Bridget Duke is the undisputed queen of Winchester Preparatory School. The only daughter of a famous sports presenter, Bridget is beautiful and popular, and everybody at Winchester Prep loves her. Or so she thinks. At best, people are afraid of Bridget, very afraid. In reality, she is an unrelenting bully who is ruthless with the people she deems to be "wannabes", but most hurtful to those with whom she is closest.
As Bridget's friends and family begin to wise up to her antics and her crown begins to slide, Bridget feels the pressure and storms out of school one afternoon. As she ponders how people would react to her death, she drives up an embankment and into some trees. Now Bridget is trapped somewhere between life and death and is made to see through the eyes of those she hurt the most.
Bridget is the protagonist of debut author Paige Harbison's Here Lies Bridget. Written when Paige was just nineteen, this is a witty and entertaining novel that will appeal to fans of Gossip Girl and 90210. It is an easy read and I certainly found it difficult to put down at times.
Here Lies Bridget opens as Bridget is in the car, hurtling towards the accident and the first half of the novel deals with the events that lead up to that day. Many of the events in Bridget's childhood are also mentioned, including the death of her mother, the subsequent arrival of her step-mother, and her relationship with her boyfriend and best friend.
Knowing that we were heading towards the accident and some sort of reckoning, I wondered what more the author could add that would keep readers intrigued in the second half of the story. I am pleased to say that as the story was relayed through the eyes of five of the people most affected by Bridget, it was fresh and intriguing and indeed, a completely new perspective on the havoc Bridget had been wreaking.
My favourite part of the story (and the biggest surprise) was seeing ex-boyfriend Liam's perspective of the events leading up to their breakup and his analysis of Bridget. I appreciated the insight that the book provided into the thoughts and motivations of Bridget, a deeply insecure yet somehow popular bully. I felt that the book was wrapped up a little too neatly in the end but overall it was an enjoyable read.
Paige Harbison has employed an interesting literary technique of re-telling the story through a set of flashbacks and it could have easily gone wrong but in fact, the whole book was really well written. There were several times when I thought “this would make an excellent script” which is just as well because 21-year-old Paige has already signed a deal to make the book into a film.
I'd give Here Lies Bridget four out of five stars and will certainly be looking forward to Paige Harbison's next novel.
Here Lies Bridget by Paige Harbison, published by Mira Ink £6.99 www.miraink.co.uk.
Article first published as Book Review: Here Lies Bridget by Paige Harbison on Blogcritics.
A copy of this book was provided to me for the purposes of this review and all opinions contain herein are my own. This review contains affiliate links.