Rating: unrated | 320 pages | Balzer + Bray| Contemporary | 9/18/18
Okay. Confession. I know our blog title is a pun on a Jane Austen novel but I have never finished Pride and The Prejudice. Not the book, not the young reader’s version, not even the Kiera Knightly version or The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.
I’ve read enough of the Wikipedia page to get a feel for the major events and all of that is to say that I think Pride is a pretty clever remix of the classic story. Set in a quickly gentrifying Bushwick Zuri Bentes is not feeling her new rich neighbors the Darcy family, especially Darius Darcy. Because he is from a wealthy Black family Zuri thinks he will look down on her while Darius knows his affluent background will make him an instant outsider.
I think Brooklyn is obviously a character in this book and Zoboi doesn’t make this a gentrification vs. non-gentrification argument, instead, it’s about the characters finding a way to hold onto the past while also embracing the changes.
I was able to catch a few references and illusions to the original story, but after a while, I just found myself interested in Zuri’s journey as she learns to accept change and carve out a future for herself. At one point Zuri goes to visit Howard Universty and I like Zoboi captured the energy of an HBCU in a way haven’t seen in a YA before. I need someone to get this in front of Lin Manuel-Miranda because I could imagine this being staged similarly to In The Heights.
The audio is amazing and almost essential for this story. Check out that review here.
I pretty much agree with everything Jess said in her review, although I actually preferred reading this in print to the audio version. Acevedo has a strong “spoken word” cadence that didn’t work for me. Pride may be a remix of on one of the most popular love stories of all time but I feel like the true love story in this book is between Zuri and her neighborhood. I was more interested in her discovery of self and how she exists outside of the community she’s known her whole life than her relationship with Darcy.
In my opinion, this book is a good example of YA book that is written for teens. It’s no secret that YA has been edging towards it’s an older audience but this book really captured that sort of life you dream for yourself when you’re thinking about going off to college.
I do wish the book dug a little more into its theme about class and the diaspora. Inherited wealth isn’t common for Black people and we never find out how Darius’s family got their money. Are the part of the Black Bourgeoisie in Prince George County?
There is a pink edition at OwlCrate that I totally want/need.