Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Pride by Ibi Zoboi: The Book for Brown Girls


Pride by Ibi Zoboi
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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.

4.5 out of 5 stars
Pride is flavorful, a cornucopia of culture, a coming-of-age story with characters so well-developed they practically leaped off the page.

Zuri Benitez is just a girl with words in her heart, Brooklyn nestled in her veins and dreams bigger than the neighborhood she’s grown to love.

Zuri has lived in Bushwick all of her life, and everything is predictably comfortable. The bodega at the corner, the pastelitos her Mom makes, and the crazy overcrowdedness of sharing one room with three other sisters. 

That is until the Darcy’s move across the street--bringing with them a richness they’re not used to, and tossing up the life they’ve grown used to.

One brother, Ainsley catches the eye of her sister and the other brother, Darius—Darius is just a boy too rich for his own good—and not Zuri’s type at all. 

Though I would imagine this is not the version of Pride and Prejudice most are used to it’s a realistic cultured and flavored version this generation will understand and connect with.

Rich in culture this novel brings the reader directly into the neighborhood, bringing them along for a journey of growth, romance, and humor.

The characters are rich, lush and easy to like. Their backstories clash and come together in only a way a talented author can manage. For this reader, it was like coming home.

Stellar and engaging writing, lyrical in its delivery—proud and vibrant, Pride is perfect for young and old readers alike—and those perfectly nestled right in between.

With just the right touch of racial reality and gentrification realism, Pride delivers the city in a way not done before Poet X.

The world needs more Zuri’s with their tightly coiled Afros, rap-like poetry, sassy attitudes and their connections to the boroughs and cultures their very beings are tied into.

Outside of the hard-growing romance the novel also seeks to generate an understanding of African-based religious practices painting it in a colorful, and magical light—with the character Madrina.

It also does a great job of realistically portraying the class struggle of growing up rich while brown.
It tackles the misunderstandings of rich and poor in a neighborhood filled with brown people—and it does a stellar job at it. 

Zoboi is a clear talent, tackling topics others are too scared to touch and she does so with class and genius.

Readers will be left wanting more, of Zuri and Zoboi's writing.

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