Here Lies Bridget

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Overview

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 ...

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Here Lies Bridget

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Overview

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….

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Bridget Duke, father is a famous sportscaster, and Bridget herself is both entitled and deeply insecure. "is fame made me cool by association. I didn't need to be head cheerleader (which is good because I never could be).... I was a local princess." She disrespects her family and friends, especially her caring stepmother, and terrorizes her teachers and classmates. Bridget has crossed the line so many times that the next step is expulsion, which she barely dodges. When a new girl draws the attention of Bridget's ex (and the rest of the school), it's more than Bridget can take. In a rage, Bridget accidentally crashes her car and finds herself in limbo, with the five people she has hurt the most deciding her fate. The structure of Harbison's debut novel (which calls to mind A Christmas Carol, as Bridget is given the chance to see herself from the perspectives of others) results in some tedious repetition. But secondary characters are convincingly rounded, and the discoveries that Bridget makes along her path to redemption expose the true emotional impetus behind her behavior. Ages 13–18. (Feb.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780778304999
  • Publisher: Mira Books
  • Publication date: 6/28/2011

Meet the Author

Paige Harbison is twenty years old, and a sophomore in college majoring in Studio Art. She lives with her golden retriever Rigby, and is the daughter of New York Times Bestselling Author Beth Harbison.

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Read an Excerpt

Nothing interesting ever happens or begins on a Thursday.

Friday and Saturday are the weekend. Sunday is the end of the weekend, the last day of rest. Monday is the beginning of another week. Tuesday's a cool name. Wednesday is "hump day," an expression I loathe.

But Thursday is nothing. Everything that's going to happen during the week is over, and the weekend is coming but it's not there yet. Even that old rhyme about the day you were born just says Thursday's child has far to go.

What does that even mean?

When I woke up that day, I had no idea the day that lay before me was the beginning of the end. There was no strange weather event, the neighborhood dogs weren't howling, no meteors struck Earth.

Maybe if I could have read the shreds of cereal at the bottom of my bowl like tea leaves, I would have gone back to bed. Or just transferred to the local public school right then. Instead, I ate the stupid cereal, drank the crappy coffee my stepmother made (fair trade=bitter and thin in my book) and idly checked to make sure my phone was charged.

Same as every day.

Then, just like every day, I left the bowl by the sink and glanced at the clock on the stove. It read 7:05 a.m. I still had ten minutes before I had to leave for school. Just enough time to double-check my makeup and outfit. I'd started toward the stairs to my room when I heard my stepmother's high heels clopping into the kitchen.

"Hey, Bridget?"

I sighed audibly.

"What?" I had like a million things I'd rather do with my ten minutes than stand here waiting for her to stumble her way through yet another awkward conversation.

"Well…" She came into view at the bottom of the stairs. "I was just thinking that maybe…if you're not doing anything tonight, then maybe we could go see that new movie. The one you couldn't see with your friends because of your father's banquet the other night? Carriage?"

She shrugged her thin shoulders under the silk Michael Kors top I would have killed for. Sometimes I looked at her and thought she might be prettier than I was.

I hated that.

"I just figured with your father being out of town until next weekend, maybe we could have sort of a girls' night out." She gave me a tentative smile and waited for a response, and then after not getting one in reasonable time, kept talking. "I looked it up and it sounds pretty good, actually…"

"I have no idea what you're talking about, but I'm busy tonight."

I started up the stairs. I knew exactly which movie she was talking about, and I had been dying to see it. But going to the movies with your stepmother—how pathetic is that? She might as well have asked me to go to a midnight opening of Blue's Clues 3-D in full furry costume regalia.

"Oh, but you were so disappointed when you couldn't go the other night."

I stopped when she said that and bent toward her, talking to her as if she were the child and I was the evil stepmother. "That's because I didn't want to go to Dad's stupid dinner thing, that's all."

"Oh." She looked down at a piece of paper in her hand, which looked like it had the movie summary on it. I felt a small stab of guilt when I saw it.

She folded it in half and followed me as I walked up the stairs. I could feel her eyes on my back. "Well, maybe there's another movie you'd like to see, or we could do something else—"

I stopped and turned again, feeling disproportionately averse to the idea. "Okay, Meredith? I don't know how to make this obvious to you if you really don't get it yet. I don't want to do anything with you tonight. Mmkay?"

Her eyes widened and she looked like she was about to have another one of her crying fits. For God's sake, what was wrong with her? She cried all the time lately. She was, like, forty. Was that too young to go into menopause?

