Title: Here Lies Bridget
Author: Paige Harbison
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: Paperback; 224
Release Date: January 18, 2011
Intended Reading Group:
4 Keys to My Heart
Bridget Duke is the uncontested ruler of her school. The meanest girl with the biggest secret insecurities. And when new girl Anna Judge arrives, things start to fall apart for Bridget: friends don't worship as attentively, teachers don't fall for her wide-eyed "who me?" look, expulsion looms ahead and the one boy she's always loved—Liam Ward—can barely even look at her anymore.
When a desperate Bridget drives too fast and crashes her car, she ends up in limbo, facing everyone she's wronged and walking a few uncomfortable miles in their shoes. Now she has only one chance to make a last impression. Though she might end up dead, she has one last shot at redemption and the chance to right the wrongs she's inflicted on the people who mean the most to her.
And Bridget's about to learn that, sometimes, saying you're sorry just isn't enough….
I'm still slightly reeling from the bevy of emotions that this book made me go through. I only hope that this review turns out to be coherent enough for you to read. If for some reason it's not, let me start out with saying this: Bridget is NOT easy to love. Let's put it this way...Bridget is....well I'd love to use a choice expletive here, but I have young readers so, yeah. Bridget is a witch. Let's just start out with that.
When I first opened the pages of Here Lies Bridget I couldn't get over how perfectly Paige Harbison has crafted the ultimate "mean girl". See Bridget isn't just mean, she isn't just conniving, she's the popular girl who needs to be popular no matter what the consequences for others. I don't use this word often, but I literally hated her from page one. The things that she does and says in this story are just so downright evil that I wondered how one person could have so much anger pent up inside of them. Then, I read on.
As I read I saw a whole other side of this character. Although a mean girl on the surface, and trust me she's good at it, there is a lot beneath that as well. Paige Harbison has created a character that has so much depth, it's hard to explain. Without giving anything away I can tell you that Bridget's past has some skeletons in the closet, and that her father just doesn't know how to have a girl. Her stepmother does her best, but really who can replace a girl's real mother? Especially when there are such fond memories at the surface of her mind?
Here Lies Bridget is the perfect example of the "bad girl" who doesn't finish first. If you're wondering what I mean, you'll have to read the book. This plot is so perfectly written that it will suck you in and not let go. First you will despise Bridget, then you learn about her life and her insecurities, and then....oh and then....the ending. The ending took my breath away. I haven't sobbed this hard during the ending of a book in a long time. It fits the story fantastically, and I couldn't stop thinking about this book even after I put it down to move on to something else.
I'd love to say more. I'd love to tell you about sweet Liam, awkward Michelle and all the other characters, but I really think this is a book you need to go into without any spoilers. Truth be told I didn't even read the synopsis before I opened this book and I'm glad I didn't. The less you know before you start Bridget's journey with her, the more you'll really feel every aspect of it. Please don't be put off by her attitude, I promise you that Paige Harbison is only crafting that mean girl to show you how much people can learn about themselves. You'll fall in love.
FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.