department on the third floor!

Darcy as Gigi... and as Fitz. It seems he's getting the hang of Costume Theatre!

Darcy as Gigi… and as Fitz. It seems he’s getting the hang of Costume Theatre!

Some days are ugh but others are UNBELIEVABLE AWESOME! And on a day when Lizzie has not only a new phone but a promising date to the theatre disaster strikes with an unexpected call from Charlotte. Seems like it might be an ugh day after all… (Ugh – Ep: 84).

There’s drama at the Bennet house (Consequences – Ep: 85)- and not surprisingly Lydia is at the centre of it all. An emotional Lizzie rushes back to confront her sister and offer her support. And yay! a new room in the Bennet house is revealed when Mrs Bennet has turned Lizzie’s bedroom into a meditation retreat…

Ep 85 - Consequences

Lydia is distraught and in a showing of solidarity, Jane has come back from Los Angeles to support her baby sister (Sisterly Support – Ep: 86). It seems that Mr Bennet isn’t as clueless as he usually seems and knows the truth about Lydia and the George Wickham scandal. Lizzie feels responsible.

Ep 86 - An Understanding

Upon seeing how distraught Lizzie is over the Lydia incident, Jane makes tea (!) and offers some advice and encouragement. A depressed Lydia makes an appearance and is heartbroken and devastated. Lizzie tries to be a good big sister (An Understanding – Ep: 87).

Friends again :D

Friends again 😀

With one day till the video is about to go viral – it seems some kind-hearted stranger has got rid of the website! (Okay – Ep: 88). Lydia and Lizzie have a deep and meaningful and promise that now the crisis has been averted for the videos to be a little less emo. But we know there’ll still be a lot of the dram-ah! Apologies fly left and right and it seems that the relationship between the younger Bennet sisters has been repaired. Lydia asks Lizzie for a favour – to stick around for a while…

Having left Pemberley Digital, Lizzie is feeling a bit restless being back at her parents’ house (Insomnia – Ep: 89) so she decides to make a video in the middle of the night. Jane’s up as well and the two discuss Bing. After hearing that Bing asked about Jane and her dating status – Jane looks like she swallowed a lemon… but she agrees to catch up on Lizzie’s videos.

Lizzie’s trying to be a little less emotionally draining and promises to cut down on the angst fest – that is until Bing makes an appearance at the Bennet home! (Something Lighter… Please – Ep: 90) He seems to be lurking and popping up everywhere these days. He’s watched the videos and seems to have done a lot of thinking. Jane arrives on the scene – but in accordance with her earlier decision, Lizzie doesn’t film their conversation. Good thing Jane is willing to let the viewers in on what went down. It seems Bing is back in town for a while and since Jane is currently jobless, they’ve agreed to a fresh start… as friends? New Jane and what seems to be a new Bing with a new start? Things should be interesting…

It's a bit harder to be on camera when you know the whole world is watching...

It’s a bit harder to be on camera when you know the whole world is watching…

This week’s episodes were full of DRAMA and SCANDAL! and were a bit more heavy than what I’ve come to expect from the Lizzie Bennet Diaries. But that said – we’re coming up to the end and I loved the way that everything is coming together. The episodes I watched this week contained some of the best acting I’ve seen so far in the series and I love how believable all the actors are as their characters.

It was also fantastic to see the relationships develop and evolve. Lizzie and Lydia found new ground, Jane is more mature and stronger as a person. And the way the chemistry is growing between Darcy and Lizzie? Oh my! Lydia’s scenes were heartbreaking and Lizzie’s completely believable as the guilt ridden older sister.

I’m looking forward to next week – even if it’s going to be the last ten episodes before I have to say good-bye to Lizzie, Darcy and the rest of their crazy relatives and friends.

Thanks for reading my post and as always – I love your comments! Let me know what you thought/think of the Lizzie Bennet diaries!

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries: Episodes 71-80

I love Fridays and one reason for that is that here on  whYAnot that means  it’s time for another watch and review for The Lizzie Bennet Diaries!

So this week I’m re-capping and sharing my thoughts on episodes 71 though to 80. And I have to admit that the more I watch, the more I love this series.
Note: For some reason the Lizzie Bennet website has been down for the past few days whenever I’ve tried to visit. This week all my links for the videos will direct directly to YouTube.

