This excellent retelling of Pride and Prejudice takes place in current day Brooklyn. Zuri lives in a divided brownstone with her mom and dad, an older sister, Janae (home from college for the summer), and three younger sisters (two of whom are straight up silly). Zuri’s neighborhood is very close. Block parties, stoop sitting, struggling to make ends meet, and looking out for one another are all a part of their culture. Zuri’s family and the rest of the neighborhood are all in a tizzy over the new neighbors moving in. The brownstone across the street has been rehabbed into a mini-mansion so, obviously, the owners are loaded. Zuri and Janae are worried about how this new, rich family will fit in with their close-knit community, but that concern dims a bit at the sight of the two smokin’ hot guys they see walking through the door. Janae and the older of the two hotties hit it off right away. But Zuri and Darius? Nuh-uh. Those two are butting heads at the get-go, challenging each other at every turn. So, there’s only one way this can turn out, right?
Like Elizabeth Bennett, I love Zuri’s pride in her culture and her neighborhood. I love how the author, Ibi Zoboi, showed Zuri to be a sheltered character, having never really left her neighborhood (she’s never even heard of Martha’s Vineyard, for goodness’ sake) and how Darius shows her that because he has had more experience with the world, there are things to which he can open her eyes (just like she can teach him about his new world in their shared neighborhood). Just because he’s rich doesn’t mean he’s bad or not black enough. Just because she’s poor doesn’t mean she’s bad or not good enough. An excellent look at how we judge others and just how wrong those judgments usually are. An excellent retelling. AMAZING audiobook, narrated by the well-known spoken-word poet, Elizabeth Acevedo (this is the only audiobook she has ever narrated, aside from her own, The Poet X).