#ThanksgivingReadathon | as #JorieReads and discovers her *second!* book hug: “PRIDE: a Pride and Prejudice Remix” by Ibi Zoboi

Posted Friday, 23 November, 2018 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

#ThanksgivingReadathon badge created by Jorie in Canva

This lovely readathon is hosted by Jackie @DeathbyTsundoku

You can find the Announcement Page on her lovely blog!

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

I fully admit it – I am positively consumed, addicted and attracted to the story of PRIDE & PREJUDICE!! In all its incantations and variants of entrance – if there is a PRIDE retelling, variant or after canon sequel, there is a good chance I am going to find it, sample it and either a) love it to the moon OR b) find it wasn’t my cuppa. In this instance, I remember vividly finding out about this particular release in the twitterverse, I even remember tweeting the author to talk about how wicked enthused I was about this re-telling – as I am forever and then some on the hunt for Austen stories which have a certain element of the original canon within them but then, take us through an wholly original variation only the writer themself could have envisioned!

I knew I wasn’t going to be able to purchase a copy of this novel when it published but I have had some good luck this year submitting purchase requests at my local library – to where they have purchased so many lovelies for me, I’ve lost track of them! I appreciate being able to submit the requests and it is an unexpected joy of mine finding out which ones are accepted as I never take it as a given they will accept a request for purchase. I feel humbled by the fact they enjoy my selections and are allowing me the grace to read stories faster than if I had to wait the six months outside of publication to seek them through ILL’ing (inter-library loaning).

I also was struck by the fact as soon as I saw the premise of this PRIDE and started to gather a sense about how it was writ – I knew it was the STORY I wanted dearly to READ but never knew I was seeking it! It was one of those random moments where I connected with a story prior to reading it – I have had a healthy attachment to stories set in New York City & the boroughs – I love literature what takes us to the City and gives us a heightened sense of what it is like to live there from all perspectives, lifestyles and areas of the City itself. I’ve felt as if I’ve lived a part of my life there due to how many stories I’ve read that are set there.

Brooklyn has been a place I’ve tried to envision and yet, failed a bit round the edges. As soon as I opened PRIDE – not only did I feel as if a part of my own childhood was re-envisioned through a conveyance of reality I knew once myself – but I felt as if the best grace of this story was feeling a personal attachment to Brooklyn itself! The beauty for me is how Zoboi wrote PRIDE.

As I grew up in a melting pot of a metropolis, I was also surrounded by cultures outside of my own heritage on an everyday basis. I love her instincts for telling this story – from the slang which is partially an upgrade from the slang of my youth (finally sorted out what ‘don’t throw shade on my door’ reflects as it is similar to a phrase from my youth) whilst it also tucks in linguistic nuance. I grew up hearing slices of different languages all the time – I still do in many ways, as cultural and ethnically, I live in a region that is rather diverse and I wouldn’t trade it for anything as I love how we all merge our lives together.

I was happy to realise I still knew what these phrases & words were – they were like little memory anchours of my past, coming back to the surface and allowing me to alight in the story as if I have never distanced myself from whence I was bourne. There are other variables I noticed – from their personalities to how they interacted to their dialogues and everything about how this was becoming introduced to us about their life, their world and their family. It was almost as if the people I knew as a child and young girl were now populating this novel. And, for me, that as the best literary gift to receive the week of Thanksgiving!

The library happily added this title to their card catalogue in October, 2018 – shortly after I requested it and during #ThanksgivingReadathon I was happily able to soak inside its prose and find myself so dearly attached, I am overjoyed for the discovery!

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

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My #25PagePreview of the SECOND #Mythothon story which gave me such a warm bookish hug & gave me a thirst for more of it’s bookish heart!

during the 2018 #ThanksgivingReadathon !!

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Pride: A Pride & Prejudice Remix by Ibi Zoboi

was happily #borrowed via my local #library!

It ought to go without saying, but I am sharing my bookish ruminations for my own edification but also in a continued method of sharing my bookish life to help my readers find their own #mustreads and follow my own readerly journey into the stories I’m reading myself. I was not compensated for sharing my opinions and thoughts herein.

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Pride: A Pride and Prejudice Remix
by Ibi Zoboi
Source: Borrowed from local library, Purchase REQ | local library

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780062564047

Genres: After Canons, Classical Literature, Re-telling &/or Sequel

Published by Balzer and Bray

on 18th September, 2018

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 336

Site | @ibizoboi | Pub’d by Balzer & Bray
*purchase request of mine which was accepted by my local library

 A bit of a background

For those who visit me, finding out I’m a Janeite might not surprise them at all – especially after I shared this post during [2017] #AustenInAugust hosted by Roof Beam Reader. It links to an essay I wrote as a guest blogger for Roof Beam Reader’s blog and it was a post I loved composing as it allowed me to journal my route into the collective works of Jane Austen. However, what you might not realise is why I decided to read this story for #Mythothon as it is a rather unusual selection – at least on the surface of things,… let me explain!

