I’m pretty picky about the young adult fiction – especially contemporary – that I read. But I could not resist a diverse adaptation of one of my favorite books of all-time: Pride & Prejudice. So I knew I couldn’t stay away from Ibi Zoboi’s Pride, and decided to pick up the audiobook.
(All reviews are spoiler-free unless otherwise noted.)
(From Goodreads) 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.
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.
My feelings about Pride are… complicated. I really appreciated a modern take that is accessible to young adults. I hope this will introduce more younger readers to how great classic stories are. I think this would be a great introduction to Pride & Prejudice. I also really enjoyed the diversity in this book. I thought it was a brilliant way to bring a classic into today. It added a lot to the story, and I think it was done really well.
I did like how the story itself was adapted. I think Zoboi did a great job of making the events contemporary without sacrificing the intent of the original story. There were some really great parallels that seemed realistic for a modern story. It stayed true to the original, but wasn’t exactly the same. I think if you like P&P, you’ll probably appreciate Pride.
The part of this book I didn’t love: the characters. I just wasn’t a fan of how most of the characters we’re interpreted. It’s very clear who is supposed to be which of the original characters – their names are either very similar or the same to Austen’s characters. But I felt like the worst qualities of each character (with a few exceptions) were magnified. I was not a fan of Zuri (Lizzie). Instead of being strong, she came off as aggressive and judgmental, and it rubbed me the wrong way. Which is unfortunate, because she’s the main character. But she made Colin less obnoxious, so maybe it was kind of a trade off?
I do think part of the reason I didn’t end up loving this is because I honestly have no patience for a lot of teenage characters. I’ve been out of high school for over a decade, and I have absolutely no desire to go back. Now, I think there are a lot of brilliant young characters, but, for me, the characters in this book mostly reminded me why I’m glad I’m done with high school. They did feel age appropriate (not like those annoying teenage characters who act like they’re thirty). I’m just not that age anymore, and, again, going back in time is not something I’m particularly interested in. That said, there were some good character moments that elevated this book for me. But I wanted more of them.
★★★☆☆ – I think this was a solid book. I love that it was a diverse take on an amazing classic novel, It wasn’t a personal favorite, but I am all for anything that will expose young readers to classic literature (in any way) and more diverse characters. If you enjoy contemporary YA, I would recommend giving Pride a shot.
Pride is available in bookstores now – you can order your copy on Amazon.
To get the audiobook for free, use this link to sign up for a free trial of Audible and choose Pride as one of your two free books.
*This post contains affiliate links, which means I may get a small commission for purchases made through this post.*