Review: Here Lies Bridget
Bridget is a mean girl who rules her school. She disrespects her step-mother and her teachers, and treats her friends more like minions than buddies. Bridget ruthlessly lies and cheats, and everybody knows it. Though she’s got popularity and partying down, that might not be enough. This is especially true when a new girl shows up–a new girl who is thoughtful and considerate. Anna wins people over with her charm rather than ruling with an iron fist. If Bridget isn’t careful, she just might lose her friends and the boy she wants back.
As Bridget loses her controlling grip on life, she makes a deadly mistake. Bridget crashes her car and enters a sort of limbo where she must confront all the people she has wronged, and she is literally forced to walk in their shoes. If she can right her wrongs, Bridget might get another chance at life, but if she can’t change her evil ways by midnight then she might be on a one way trip six feet under.
The premise of Paige Harbison’s Here Lies Bridget is likely to appeal to fans of Lauren Oliver’s Before I Fall. Unfortunately, I didn’t find this book nearly as well written or thought-provoking. This mini version of the mean-girl-confronts-death story lacks the depth and maturity of Oliver’s considerably more extensive text. I had trouble rooting for Bridget as a MC. She was a little too nasty for me, and I never developed any kind of attachment. Her attempt at making amends came and went too fast for me to get invested, and I couldn’t help but wonder if you could truly make up for treating people so poorly in just a few hours with some quick apologies.
Beyond that, I found Bridget’s experience “walking in another person’s shoes” too repetitive. I appreciated the literal take on the idea of seeing things from another person’s perspective, but much of the time Bridget really does just reiterate things we’ve already read, with a few extra lines about how the person felt at the time. Given that this text is already so short, the amount of storyline that was repeated felt like overkill. This section of the book could have used more development.
Here Lies Bridget won’t take you long to read if you choose to give it a chance, but it is its brevity that was its greatest downfall. There wasn’t enough for me to grab onto, and I found the book disappointing.