Whatever. I wasn't going to take responsibility for upsetting her. I'd walked away from arguments like this feeling guilty before. Walked away feeling like I must have really pushed the limit to make her cry. But then, later in the week, I'd see her sobbing over Sesame Street and realize it was not about me.

Though I did wonder why on earth she was alone in the living room watching Sesame Street.

I drove to my boring, stuffy, private high school, Winchester Preparatory, in my 2007 Toyota Corolla (my father gave me his old car instead of buying me a new one in one of his few-and-far-between fits of parenting) and parked in my usual spot. I was late, also as usual, though this time it was because of the conversation with Meredith. So it wasn't actually my fault. It never is.

Still, I guess I wasn't exactly running down the hall. And I did stop at the vending machines to get a Vitaminwater. After a moment or two of deliberation between flavors, I headed to class. To Tech Ed, where my teacher was as useless as the subject.

His name was Mr. Ezhno, and he was just simply not cut out for teaching. He was weak and spineless, and on top of that, entirely boring. He blathered on, teaching us things everyone in our day and age already knows. How to turn on a computer. How to open a blank document.

When we weren't doing that, we were doing things like building light switches. Which was stupid, in my opinion. Why should we have to figure it out when it's already been figured out? I seriously doubted that I'd ever be in a situation where someone was saying, "Quick, it's an emergency, put down those matches and build a light switch!"

It would have been almost impossible to pay attention to him even if anyone had tried.

Which, naturally, we didn't.

On days when we were behind the computers, we were either working on essays with useless topics or ignoring him to play games or browse the internet, while the more studious students did work for other (real) classes. Either way, none of us were doing what we were supposed to.

About halfway through the semester, he noticed that no one was paying attention to him, so he started making us turn off the computer screens when we weren't supposed to be doing something with them. All this did, however, was bore us into terrorizing him. We would raise our hands and ask deliberately stupid questions, and he would have to answer them, just in case one of them was for real.

Except, there was one day when Matt Churchill had asked, with a completely straight face, if there was really such thing as a "chick magnet." Mr. Ezhno had refused to answer, calling it a "ridiculous question."

But I'd seen the doubt flicker through his eyes as he wondered if Matt was serious.

As if the curriculum wasn't irritating enough, the class was first thing in the morning, making it positively impossible for me to ever get there on time. And once I did get there, I admittedly gave him kind of a hard time.

Every once in a while, a twinge of pity for the man stopped me in my tracks. Him, with his button-down shirts and pleated khakis, his office supplies, weekly boxes of new chalk and the stickers he put on papers with good grades (which, incidentally, I knew existed only from spotting them on other people's papers). He was the classic nerdy teacher. Seriously, if the makers of that movie Office Space had seen this guy, they would have given Milton and his stapler the boot and asked Mr. Ezhno to step in.

Often, however, I didn't stop. It usually started with me saying something double-sided that Mr. Ezhno couldn't respond to appropriately. He'd then send me to the main office, I'd get in-school suspension, my behavior wouldn't improve and then he'd have several parent-teacher meetings with Meredith.

I hated that.

She was not my parent, and my father never got involved in this stuff. Thank God.

Still, they would meet, get along and, as I imagined it, plot ways to make my life more frustrating. Luckily, the meetings had stopped somewhere along the way. At this point it was like he'd given up. Which worked for me. Honestly, I'd been about to ease up on him—I could tell I was pushing him too far, and the last thing I needed was to get in trouble. But that didn't seem to be an issue anymore.

So it was 7:40 on that Thursday morning when I waltzed into the classroom and crossed right in front of Mr. Ezhno, my shoulder grazing his grade book. I headed toward my seat next to Jillian Orman. I heard the boys in the back row talking about me, saying something sexist but still flattering.

But this time, as opposed to every other time, Mr. Ezhno stopped talking to the class.

His eyes fastened on me.

"Go on." I raised my eyebrows at him, like I was giving him permission, and then twisted open my Vitaminwater.

"Miss Duke, can you please go wait out in the hall for me?" He sounded tired.

"Already?" Snickers from the class, who appreciated my anticipation of getting in trouble—just not yet. "But Mr. Ezhno, I bought the flavor that's supposed to help me focus. I bought it just for your class, Mr. Ezhno." I raised my drink, tapping lightly on the label where it said Focus.

Most of the people in the class sniggered quietly, waiting for him to come up with something to say.

Instead he just pointed toward the door.

When I looked at him like I didn't know what he was talking about, he repeated, "Please go wait for me in the hall."

