Ibi Zoboi has an amazing retelling of Pride and Prejudice written for the YA audience. Zuri is prideful. She’s a young woman growing up in Brooklyn, and boy is she proud of her neighborhood. She’s proud of her family, and talks about them as though they are the best thing ever. So when a new family moves in across the street from her, wealthy as could be, she’s dubious about their motives and judges them as arrogant and unlikeable. However she can’t deny the attractiveness of the eldest son, Darius. As much as she hates him, she also finds herself drawn to him and seeking his attention. That’s understandably a confusing emotion for her.
The ultimate question is if Zuri can find a place to honor her heritage and hold space for the community she loves with all the change and gentrification her neighborhood is facing. The discussion about gentrification in this book is so important, and one of the first openly discussed that I’ve run across.
I loved the characters in this story, and I loved how closely Zoboi followed the plot of Pride and Prejudice while also keeping the story completely fresh. Zuri is bold and has strong opinions. Darius is smooth in both words and actions, but difficult for Zuri to get along and understand. This is the exact face lift this classic deserved to make it more accessible to High Schoolers looking to understand the story.