Mundie Moms

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Pride by Ibi Zoboi / Audiobook Review #pridebyibizoboi

By: Ibi Zoboi 
Published by: Balzer + Bray
Released on: September 18, 2018
Narrated by: Elizabeth Acevedo
Purchase link: Harper Collins
Add it to goodreads
Source: purchased
Rating: 5 stars

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.

Ah, Zuri and Darius. Much like my beloved Lizzie and Darcy, they make their way into your heart and you find comfort in their mere existence. I know it's no secret that I adore Pride & Prejudice. It's the book I've re-read the most, and I know it's cadences so well. When approaching a re-imagining, I'm always cautious. Some authors take too many liberties with the plot and characters. Some take too few. There exists a razor's edge balance that is sheer perfection. Ibi Zoboi glided on that edge like an Olympic figure skater and stuck all the landings.

The setting of Bushwick, with its ever-changing landscape, just seems so perfect for our times. So many neighborhood are going through revitalizations that are truly gentrifications. When the Darcys move into a McMansion across from Zuri's family's apartment, well, there are opinions flying all over the household. This is exactly what I loved. A big, messy family faithful to their roots. Zuri's loving mama fits so perfectly here. Her cooking attracts the entire neighborhood. Zuri's hard working dad fits in, too, because like many of us parents, he's just trying to keep it all together and make ends meet. Her loud, brash sisters fit in as well. It's definitely a block I recognize from my very early childhood. They are all up in each other's business and no one has room to breathe because comments and opinions are flying everywhere.

This is where we find Zuri. Zuri, who's looking forward to college. Zuri who is passionate, yet reserved about her poetry. Zuri who has so many, many plans until Darcy walks into her life. One of the sweetest moments is when they find themselves at a poetry cafe. I loved that scene so much.

A quick mention to the narrator, Elizabeth Acevado, who brought the book to life. Every nuance of every character came across as so real. I completely adored her delivery of the story.

So, it's my first 5-star read of 2019, and I'm relieved that a P&P re-imagining lived up to the source material. What are some of your 2019 favorite stories so far?