Review: Pride by Ibi Zoboi

Pride by Ibi Zoboi
Genre: YA Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Romance, Retelling
Publication: September 18th 2018 by Balzer + Bray
Series: None. Standalone.
Length: 304 pages
Format: ARC from Publisher
Rating: ★★★★.5

Amazon || Book Depository

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.

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Huge thanks to my friends from HarperCollins International for sending me a review copy of this title in exchange for an honest review. This did not, in any way, affect my overall opinion of the book and/or the story.

When my friends from HarperCollins sent me a package of their exciting Fall 2018 galleys last June, I instantly fell in love with the cover of Ibi Zoboi’s upcoming sophomore novel, Pride. At that point, all I knew about it is that it’s a contemporary, modern day retelling of the beloved classic, Pride and Prejudice. I’ve never been fond of classics but I am a big fan of retellings so I knew that this book was going to be interesting. Read on to know my thoughts on this exciting novel.

Solid Cast of Diverse Characters

One of the best things about this novel is the Benitez family and their amazing family dynamics. From page one, I was made aware of the love that each and every one of them had for one another and this no doubt warmed my heart. I’m a huge sucker for stories that feature well-bonded families, whether they be big ones or not, and to see just how well this book did in that department surely impressed me. I love how the Benitez sisters were so very distinct from one another, and their characterization was perfect, at least in my opinion. All of them had something unique to offer to the family standard, and I just have nothing but love to give to these characters for that.

Hate to Love Trope at it’s Finest

The above trope is one of my favorites, next to the best friends to lovers one, and Zuri and Darius’ story was one hell of an entertaining and romantic ride. From the very first moment that they met, down to the very last scene of their story, I love how their undeniable chemistry made their banter so sweet and sometimes sexy, serving readers a love story unlike any other. It’s not excessive in terms of the swoon-y aspects, but neither is it bland. It’s just the right balance that’s perfect for those who love contemporaries that are equal parts astonishing and romantic.

Intricately Skillful Writing Style + Amazingly Gripping Storyline

I mostly enjoy reading stories that are beautifully written and when partnered with a plot that’s very detailed and well thought of, I almost always find myself so utterly impressed. And that’s the case for Ibi Zoboi’s newest book. Zuri’s story of acceptance, in the midst of modern-day gentrification, to me, was engaging, and very much interactive, seeing that I had a fairly easy time accustoming myself to her and her family. The author’s way of telling this reimagining is vibrant and very much enjoyable, and I just know that a lot of readers, whether they be fans of the original classic or not, will enjoy this too.

“Your Home Is Wherever Your Loved Ones Are”

And lastly, the whole idea of looking back from where you came from, absolutely tugged on my heartstrings. I love how proud Zuri was of her roots, and the place that she called home. She always had Bushwick’s back whenever someone had the guts to talk shit about it and she always dreamed of giving back to the community that accepted her and her family, and their lifestyle. I know how it feels to fall so madly in love with a place, it is sometimes hard to remember that home is not a place. It’s the people who makes it feel like home that makes it what it is. And I’m glad that up to the very end, Zuri took pride in where she came from.

“Pride is most definitely not just your average, YA retelling. It’s a strong, well-written novel that will tickle the interest of those who are highly invested in the classic tale by Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice. It’s a timely work of art that puts a spotlight on the importance of having dreams and aspirations, a tight-knit family who can help you achieve them, a well-rounded love for the place that you came from, and the bonds that are formed and the lengths that one can go to when this love is challenged. Easily a 5-star read. ” 

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Have YOU read Pride yet? If not, be sure to grab a copy from your local book store and start reading it! And once you do, let me know what you think of it down below in the comments section!

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Arctic Books general graphics JMJM is a 21 year old blogger from Manila. He has a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management mainly because it was too late when he discovered that literature and publishing is his true calling. He enjoys reading contemporary and fantasy novels as much as he enjoys playing video games and baking pastries. You may find him on his book blog, Book Freak Revelations, also on TwitterInstagram, & Goodreads.

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