One of the squares prompted to us by our host Louise was this:

Herakles. Read a popular book (define popular however you wish)

Originally, I was going to go in a different direction with this prompt as I was going to draw together #Mythothon and #RRSciFiMonth; as their duel interests of mine this November. Then, as I was nearing the end of my twenty page readings during #ThanksgivingReadathon which curated this list of *13!* Keepers – I realised something rather important!

Pride and Prejudice has in of itself reached EPIC Mythological proportions of popularity as this is a story which was first written in 1813! The story itself is over 200+ years old and yet, the familiarity we all have within its pages and the heart of its story involving the Bennett sisters is as old as any other story which knits itself into our cultural conscience. This is why I realised, the choice for me this month to read a ‘popular novel’ is truly PRIDE! It is the only one that makes sense – not just for the challenge itself of reading stories of Myth but for myself personally because of my steadfast attachment to re-tellings and after canon sequels to PRIDE.

It is true – despite all my intentions of reading more Austen, in the five years I’ve been a book blogger, I’ve only managed to have read PRIDE and the after canons of PRIDE whilst I’ve read a few re-tellings of other stories by Austen but I haven’t progressed in reading their originals (as of yet) despite an earnest effort towards that end!

It felt like PRIDE itself has become an attachment of its own kind in my own life and what better way to merge the intentions of #Mythothon with the popularity which EPIC in its own right for Pride and Prejudice? I decided I want to celebrate this new version of the story-line – set in a city I’ve been curious about for most of my life and told in a way, which lets my own childhood percolate back into life right before my eyes!

This literally became my second #bookHUG of the #Mythothon – to experience two #bookHUGS during #ThanksgivingReadathon was an unexpected joy I was thoroughly enjoying!

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The very first paragraph I read of PRIDE, I knew my first impression this story was well-placed – it has within it a social commentary on modern life writ in a vein of thoughtfulness we love about Austen’s own pen. It was here, I realised, Zoboi was the writer who could write a contemporary evocative re-telling of Pride and Prejudice with an acute awareness of how to make it feel as realistically relevant as Austen had originally given us the Bennet’s!

We begin our immersion into this Brooklyn set PRIDE by being reminded about how cities transition through different periods of growth – from where the older parts might be forsaken and forgotten by most but for the people who live there, they still breathe their life into those hidden corners of a city which has forgotten its roots. It is here we peer into how the urban enclave of boroughs in New York City have their own unique personality and cultural identity. They have transformed out of the bolts and boards of their architecture into a tangible setting where people not just identity themselves as being part of the fabric of their part of the City but they find the quiet comforts of feeling as if this is their home.

It is true – we too often erase the past for the sake for the present – we are a destructive society from that angle – never keeping a built structure longer than it is warranted to be of use to us and oft-times, it is taken down and replaced before a period of expiration can even click off the clock! We hardly ever think to take what is before us as something to cherish, something to keep and something to admire. There is beauty in how things age – not just of us, as a people but in the things in which we occupy our hours – the buildings, the streets we walk and the places we feel a quieter acquaintance.

When your bourne in the city, you understand what Zoboi is referencing because all cities have this internal truth about themselves. Neighbours transition, previous neighbours move onward to a newer part of the city and others move in; it is transitionary as it is evolutionary of how a city ebbs and flows; sometimes it even exchanges itself from one cultural and ethnic stronghold for another; such as what Zoboi is trying to openly broach as her characters (the Benitez sisters) are eagerly curious about who has purchased a run-down estate across the street from them. It is the kind of obtuse relic from a distant past, a place which has fallen in on itself and has become part of the urban decay you can recognise but aren’t sure you want to see reincarnated.

It is through the sisters themselves, we first start to see how this part of Brooklyn has been altering itself – how their concerns over if the white populace is going to oust them from this section of Bushwick or if they can hold onto it for a bit longer – this is their neighbourhood and they don’t want to lose it. I can feel their conviction as part of my family is from the Southside of Chicago – a few years ago, we met with an African-American Professor whose family lived amongst the streets my Mum’s family lived; the discussion shifted into talking about how two different families lived in the same place but were separated by time. The neighbourhoods were still there but its the people who lived amongst them which changed. Cities keep evolving over time yet it doesn’t change the affection for the residents who called those neighbourhoods home. The Professor said something quite pivotal – she said, your family lived here first and we came afterwards, but some of those I know who live there don’t always see it that way. We discussed cultural, societal and ethnic heritages and the transitional movements of neighbourhoods whilst happily sharing mutual love of that side of Chicago. I felt as if I had known those memories myself – not because I’ve never been to Chicago but because I grew up with the stories.

