Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Teen Tuesday and Audiobook Review: Pride by Ibi Zoboi

Pride: a Pride and Prejudice remix by Ibi Zoboi. Unabridged audiobook on 6 compact discs. 6.5 hours. Performed by Elizabeth Acevedo. HarperAudio, September, 2018. 9780062855046.

Pride and Prejudice is one of my favorites. I try to reread it every few years, usually with my ears. Ms. Zoboi's 2017 debut, American Street was a favorite book of 2018. So when I learned of this remix, I was excited! I got the book and then learned that the audio was not only available, but performed by Elizabeth Acevedo, who knocked my socks off with Poet X. What could go wrong?

Absolutely nothing! This was a pure delight from beginning to end. Fans of the original will love discovering how the author modernized and adapted the classic. Readers who have not read Pride and Prejudice will enjoy the romance and setting. 

This book is a love letter to Brooklyn in general and Bushwick, in particular. The setting is so vivid; as is Zuri's fierce love for her neighborhood and its culturally diverse denizens. The story is narrated by aspiring poet Zuri Benitez, the second eldest of the five Benitez sisters. She's upset by the gentrification of Brooklyn, and especially upset by the Mcmansion that was recently constructed across the street from her apartment. She already hates the rich family about to move in. The feeling is reinforced when she meets the Darcy brothers, especially Darius. She is dismayed by her older sister's instant infatuation with Ainsley. Themes of race and class are explored here as Zuri and Darius trade barbs as each resists attraction to the other. 

Acevedo brings Zuri's fierceness to life in a terrifically paced performance. Read Pride with your ears or your eyes; but just read it. It's wonderful!

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