Lydia Bennet became somewhat of an internet celebrity when her older sister Lizzie‘s vlogs, made as part of her graduate project, went viral in a major way. Always happy to be the centre of attention, Lydia made her own videos and loved the attention she got on YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr and other social media sites. Unfortunately, when she fell in love with and trusted a man who took terrible advantage of her, she also had to face her private life being open for all to see, and her name became synonymous with “that girl whose boyfriend tried to sell their sex tape to make money”. Then her sister Lizzie’s powerful boyfriend paid to have the whole ugly situation go away, and Lydia was left traumatised, humiliated and heart-broken.
Now Lydia is trying to rebuild her confidence and look to the future. Still living at home with her parents while her two older sisters have found love and moved to big cities, Lydia is completing summer courses at community college in preparation for transferring to San Francisco, where she’ll study psychology and live with her taciturn Goth cousin Mary. Trying to re-build your life in a place where everyone is aware of who you are and what mistakes you’ve made isn’t easy, though, and Lydia is so worried that everyone around her is just waiting for her to screw up again that she retreats back into the carefree party girl persona she used to be so comfortable with. All she needs to do to get accepted at the prestigious San Francisco university she wants to transfer into is write her application essay about a time when she experienced failure and what she learned from it. That shouldn’t be too difficult, should it?
While Lydia’s had to grow a lot since her first serious relationship crashed and burned extremely publicly, she’s still has a lot of healing and maturing to do. Clearly feeling inadequate in comparison to both her sisters who are working in the fields they’re most passionate about, Lydia is still not entirely sure what she wants to do with her life. While she likes the idea of studying psychology, she also has doubts and gets very insecure when she realises how many years the education is likely to take. She tries to cling to her old life while being impatient to move on to a new and better one, yet is uncertain and afraid of screwing up badly again. She’s also struggling to rebuild the trust of one of her best friends, her cousin Mary, as well as her sisters and her parents.
The Epic Adventures of Lydia Bennet is a sequel to both the highly successful YouTube series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, which re-imagined Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice for the 21st Century (which if you haven’t watched – what are you doing with your life?) AND the book The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet, which gave us a lot of extra insight into protagonist Lizzie and further re-imagining of a lot of the scenes from the original novel that didn’t appear in the series.
Full review here.