Friday, October 19, 2012
The Bad Miss Bennet by Jean Burnett
Yes, you have been warned, this is a rant.
I think, if you know me well, you can tell that I hate it when sequels change characters drastically. Especially for classics like Pride and Prejudice. So why one earth did the author change almost every character from Pride and Prejudice?
Look, Elizabeth is described as being without a sense of humour, Darcy has become some conservative uptight noble and Georgina is exactly like the rumours Wickham spread of her. It's as though the entire last chapter (or last few chapters for that matter) was ignored. There's a lot of say, but the one thing that made me so mad that I couldn't finish the book was Georgina's upcoming marriage. Not only does she choose a womaniser, she's portrayed as an irrational, jealous fiancee. Really? This is the sweet girl whom Elizabeth is close to, and sees how her sister-in-law and husband function? Really?
And what was all this for? To make Lydia more appealing (at least, that's the only reason I can find), by making everyone else so unlikable. Lydia is the "free spirit", the "fun one", the one that's supposed to appeal to the modern female audience. Except that she doesn't.
Lydia is selfish, manipulative and has no brains whatsoever. Oh, and she thinks the world of herself, being so "romantic" and all. So fine, you want to write an unlikable heroine, that happens (I remember .... Ok, no more talk). But at least write a good plot. If I don't like the protagonist, I should at least want to finish the book to find out what happens.
But no, Lydia drifts aimlessly from one event to another, whining and trying to scheme the whole way. And for some reason, there's a new character (Jerry) that she "falls in love" with, and he falls in and out of the plot in the most unbelievable ways (so he dies, but didn't really die, but then he leaves for America?). Can we have some consistency here?
So no, I did not like this book at all. It could have been a fun take on Jane Austen's classic, but it all went downhill when the author mangled the well loved characters of Pride and Prejudice. Add in a weak (or if I was harsher, non-existent) plot, and there's absolutely no reason to keep reading. I probably wouldn't have written a review either, but you do not mess with Pride and Prejudice.
Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review. I was (obviously) not obliged to write a positive review.