Here Lies Bridget by Paige Harbison
|Here Lies Bridget by Paige Harbison|
|Reviewer: Robert James|
|Summary: Entertaining teenage novel with strong similarities to A Christmas Carol in its tale of an obnoxious girl being shown the error of her ways. An impressive debut for Paige Harbison.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 464||Date: June 2011|
|Publisher: Mira Ink|
|External links: Author's website|
Bridget Duke, daughter of a famous celebrity, is the undisputed queen of her school. Popular, wanted by the boys and feared or adored by the girls, she barely even notices the trail of destruction she leaves behind her as friends, teachers and even her stepmother end up being hurt by her actions. So when Bridget is in a car accident, and ends up in limbo, she's sent into the shoes of those she's wronged to see the effect she's had on them. Can she redeem herself?
Bridget is a horrific but entertaining character who, as expected from the preview of the book, is taken aback when she sees her behaviour through the eyes of the other people. The second half of the book, especially, is an enjoyable, fast-paced and light read, if seriously on the mawkish side for much of the time. The first half of the book, as we're taken back to the events which led up to the car accident and which saw Bridget upset so many people, could probably have been shorter - it takes us nearly half of the book to end up in limbo, perhaps too long. Conversely, Bridget's journey to forgiveness seemed to be happening at warp speed, as she renounced her wicked former ways incredibly quickly and I'd like the second part of the book to have more depth to it. That's a fairly small criticism, though - this is well worth reading and Harbison's characterisation is good considering this is her first book. I thought the main adults in the story, her teacher and her stepmother, were significantly more realistically portrayed than many adults in teen fiction today, so a big thumbs up there!
The overall tone of the book is very much that of a teen version of A Christmas Carol and it's got a strong moral message which makes it one I hope a lot of teens will read. Particularly those who take after the title character, anything that gets girls like her to think about the consequences of their actions must be worth picking up!
My thanks to the publishers for sending it to Bookbag.
For a similar tale which has been widely hailed as a superb debut novel, check out Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver.
You can read more book reviews or buy Here Lies Bridget by Paige Harbison at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Here Lies Bridget by Paige Harbison at Amazon.com.
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