A modern ‘Pride & Prejudice’

By Alexa Baer
Times-News
   “Pride”: by Ibi Zoboi. Balzer + Bray, copyright 2018. 304 pages. $17.39, audio CD; $13.39, hardcover; $9.99, Kindle; and $7.69, hardback.
“Pride and Prejudice“ gets a modern Brooklyn makeover in this adaptation by Ibi Zoboi.
    The book centers around Zuri Benitez, a proud Afro-Latina and proud Bushwick native. It focuses on her relationship with her four sisters, Janae, Marisol, Layla and Kayla. When the affluent   Darcy family with two teenage boys moves in, well, things begin to change.
    To Zuri, the Darcy family moving in to her neighborhood is just the most recent part of its changing landscape and she wants nothing to do the family. But when Zuri’s older sister, Janae, falls for Ainsley, it forces Darius and Zuri to spend time together.
    Zuri is averse to change, having lived in the same neighborhood, on the same street and in the same apartment her whole life. Suddenly she has to cope with the fact that her life might not always be anchored to the Brunswick she grew up in.
    With the Darcy family moving in at the climax of the change, Zuri can often be found taking out her frustrations on Darius and judging the family because of their wealth.
    This book lacks the character development of many other adaptations and instead relies heavily on the idea that readers of this adaptation have read the original or at least seen the movie.
    Zuri Benitez is possibly more judgmental than Elizabeth Bennet, but also has more to say. Zuri is grappling with her identity as a girl from the hood and the gentrification of her home as well as class and cultural differences in her changing neighborhood.
    Zuri is still a teenage girl and with college applications on the horizon, cute boys and annoying siblings, so her problems are something every girl can relate to.
    Zoboi does a great job of taking 21st century problems and merging them with a timeless classic. She tackles cultural identity and class, giving this classic story a new face and giving the characters a new cultural identity, which enhances the story.
    Fans of “Pride and Prejudice“ adaptations will easily be able to spot all the characters they know and love, or at least love to hate.
Alexa Baer is a senior at Elon University and a Times-News intern. 
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