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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Review: Here Lies Bridget by Paige Harbison

Ever wonder what goes on inside the mind of a mean girl? The Queen Bee who's out to prove and show to everyone who's on top? Well look no further away, Paige Harbison's debut novel takes us into a journey through high school, and the life of Bridget Duke.

Title: Here Lies Bridget by Paige Harbison
Pages: 315
Release Date: June 17th 2011
Published by: Mira Ink
Source: Publicist (Thanks, Christabel!)
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository

Summary (from Goodreads):

What do you do when the five people you meet in limbo all want you to go to hell?

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...

Bridget is a girl familiar to all of us. The one who's popular, beautiful and breezes through high school with students as her lowly subjects, the teachers unnecessary nuances to her reign, and whose parents aren't there often enough to pay attention to whatever she does. But this resident mean girl didn't become evil overnight, and that's what the readers get to see in this wonderful debut for Paige Harbison.

Readers will loathe Bridget right at the start. I did. She's a selfish, stuck-up, spoiled brat with no manners, conceited, and downright mean. A headache to her friends, her classmate, her teacher, her stepmother, and even the guy she once liked. When they grow distant because of the lies she tells to get out of trouble and a new girl in school threatens to "dethrone" her, Bridget decides to do a ridiculous stunt to get their attention. As she ends up "dying", she was forced to relive the lives of the five people she had wronged. These five people hold her life in their hands, and they weren't exactly in good terms with her. What's keeping them from wishing her dead?

Here Lies Bridget is definitely a breather from the usual mean girl story. We get to see the story told from two perspectives, the mean girl and everyone else. There's always a story behind a person and why he/she turned out that way, and we get to know why Bridget became what she was. But it was not an excuse for whatever she had done. She had to make up for it and do it fast.

Despite being mean and irritating, I liked her as a main lead. Admitting you're wrong and trying to make things right made me like Bridget despite being horrible initially. I liked how Bridget realized how much she was destroying herself and she knew she had to do something about it. Maybe she wasn't mean, after all?

The romance, though not the main focus of the story, was wonderful. The real Bridget was nice, a girl Liam once loved. How often do you see a guy just being there, waiting for you to wake up and realize you were wrong and still be willing to stay with you? Liam's devotion and belief that Bridget will be back to who she really is was touching. When friends desert her, he was still there.

Here Lies Bridget is a story of a girl given the dose of her own medicine, where Bridget was given a wake-up call in the biggest possible way, seeing whether she'll live or die. Paige's debut novel is a novel you'd want to love and hate at the same time, throw away and just be done with but can't help savor each moment reading. It's about getting second chances both in life and love, being true to yourself, getting over insecurities, giving respect and loving your family.

What makes Here Lies Bridget such an entertaining read was how easy the readers can relate to the characters. Readers will have no problem connecting to the story with Paige's youthful, and easygoing writing. The talent for writing must run in the family as Paige has crafted a great story at a young age. I look forward to reading more of her works in the future!

Content (plot, story flow, characters):
 Great debut for such a young writer!

Shining: Worthy of a Goddess' Love!

Book Cover:

I have to admit, the toe tag looks cute.


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