Bingo Square: Remix
This is an update/remix of Pride and Prejudice. Set in present day Brooklyn, its focus this time is the Benitez sisters, and is narrated by second child, Zuri. She is strong-willed and loves her family fiercely, especially her older sister, Janae, who is coming home from university for the summer. But a new family has moved in across the street and they take Janae’s attention – especially older brother Ainsley. But it’s Darius, the seemingly judgemental and arrogant younger brother who gets under Zuri’s skin, though not in a good way.
I didn’t finish this one, but I want to stress it’s not because I don’t think it’s good or worth a read. I think it’s not for me. And maybe even just not for me right now, but if I read it at another time I might have really enjoyed it. I’m not an Austen purest, and I’ve enjoyed other retellings, but with this one the original version was definitely getting in my way. Any time a character appeared I was thinking of Austen’s counterpart, or when a situation happened I’d think of the scene in her book. I couldn’t get out of the way of it. I had similar issues with Margaret Atwood’s Testaments and the tv series, and I’m not sure why this is happening now. I’ve read many books that have been turned into tv or movie adaptations and been just fine. I hope it’s not because I’m getting old and set in my ways…
Anyway, the writing here is very good and you really get a sense of Zuri’s family and neighbourhood and how much both mean to her. I found her hard to like in the beginning and imagine we see more warmth from her towards the end. I also didn’t feel any kind of romantic tension from her and Darius which might have kept me going a bit longer. I can’t imagine either of them lowering their barriers for the other, but that must be how it goes. I might try and revisit this at another time.