In a way, from my own experiences in the metropolis of my upbringing and the stories of my Chicago family – you could say, PRIDE by Zoboi was writ for a girl like me who not only fully embraced city life but how, sometimes the best stories are set outside our own experiences. I loved being able to interact with others who lived where I did but who lived different lives – this is why cities are such a lifeblood of joy. You can meet the world in one neighbourhood and then, walk round a corner and see another part of the world you hadn’t yet met.

I digress. Let me tell you more about what I love about PRIDE,…

I smiled, I laughed and I remembered,.. how much I used to love watching Extreme Makeover: Home Edition with Ty Pennington. It was such a wonderful show for promoting goodwill, community and family. I have many fond memories of watching those shows as it wasn’t about the upgrades the families were given to their homes, it was about their lives, a small inside glimpse into how they lived and how we all struggle through our adversities but can find a reason to give back, give hope and find a joyfulness to live.

The reference in the novel was about how the Darcy family was renovating the place into an opulent example of modern design – a place out of sequence with the rest of the neighbourhood. This can happen a lot in neighbourhoods – people can outshine the rest of the homes and make their house stand out from the crowd. The interesting bit is – the sisters themselves were taking bets on whether or not it was a family who was white or black; if the family was part of the changes they were seeing in Bushwick or if for once, they could enjoy getting to know a family (similar to theirs) who would happily surprise them for choosing this place to live.

Zoboi opens the thread into class divisions and runs with it in such a way which feels intrinsically tied to the audience today and to our modern ways of life. She is a fresh burst of joy in literature because she has combined what I love from Austen and what I had hoped to find in her version – it is a perfect balance of owning your narrative whilst paying homage to the past.

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Character I am Thankful For badge created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit jorielovesastory.com

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When it came time to respond to the prompt “Character I am Thankful For,…” during the #ThanksgivingReadthon – I had several choices I was considering – even though, I’m still in the early stages of their acquaintance, these three characters stood out to me the most:

Sora from “A Mortal Song” | Jaclyn from “Jaclyn and the Beanstalk” | ZZ from “PRIDE”

You might be wondering why ZZ became the character I am most thankful for finding during this readathon? It is because she embodies a part of my own past & has given me a foothold into the present – she also is a wicked good new generation heroine for those Janeites like myself who are hoping a part of Austen’s legacy might murmur its way into the hearts of young women & girls today. ZZ has a fresh voice and a family whose as quirky & loving as the Bennet’s.

The artwork inside the hardback edition is beyond beautiful & it truly enhances your reading experience as you can directly see ZZ & Darcy; the two characters who re-invented this beloved story and took it to a lovely new layer of literary #awesomesauce!

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Verdict? (see also tweet) I remember tweeting the author when I first found out about this #PrideRemix – except for whichever reason I am unable to find the tweets I shared with her now. To say I was overjoyed in finding this new adaptation of the story is putting it lightly as it *felt!* like the kind of story I have been seeking and never knew I”d be able to find – it was that promising!!

As soon as I opened the pages of PRIDE, I felt as if this author had magically re-transitioned myself back into my childhood – of growing up in a melting pot of a metropolis where all cultural, ethnic & religious traditions merged together in this lovely city of spirits & artistic souls. There was a certain kind of synergy there – where you could easily find yourself able to embrace cultural heritage and experience a different kind of world-view where everyone was equally represented and the world itself felt as if it lived in your backyard. Despite not being able to visit Brooklyn, the way in which Brooklyn was brought to me within the pages of PRIDE gave me back a part of my life I have dearly missed & always treasured.

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What is on your #ThanksgivingReadathon #MustRead List?!

And, are you going to be reading Mysteries throughout December like I am!?

What are your favourite Autumnal & Winter Reads?

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#Mythothon banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Cristina Gottardi

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{Sources: Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: #Mythothon banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Cristina Gottardi; #ThanksgivingReadathon A Mortal Song badge (Photo Credit jorielovesastory.com) and #ThanksgivingReadathon banner.}

I’m a social reader | I tweet my reading life

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #ThanksgivingReadathon 2018

About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Friday, 23 November, 2018 by jorielov in #ThanskgivingReadathon, After the Canon, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Classical Literature, Inspired By Author OR Book, Jane Austen Sequel, Pride & Prejudice Re-telling, RALs | Thons via Blogs

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