“Quick Pick” is a blog feature that makes it easy to pick your next book. It’s also a perfect way for librarians & other educators to learn about a book and who to recommend it to. Think of it as a condensed review highlighting a book’s major themes & why it’s worthy of a spot on your (or your student’s, library patron’s, or friend’s) TBR.
Author: Ibi Zoboi
Category: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary, classic retelling
Release date: September 18, 2018
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Page count: 304
Goodreads Summary: “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.”
- Gentrification: Zuri struggles with seeing her neighborhood change. She rejects her new wealthy neighbors and worries about how her family and friends will be impacted by the changes (upscale restaurants, wealthy residents, etc.)
- Family: Zuri is committed to her family, and sisterhood is a big part of her identity.
- Change Zuri is overwhelmed with growing older and making choices for her future. Her turmoil over these changes is a nice parallel to the fear she has over the changes aorund her in the community.
- Romance: Readers familiar with Pride & Prejudice will recognize the romance and the love triangle. The romantic plotline stays fairly true to that of Jane Austen’s.
- Culture: Although not solely defined by it, Zuri is proud of her culture. She embraces the traditional foods and adores her landlord, who teaches her many of the practices.
- Own voices Afro-Latinx representation
- Thoughtful, nuanced discussion on gentrification. Pride presents these issues as complex, rather than black-and-white.
- Brought new perspective not previously seen to a classic, as a good retelling should accomplish. By incorporating the themes of identity, culture, gentrification, and focusing on POCs, Ibi Zoboi brings a truly new look at Pride & Prejudice.
- Main chracter was ambitious, sassy, and stood up for what she believes in. Zuri is a confident girl who doesn’t care what her rich neighbors think of her. She will fight for her life, her future, her family, and her community.
- Zuri’s is a poet & the novel has some excerpts of her poetry which adds a wonderful touch. Readers see Zuri express herself through language and see her words come to life.
PERFECT FOR READERS WHO…
- Are fans of Jane Austen
- Enjoy modernized retellings of classics that bring nuanced perspective
- Love poetry
- Appreciate strong, outgoing, and brave female characters
- Want diverse, POC-centered books with Own Voices representation