It’s Christmas time and that means it’s time for Mr. Bennet’s Christmas Train Extravaganza! Lucky for Birthday girl Lydia, Mrs and Mr Bennet will be out-of-town for a night giving her a chance to celebrate her 21st in typical Lydia style – with a loud and over the top PAR-TAY!

Party Time in the Bennet house and Lizzie has found a brief moment of solitude in her bedroom. It’s not long before she’s joined by Cousin Mary. Mary is eager to help Lizzie show viewers just why George Wickham isn’t attending Lydia’s birthday bash.

Cousin Mary drops by and helps out with a role play!

Cousin Mary drops by and helps out with a role play!

It seems that one night isn’t enough party to satisfy Lydia’s birthday requirements. A rather tired Lizzie gives Lydia her birthday present but doesn’t quite get the reaction she was expecting … (Episode 73 – 2+1)

Her name is Lizzie Bennet and absolutely nothing will ruin this Christmas! (How to Hold a Grudge). Not a mother lamenting that none of her daughters have gotten married – or even engaged. Nor an exceptionally angry Lydia who goes as far as embarrassing Lizzie on her own vlog.

Merry Christmas! love Charlotte, Lizzie and Jane

Merry Christmas! love Charlotte, Lizzie and Jane

Christmas time (Episode 75 – Merry Christmas) in the Bennet house reunites Charlotte, Lizzie and Jane again! But not even the festive season has Lydia accepting Lizzie’s apology. At least Jane brought cookies…

Not wanting to exclude any of her viewers, Lizzie is Wishing Something Universal. Lydia managed to get her mother’s approval to hit up Vegas (Who knows? Lydia might meet her husband there!) but Lizzie still feels like someone should be there to look out for her little sister just in case something bad happens. Lizzie also decides to try to branch out like Jane suggested. She’s going to San Francisco!

Charlotte makes a dashing Mr Bennet whilst Lizzie gets to show off her Mrs Bennet impression again.

Charlotte makes a dashing Mr Bennet whilst Lizzie gets to show off her Mrs Bennet impression again.

Turns out that Lizzie’s big opportunity in San Francisco ends up being shadowing at Pemberley Digital – whose CEO happens to be none other than Mister William Darcy (Tour Leader). And upon finding out that if she wants out then she won’t graduate, Lizzie resorts to twitterstalking Darcy just to make sure they don’t cross paths. To make things just a little more uncomfortable, Lizzie is introduced to Gigi -Darcy’s younger sister – and a HUGE fan of the Lizzie Bennet Diaries.

Introducing Gigi!

Introducing Gigi!

Realizing that having no friends in San Francisco – and missing Charlotte and Jane terribly.. oh and Lydia too – Lizzie decides to meet some new people. Gigi has great friend potential but the fact that she knows all the terrible things Lizzie has said about Darcy makes Lizzie a little nervous. Not to mention Gigi is a little odd… but turns out she has some plans of her own. Plans involving Lizzie and Darcy… (The Lizzie Trap)

 

Darcy and Lizzle... and awkward silences

Darcy and Lizzle… and awkward silences

But Darcy is not the only unexpected visitor at Pemberley Digital. The loveable yet naive Bing Lee stops by to chat with Lizzie (The Unavoidable Mr. Lee). How is it possibly that he doesn’t know about the videos? Is he really that clueless? Or maybe it’s his clueless nativity that makes him perfect for Jane… Old Jane that is.

Ep 79 - The Unavoidable Mr Lee

Annoyed at herself for not confronting Bing about not taking a more take charge attitude in his own love life, Lizzie needs some costume therapy to talk out her emotions with someone. After resorting to roaming the halls to find a willing participant, Lizzie finds the perfect person to play Darcy… (Episode 80 – Hyper-Mediation in New Media).

Darcy as Darcy and Lizzie as Lizzie

Darcy as Darcy and Lizzie as Lizzie

 

I think this week’s episodes have been my favourite to date. There’s sister drama and Lizzie going out into the world. And then there’s Darcy. I admit it – I’m a Darcy fan girl since I was 15. And every time I’ve reread the book, seen any number of the film or TV adaptations or modernized versions, in the ones that I really connect with there’s a moment. A single moment where, if they’ve done it right, I can see exactly what it is that makes Darcy the character that so many women fall for. And for me it was in episode 80. For me, that’s what makes this series so amazing. It’s got the elements that made me fall in love with Elizabeth Bennet’s story the first time I read it.

