Title: Here Lies Bridget
Author: Paige Harbison
Published by: Harlequin Teen
From Goodreads: 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 wasn't sure what this novel was about when I started to read it and the first couple of chapters shocked me. What a hateful, bullying, self-concerned, spoiled brat. Bridget is the girl everyone loves to hate (and probably will). She is the queen bee at school and at home and gets what she wants, when she wants it. She is never told 'No' and always gets her way.
The first half of the novel is all about Bridget and this series of lies and deceit she tangles herself in. Bridget is a truly horrible person that I found myself loathing throughout the novel, even during the second half where she sees her wrongs and tries to fix things. I couldn't get over her bullying and that she never realized how her actions affected others.
As much as I didn't like Bridget, I did like the story. Usually if I don't like the main character I have a hard time liking the story, but not this time. I felt like this was kind of a reality check that this really does happen in the real world. There are people everyday who get bullied and harassed and my heart goes out to them. This novel gave me a little more insight to their pain. I love they way that the author doesn't sugar-coat Bridget's awfulness. Paige Harbison wrote Bridget to be very direct and in your face. I feel she wanted us to see the reality of bullying and not the watered down version. The writing pulled me in and I felt every emotion fluttering inside me; hate towards Bridget, compassion towards the people she hurt, and pain from the damage she caused.
I think the message the author is sending out is a very powerful one...your actions and what you say affect others. We all know this, but how often do we really think about it? It kind of made me look at my life and wonder how many times I hurt people with my words and actions. I hope not often and at least a tons less than Bridget. This was an emotionally hard read for me, but a good one. I would recommend this to anyone who like young adult contemporary fiction.
Overall I give this ★★★
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this novel from the Harlequin Teen and NetGalley for my honest review with no compensation. This in no way affected my opinion or review of this book.