Pride by Ibi Zoboi
Published by: Balzer + Bray
Pub Date: September 18, 2018
Format: arc | Source: borrowed
Genres: young adult, contemporary, retelling
Pride and Prejudice gets remixed in this smart, funny, gorgeous retelling of the classic, starring all characters of color, from Ibi Zoboi, National Book Award finalist and author of American Street.
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.
This was such an incredible book! One of the best retellings I’ve ever read- it was easy to see the source material inspiration but it wasn’t derivative or heavy handed. It was perfectly done. Zuri’s experience is about as far from mine as it can get but I can tell how much love went into crafting her story. Bushwick was a living, breathing character of its own, which is the best sort of setting in my opinion. I loved all of the cultural aspects (some of which, yes, I had to Google) and I especially loved Zuri’s visit to Howard University and just how the whole story unfolded.
There is judgment on both sides- wealth, naivete, etc- but respect is earned by many of the characters at the end. Verse isn’t something I personally love so Zuri’s poems sometimes took me out of the story but they were written beautifully and really reflected her character’s worldview. The romance was sweet and earned, the best sort of hate-to-love, but the book really felt more about family and home. If you love Pride & Prejudice like I do, this is a must read! It’s very modern and very classic all at once.
How do you feel about modern retellings? Is Pride on your TBR? Let me know and happy September!