Here Lies Bridget
January 18, 2011
Here Lies Bridget is another one of those rare books that gives you permission to dislike the main character. Not only does it give you permission, Bridget and Bridget herself give you multiple reasons to more or less hate her. Whether it's her stepmother who takes care of her while her father's almost constantly away with work, her teacher Mr Ezhno, random kids at school or even her friends, no one escapes Bridget's harsh tongue.
The meanest of the mean girls, Bridget is the ruler of her school, but things start changing when the new girl Anna Judge arrives. With everything falling apart around her (through a series of events that are revealed throughout the book), we're introduced to Bridget as she's about to crash her speeding car. on, what seems to be, purpose. The reader is then taken back in time (just a little bit!) to meet Bridget and see how she got to the point of wanting to crash her car. Eventually, we meet up with accident and it's then that Bridget is in a sort of limbo and finds out that the five people she meets there, aren't exactly wishing her well.
Like the book summary/website says: "What do you do when the five people you meet in limbo all want you to go to hell?"
With the chance to walk in each of those five person's shoes and see just how she affected them, Bridget might not save her life, but she might just be able to set some things right.
Here Lies Bridget had a really interesting premise that definitely drew me to the book, but it never all really came together for me. I loved the idea of a book with such an unlikeable main character that admits you're not going to like that character and revolves around that. Only, I never really found Bridget to be sympathetic so I continued disliking her even when I don't think I was supposed to.
Maybe if Bridget's meeting everyone in limbo and seeing their perspectives' had been a larger part of the book, I would have liked things better. As it was, the beginning, with Bridget being the mean girl that led up to the car crash and her in limbo took up more of the book than I would have liked.
Bridget was also a lot more self aware than I thought made sense. She made observations about things in her past and how they made her act one way or another that I wasn't sure someone with either her age or her demeanor would be able to make. At least not without a lot of therapy. And then, if she could see all of that, I can't see her acting like she did.
Overall, the book just didn't connect for me, but because the plot really was a creative one, I will check out the plot of Paige Harbison's next book.
(read thanks to the NetGalley & the publisher)