cbr11bingo – Remix!
Zuri Benitez is of the rambling Benitez family. They live in Brooklyn – in Bushwick – in a one bedroom apartment where she and her four siblings share the living room as their bedroom, where block parties are regular and boisterous, and where she and her family and the neighborhood take care of each other. This is why Zuri views the new family across the street with suspicion. When a developer bought the property and revamped it into a flashy new home, the girls placed bets as to who’d move in – rich white folk trying out city life? Flashy black sports or music mogul? Turns out their all kind of right. The Darcy family is definitely rich, and they’re definitely black, but they aren’t familiar to the Bushwick lifestyle. Ainsley and Darius Darcy are the same age as Zuri and her older sister Janae, and they are definitely CUTE. But while Ainsley and Nae-Nae hit it off, Zuri is completely turned off by Darius’ moody, stuck-up vibe, and her feelings for him don’t grow fonder the more she gets to know them.
But boys aren’t the only thing tugging Zuri’s heart around – college is approaching and her apps for Howard University will be due. Other boys in the neighborhood are vying for her heart and attention. And as much as she doesn’t want to face it, the whole community of Bushwich is changing. Is it possible her heart can change too?
This is a spot on retelling of Pride and Prejudice. Its modern themes of gentrification, the complications of culture and class intersecting, and the prejudices of ones heart meld perfectly with the social themes of the original novel. I haven’t read the original book since I had it assigned in AP English – but it all came tumbling back through Zuri and Darius, Carrie and Charlize, and all their other counterparts. Plus, it was just a plain good story on its own merits. Zoboi makes Zuri a poet, and we get to enjoy her writing as she works out the conflicts of her mind and heart. I loved the translation of the Lydia/Wickham conflict!