The acting in these episodes was fantastic – as always. Stand out performance from Lydia. She may be a character that I’ve never been particularly fond of but in 2+1 she played the somewhat heartbroken sister feeling betrayed to a T.

I am more excited than ever to watch the next episodes! Things really are getting exciting now!

Thanks for reading my post and as always – I love your comments! Let me know what you thought/think of the Lizzie Bennet diaries!

 

 

 

 

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries: Episodes 61-70

Thank god it’s Friday – and not only because here on whYAnot that means  it’s time for another watch and review for The Lizzie Bennet Diaries!

I have to admit that I am starting to want to slow down and hoard the rest of the episodes because we’re over half way though! And – much like Georgina Kincaid from Richelle Mead’s Succubus series – there’s something sp special about reading (and in this case watching) something for the first time. It’s true you can always go back and re-read/re-watch but the first time is just so special.

This week I’m recapping episodes 61-70.

NOTE: The links below in the episode titles will take you to the video for the episode on the Lizzie Bennet Diaries website so you can watch and join the fun.

Ep 61 - Yeah I knew it

 

After the fallout from the last video – and telling Darcy to watch the videos! – Lizzie gets a surprise visitor (Episode 61: Yeah I Know). And it seems that Mr. Darcy is come with both and apology for making her stay at Collins & Collins awkward and a mysterious letter. Charlotte is not surprised about Darcy’s proposal and Lizzie is left speechless…

In Letter Analysis“Her name is Lizzie Bennet and she’s holding out on us!” It seems that despite everything Lizzie has said she does have some limits when it comes to divulging personal information. And the contents of the handwritten and wax sealed expression from Darcy is one of them. To quote Lydia – OMG! WTF! Whatevs… ZOLO!

After months of silence, a rather pushy Caroline is back in the picture (Unexpected Returns). Fishing – without much subtlety- for information regarding the Letter, Caroline dodges questions about her disappearance.

But Lizzie and Charlotte won’t take Caroline’s vagueness quietly! In Episode 64: C vs C, Lizzie finds out just why Caroline wanted to help with the videos.

My name is Lizzie Bennet and Caroline... you're on!"

My name is Lizzie Bennet and Caroline… you’re on!”

It’s almost Thanksgiving (Turkey Days) and after publicly addressing both Darcy and Bing in her video, Lizzie is ready to go home. Who knew that a life with Mrs Bennet would be calmer than the past few months at Collins & Collins?

But things at the office are crazy and it seems that Charlotte is the only one who can set things right (Giving Thanks). But Lizzie isn’t about to go home without her best friend! Dire situations call for desperate measures… and it seems the fair Miss Bennet isn’t above some blackmail!

In Episode 67: Back Home Again, Lizzie is reunited with Lydia and Jane! And zomg… have you heard? the G-dubs (George Wickham) is apparently back in town…

Ep 67 - Back Home Again

Using tactics that only a best friend would know how to apply – Charlotte gets Lizzie to tell us a story (Leftovers). A story of what a certain letter may have said… but to make things fair she goes back to the story she and George told about a boy named Da’vid and his friend Batman… Lizzie actually admits that she’s a little glad for having read Darcy’s letter.

“My name is Lydia Bennet and this is Episode 69…”. Despite all the drama, Lizzie manages to find time to work on her thesis.. and (un)luckily for her, Lydia steps in to do this monumental video! Roleplaying (cause it’s fun!)  with Lydia as Lizzie and Jane playing Lydia and a surprisingly serious talk about Summer Friends, show just why Jane and Lydia are great additions to the LBD.

Do you think you could crank up the adorbs to like a bazillion?

Do you think you could crank up the adorbs to like a bazillion?

It seems that LA has brought out a New Jane. One that’s confident and loving the life she’s living. And one who isn’t afraid to ask the tough questions. But also one who is worried about Lizzie and wonders why Lizzie is staying at the Bennet house when there’s so much more to life out there…

So that is this week’s run down of episodes 61-70! I have to admit I’ve been a bit slack and haven’t been watching the Lydia Bennet videos… but hearing that Lizzie hasn’t kept up with them either made me feel a little better. And – despite finding Lydia a little high maintenance – I loved her appearances in the last few episodes I watched this week.

What did everyone else thinks of these episodes? Any surprises? Got a new favourite character? Leave me a comment and let me know what you think 🙂

And for anyone looking for links to the Lydia episodes – here are the ones that go with these ten Lizzie episodes (and an extra Q&A featuring Ricky Collins!):

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries: Episodes 51-60

It’s Friday again so that means that here on whYAnot it’s time for another watch and review for The Lizzie Bennet Diaries!