I sighed theatrically and walked out, making a face at his back as soon as I was past him. A ripple of muffled laughs ran through the class.

As I waited for him in the hall, I watched people passing by. Some were on the way to the bathroom, some were late for class and a few probably had first period as an office assistant. I didn't know all of their names, but they always seemed to know me. One girl quickened her pace as she drew closer to me, keeping her eyes directed at her feet. She glanced up, and the second our eyes locked, she looked away.

A moment later another girl walked by wearing a T-shirt from last year's student government election, the faded letters reading Duke for SGA President! The election from which I, sensing more support for my fellow candidates, had withdrawn my name, claiming that it was because I had too many other things to worry about.

The girl (Suzanne?) waved, indicated her T-shirt, pointed at me and smiled. I smiled superficially back and watched her go. My own face smiled at me from the back of the shirt.

Kinda weird to wear that sort of thing post-election.

Others who walked by either waved enthusiastically or did the same as the first girl and tried hard not to look at me. That was how it usually was in my life: People were either overly friendly (possibly obsessive) or painfully shy.

Here's why. My father was once a promising young superstar in the NFL until one fateful game where he blew out his knee. Being a good-looking favorite, he then rose to fame as a sportscaster. Every man knew him, every boy wanted to be him, every woman and girl stopped crossing the living room when he was on TV just to watch him finish his segment. Including me. Sometimes I saw him more often on my TV than sitting in front of it.

Anyway, his fame made me cool by association. I didn't need to be head cheerleader (which is good because I never could be), or SGA president (which is what I told myself when I dropped out of the race).

I was a local princess.

I had just looked down the hall to notice one of the few people who had never been fazed by my reputation talking animatedly to a girl I didn't recognize at all when Mr. Ezhno strode out of the classroom.

"Miss Duke." He closed the door behind him. "I know we've had this conversation many times before, but you still don't come in on time and honestly I don't know what more I can do."

I stopped listening. He was right; we had had this conversation so many times. He would prattle on about how it was not only disrespectful to him but also to my classmates, and so on, and then try to relate to me by telling me a story from his youth.

I shifted my focus back to the pair I'd been watching before Mr. Ezhno had come out. They were still there in front of the office, Liam talking enthusiastically to the girl I didn't recognize. She said something that was apparently just hilarious, and he laughed appreciatively.

My chest tightened, the way it always did when I saw Liam. It had been such a long time since he'd ended things, and yet it still broke my heart a little to see him talking to another girl. I strained to hear them, knowing that a hundred yards was definitely out of my earshot. And then I caught the tail end of something Mr. Ezhno was saying.

"…expulsion."

Wait, what?

I must have misheard. "Excuse me?"

He closed his eyes for a few seconds before responding.

"I said that your repeated insubordination and frequent tardiness haven't stopped, despite all of our discussions on the matter. I'm going to have to send you to the office, and frankly, after being late so many times—" he raised his hands for a second, in a movement I knew to mean What else can I do? "—the usual punishment is expulsion."

My dad would kill me. Kill me. This was the kind of thing that had led to him giving me an old car instead of a new one and suspending my credit cards. Every now and then he'd say something embarrassing on the air about how he thought the Giants were a shoo-in, back to you Rob, and he had to get home to his insubordinate daughter.

"Well, frankly, Mr. Ezhno…" I said his name like it was absurd, like he'd asked us to call him "Mr. Snugglekins" or something "…I think that the time we waste having our 'discussions on the matter—"' I put his words in sarcastic finger quotes "—is a lot more distracting to the class than when I'm late by, like, thirty seconds. I mean, what, do you think that they're studying in there?" I pointed a finger toward the classroom.

When he kept looking at me, I pursed my lips and nodded, like I was trying to convince him to buy something that looked great on him.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 21 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 1, 2011

    Fantastic Read!!

    Popularity is an interesting thing. In the world of high school, some girls are popular because they have money. Some girls are popular for sports. Others are popular for academics. And some, like Bridget Duke, are popular because others refuse to stand up against them. Bridget has always been one of the most popular, and one of the meanest, girls in her school. She throws the best parties, wears the best clothes, and seems to be at the top of her school's hierarchy.

    Then one day, Anna Judge comes to school. Anna's popularity comes from being purely nice to those around her. Bridget is threatened by the attention that Anna is getting, and her façade quickly begins to break down and the cracks begin to show. In a last effort to show everyone how wrong they are for pushing her to the side, Bridget intentionally wrecks her car, expecting to die and leaving everyone behind feeling guilty for not showing her the deference she feels she deserves.

