By Kate Rorick and Rachel Kiley.
Previous book here.
The last plotline left open in the epic story of the Lizzie Bennet Diaries is this: what happened to Lydia after the camera stopped filming? Now you can find out.
It's the summer after Lizzie finishes filming and moves to San Francisco, and Lydia's finishing one last summer term at her unnamed community college. Her cousin/bestie Mary has moved in for the summer to get a job at a coffeehouse and otherwise kill time waiting for Lydia to finish her associate's degree. Darcy has pulled some strings and Lydia is presumably guaranteed admission to the vaguely-named "Central Bay College" in SF come fall. If she, y'know, finishes all the paperwork and passes her classes.
While the classes turn out to not be a huge problem, filling out a required essay on her biggest failure IS. Despite going to counseling, Lydia's still not up to talking about THAT subject...and next thing you know, she's missed the deadline and no more CBC for her. Ruh-roh. Whatever will she tell everyone? Lydia's a fuckup again....though Ricky Collins did offer her a sign spinning job in Canada. (I'd love to see how he'd finagle that with immigration since Canada will pretty much only let people with skills they don't have in Canada into the country.)
“I’m Lydia Bennet. I always look forward to tomorrow. Even when I didn’t have a plan for my future. Even when George left and I felt like the world was crashing down around me. Half of what got me through that time was knowing that tomorrow couldn’t suck any more than today.
But now...there’s nothing.
I have nothing to look foward to.
Lydia throws herself into partying, a little dating, and watching Mary's budding love affair with her coworker's band (note: there's a fun revelation about this at the end, hee). But after the truth comes out, Mary moves without Lydia to go work with Lizzie and...what else is there to do?
If you're Lydia, well, you remember how much fun it was to go visit Jane in LA, and you've got enough ad revenue to pay for a flight to NYC. This is where the "epic adventure" comes into this story, as Lydia makes some new, fun, cool friends, investigates another college to apply at, and Bing takes her to his social work job to see how she likes that sort of thing. All of this starts to give Lydia some hope...if she can just deal with that failure essay question at New Amsterdam University too.
When Lydia finally gets to that essay...it's handled in a thoughtful way. I couldn't help but think that writing about one's Internet sex scandal would be really hard in a college essay, but Lydia manages to keep it vague yet make her points at the same time.
In the end, you're pretty sure Lydia's going to end up all right.
“Everything’s been a total whirlwind in my life, why not have a crazy finale to it all?
But that’s how it is when you’re Lydia Bennet. For better or for worse, just about everything winds up being some kind of adventure. and when all is said and done, I don’t think I’d have it any other way.”
Four stars. This is a great, touching, beautiful wrapup to the series.