Okay, so I missed last week. Sometimes life just gets too busy and then you can’t find enough time to watch YouTube! Don’t you just hate that? So now this week I’m discussing episodes 51 through 60..

NOTE: The links below in the episode titles will take you to the video for the episode on the Lizzie Bennet Diaries website so you can watch and join the fun.

Ep 51 - Together Again!

It’s official. Lizzie and Charlotte are Together Again! In the offices of Collins & Collins, Lizzie and Charlotte reconcile their feud and are best friends forever again! Ricky stops by and dangles a proposition in front of Lizzie that might just be too good to pass up on.

In Better Living, Lizzie tries to work out what she really wants in life – With Charlotte and Jane gone is there any point in going home? But never fear! No matter where Lizzie goes she will always bring her role playing cloths with her.

“My name is Lizzie Bennet and tomorrow I dine with royalty!” (Episode 53: Royal Dining) But Lizzie’s invitation to eat with Catherine de Bourgh comes with a list of behaviour suggestions complied by Mr Collins. Lizzie is slightly nervous but thankfully Ricky is around to put her at ease with a tour of the office…

"Have you seen my office? Its view of the car park is... breathtaking"

“Have you seen my office? Its view of the car park is… breathtaking”

After meeting Catherine de Bourgh and acquainting herself with Annie Kins, Lizzie is horrified to find out that Ms de Bourgh’s nephew is none other than William Darcy. Yes – that William Darcy. Lizzie has no idea why everyone she loves seems to be somehow associated with Mr Darcy. And never one to let an opportunity to dress up pass by, Lizzie shows us just what she thought about the infamous Ms. Catherine de Bourgh.

Lizzie as Ms de Bourgh and her tiny asthmatic dog...

Lizzie as Ms de Bourgh and her tiny asthmatic dog…

Alone at the office on a Sunday, Lizzie goes a little crazy (Robot Surprise). And not just because she finds out that Ms. de Bourgh’s new consultant is none other than Mr William Darcy… Lizzie wonders if Darcy is really a robot with a malfunctioning social interaction program…

More surprising than Darcy turning up at Collins & Collins is that his friend Fitz is surprisingly fun! Lizzie has found A New Buddy! Upon finding out about Lizzie’s vlog, he insists on being featured in them and even takes on Darcy in one of Lizzie’s interactions.

Meet Fitz!

Meet Fitz!

In Episode 57, Lizzie is Weirded Out. At the office on a Sunday and Charlotte in meetings, an unexpected visit from Darcy is the last thing she was expecting. And an awkward and nervous Darcy? Even weirder.

In an attempt to help cheer Jane up, Lizzie enlists new buddy Fitz to help her make some  Care Packages for her broken hearted sister. In the middle of packaging up some fun! food and love, Fitz unintentionally drops a bomb and spills the beans on just who was to blame for Bing’s spontaneous relocation to Los Angeles…

Fitz brings the Fun!

Fitz brings the Fun!

Still reeling from the most recent Darcy Development, Lizzie is devastated in Staff Spirit . It’s been three days of avoiding him and trying to hold in her murderous rage focused in Darcy’s direction.

Are you kidding me! is probably one of the most anticipated episodes to date – it’s a first full on Darcy sighting! And oh my… does he drop a bombshell! In addition, he shows that perhaps Lizzie’s impression of him may not be all that far from the mark when he manages to both insult her family and compliment Lizzie all in the same breath.

The One, The Only, Mr William Darcy!

The One, The Only, Mr William Darcy!

I loved this series of ten episodes. Each one adds critical plot developments and culminates with the introduction of Mr William Darcy – I’ll admit I fan-girled just a little. These episodes had some of my favourite moments – the introduction of Fitz, Charlotte and Mr Collin’s Halloween costumes, and that all important Darcy sighting. But more than that, they are just so brilliantly put together. The consistency of characters, costume changes and the adherence to the original story. I fell a little more in love with this web series this week.

Coinciding with these ten episodes are some more Lydia Bennet episodes and a Lizzie Q&A with new buddy, Fitz. Links to those are below.

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries: Episodes 41-50

It’s Friday again so that means that here on whYAnot it’s time for another watch and review for The Lizzie Bennet Diaries!

This week I’m discussion episodes 41 through 50.

