Pride by Ibi Zoboi
Published by Balzer + Bray
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Contemporary Romance
Read in: February 2019
Source: Public Library
Add to: Goodreads
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. - via GoodReads
I picked up Pride by Ibi Zoboi because Amazon recommended it to me. I had purchased another book, I can’t even remember which now and Pride was in the section of “Others Who Bought X Also Bought…”. The title and cover caught my attention so I clicked on the link. Once I read the synopsis I was sold. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen is one of my favorites and I re-read it often. Pride sounded like it would be a nice retelling.
I really enjoyed this book. I think that it did a fantastic job keeping true to the inspiration for it but also adding it’s own flair. Zuri and Darius were true to their roles. I will say that I saw Zuri’s mom as far less irritating than Mrs. Bennett but maybe that’s because Mrs. Benitez was more modern and therefore more relatable to my own mother?
All of the characters were familiar but different and I can’t even begin to tell you how much I LOVED that. Zoboi honored Austen but was able to recreate the story for a generation far removed from the origin. Zuri wasn’t my favorite character but I could admire her for what she was. She was the strong one in her group of siblings. She was the one making sure her younger sisters didn’t get too stupid.
I really related to Zuri. I always thought that people who lived in cities were so sophisticated and worldly. It never once occurred to me that people can live in a city and barely leave a couple blocks radius. I grew up in a town with about 3,000 people. Even less when the big factory 10 miles north of us closed and moved operations to Mexico. My family never traveled. It didn’t take much for either of us to be impressed during our first travels and because of that neither of us was real open to change.
Darius Darcy was aloof through much of the book but there are times when he drops his walls too. When those walls are gone we get to see the caring guy he is underneath. I feel like we spend most of this book learning who Zuri was and just touched very briefly on who Darius was as a person. All of the secondary characters had just enough page time to contribute to the story but we don’t get to know them very well.
I would say that if you enjoyed Pride & Prejudice in any form and you like to read young adult books then you should definitely give Pride by Ibi Zoboi a shot. It is a fairly quick read. I listened to about an hour and a half of the audio and really, really liked the audio narration. It gave accent to the names and words that my Midwestern accent (or lack of accent?) just can’t give justice too. I am so glad Amazon suggested this one to me as it will probably be re-read as often as Jane Austen’s book.