Pride by Ibi Zoboi was such a satisfying novel for me, and reminded me why I enjoy re-tellings of the classics. Zoboi truly modernized both the plot and the characters, without losing the allure of the original Austen vibe. Instead, I believe that Zoboi’s take on the classic could serve as a relevant introduction to a reader new to the story of Pride and Prejudice- and with a depth all its own.
It’s been a little while since I’ve read the Jane Austen version, but what I remember is understanding so much of Elizabeth’s character, and so little of Darcy’s- until the ending chapters. For me personally, Pride feels much more balanced in terms of getting to know both Zuri and Darius.
For Zuri, her love story is not just with Darius- but with her childhood neighborhood. She is fiercely protective of her community, and the people she has grown up- protesting the gentrification. However, she also comes to realize the neighborhoods limitations. Her complicated and nuanced understanding becomes the theme of Zuris college application essay:
“Sometimes love is not enough to keep a community together. There needs to be something more tangible, like fair housing, opportunities, and access to resources. Lifeboats and lifelines are not supposed to just be a way for us to get out. They should be ways to let us stay in and survive. And thrive” -Pride, by Ibi Zoboi
Zoboi’s writing reminded me of why I love Young Adult novels- they’re magic, vibrant, and alive.
I would rate this a solid 4 out of 5!
Further Reading Recommendations:
More by the Author:
Black Enough: Stories of Being Young and Black in America
More Young Adult Novels:
Beastgirl and Other Origin Myths by Elizabeth Acevedo
Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson
Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
More Jane Austen Retellings:
The Other Bennet Sister by Janice Hadlow
Sansei and Sensibility by Karen Tei Yamashita