NOTE: The links below in the episode titles will take you to the video for the episode on the Lizzie Bennet Diaries website so you can watch and join the fun.

In Episode 41, Charlotte decides to help Mr Collins with his pitch (Your Pitch Needs Work). Mr Ricky Collins ends up pitching his proposal… to Charlotte!

Mr Ricky Collins "popping" his pitch to Charlotte Lu

Mr Ricky Collins “popping” his pitch to Charlotte Lu

You may have thought Lizzie and Charlotte were Friends Forever but Lizzie thinks Charlotte is making a big mistake with Mr Collins. Lizzie stoops rather low resulting in some sort of emotional blackmail to get Charlotte to stay but Ms. Lu has packed her bags and is leaving this week.

“My name is Lizzie Bennet and I miss my best friend.” Lizzie is Missing Charlotte in episode 43. With Mrs Bennet still annoyed Lizzie passed on Mr Collins and Jane keeping making sure Lizzie has copious cups of tea and all the hugs she can handle, things could be worse… You could have Lydia applying to replace Charlotte as main side kick… oh wait. That’s happening too.

Tea and cuddles a plenty as Lizzie adjusts to a Charlotte free life...

Tea and cuddles a plenty as Lizzie adjusts to a Charlotte free life..

 

Lizzie can’t stay in her Charlotteless depression for long as George Wickham is back on the scene bring a new kind of Darcy Wickham Drama. Our fearless heroine is almost gleeful with the revelation that dastardly Darcy and spectacular swim coach  G-dubs (the one and only George Wickham) have a history. What could George have on Darcy to make him behave so oddly?

In Wickham Story Time we get to see Wickham in the flesh… but he is no stranger to Lizzie’s vlog as he has apparently been watching them for a while. Which makes him more than acceptable to help Lizzie put on a show and fill us in on just how he and Darcy know each other. Lizzie is somewhat not surprised to learn that Darcy is the villain in Wickham’s tale.

Internet - This is George.

Internet – This is George.

 

Bing Lee has a birthday and everyone is invited! Lizzie has a plan to keep her mother off her back whilst still managing to enjoy the party in Birthday Party Battle Plan (episode 46). And because every social situation Lizzie finds herself invited to also involves Darcy being involved – George Wickham is going to attend as Lizzie’s plus one to protect her from his snarkiness.

It’s About Communicating shows some trouble in Swim Coach paradise. Never one to over estimate the involvement Darcy has on a bad situation – Lizzie decides that it’s all his fault when Wickham stands her up for Bing Lee’s party. Lizzie’s confusion over Wickham has her turning to Lydia for dating advice…. and twitter breaks some news.

After Bing Lee, Caroline and Darcy pack up and move to Los Angeles without any warning, Mrs Bennet manages to make the situation all about her (Snickerdoodles). But it’s Jane who Lizzie is really concern about. Lizzie indulges her sister in some “costume therapy” as they re-enact a Wickham/Lizzie phone call.

At least George Wickham is around to distract Lizzie from her paranoia...

At least George Wickham is around to distract Lizzie from her paranoia…

 

With Charlotte, Caroline and now Jane all departing for greener pastures, Lizzie may or may Not [be] Paranoid. Unsurprisingly she blames Darcy for Bing and in turn Jane leaving but at least she has George around distract her from her own paranoia… that is until G-Dubs announces that he’s going away for a few weeks too!

Moving On has Lizzie considering her options as Lydia shows up with a break up survival kit prepared to be there for Lizzie. Charlotte calls(!) and Lizzie plans on visiting her very best friend for a few weeks before classes start again.

 

It’s episodes like Snickerdoodles that just reiterate to me how much I love the casting of this web-series. The characters are incredible. In the space of a few minutes Jane goes from ecstatic and upbeat to devastated to optimistic over the future – and I was with her the entire way. She is so convincing and I love that I believe her every word and emotion. It also had me googling Snickerdoodles.

There’s quite a bit happening in these ten episodes – Charlotte leaving, Wickham’s story and now Jane and Bing’s relationship issues. I think it’s so clever that even knowing the traditional story I’m on the edge waiting for what I know is happening next and when it happens I adore how everything unfolds.

We’re half way though! Next week I’ll be posting my summary for episodes 51 – 60.

 

Here are a list of the bonus episodes. There’s the first seven Maria of the Lu episodes and a very special Q&A with George helping Lizzie answer questions.