    Instead, she wakes up in a boardroom with Anna and the friends and family she has so callously pushed aside in her effort to be at the top. Bridget must then step into each person's shoes to learn how her actions have impacted those around her.

    As I started reading Here Lies Bridget, I had flashbacks of reading Lauren Oliver's Before I Fall. Similar in content, both deal with self-centered teens who have each come to believe the world revolves around herself. However, Paige Harbison takes a slightly different approach. Instead of having the main character relive the day over and over and have her figure out how she has wronged those around her on her own, Bridget is given the opportunity to see how her self-serving actions have impacted those around her. She gets to see her actions through their eyes, showing her how her flippant comments and inconsiderate actions impact each of them.

    I do have to say that I liked this story, even with its similarities to Oliver's tale (which I also liked). Maybe it was because of them. Like Oliver, Harbison doesn't try to make Bridget likeable, because the reality is her actions are completely inexcusable. She has no consideration for others and is at times even cruel in her remarks and actions. However, even with the similar story line, there was enough difference to keep me from feeling like I was just reading a knock-off version of the same story.

    Harbison also takes a different path to the end of her novel. It is one that I prefer, truth be told.

    So, does Bridget change? Does she end her life the same way she lived it? Or does she see the error of her ways?

    Read it to find out. It is certainly worth it.

    This book was provided free of charge from the publisher as a review copy. A positive review was not required.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    real eye opener

    You never know how much you affect someones life until you take walk in their shoes. And after being in limbo, that is what exactly Bridget is forced to do. To see the lives of people she has affected. And she is not happy with what she sees. Bridget has always had everything. With a rich daddy, being popular, and having cool parties is what all that life is about, right? Bridget is forced to see through someone else's eyes just how mean she is. How her words cut through people, how the people she thinks are her friends, aren't. And the people she treated badly were her only friends.


    I was glad that Bridget got stuck in limbo to see herself in her own ways. She did nothing but use, abuse and treat people badly. This book in a sense was a real eye opener. Bridget has no idea what she was doing. In her own mind, what she did was okay. Bridget was given a second chance to make things right with the people she wronged. I was glad to see that she saw the error of her ways and made things right.


    At this point I rooted for Bridget. In the end, Bridget learn a valuable lesson. She changed her ways and was able to go free without any regrets. I loved the ending. It is perfect.


    Ms. Harbison wrote a fantastic book. It was filled with great life lessons and well as great entertainment. The book also made me realize why I love to read so much. Because with great characters, you get to walk in other persons shoes and see their life for a few pages. Reading has taught me to look at other POV's and not just my own. If you do that, if you give it a chance, you have one great reading adventure.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 10, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    If you enjoy first person it's awesome

    This book was really cute. It's really a perfect way to help - hopefully - people take a second look at them-self and see if maybe, just, maybe, they're not really who they think they are...

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  • Posted September 2, 2011

    Very good book

    This book is a very very good book i couldnt putbit down although it got a little tedious in the middle when shebwas stepping into the shoes of the people i still loved it :)

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  • Posted July 11, 2011

    Predictable

    Typical mean popular girl has a sudden change in character. Not worth the mooney. Do not buy.

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  • Posted March 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words can slice right through you!

    It seems a little ironic that Bridget has to be the most unlikeable character whom I have ever met in a book (yes, even Parker seems like a marshmallow), and yet I couldn't put down here lies Bridget for the life of me! I think it's similar to watching reality TV (not that I watch any at the moment) and unable to stop, even though the people might disgust you. So I'll forewarn you all, dear Readers, that you might want to brace yourself when you meet Bridget - she's not going to the nicest kid in town - in fact, you're about to meet her when she absolutely reaches the 9th circle of Hell and I wouldn't be surprised if she throws the Devil for a loop. How she managed to got away with her "spoiled princess" act for so long with both parents, classmates, friends, and teachers - I'll never understand! What redeems Bridget when she is Evil Incarnate in the beginning - and why I bothered to keep on reading - is that she has her moments of regret and confusion as to why she does the things she does. As if she realizes that she is evil and self-centered, but can't help herself from antagonizing everyone for fear of being seen as weak. While it's nice to know that Bridget has a little goodness inside her, her thoughtless words and selfish actions speak more volumes than her inner turmoil. The consequences of her actions reflected in the devastation on the faces of her friends, stepmom, teachers, etc. simply cannot be erased easily. Ms. Harbison has created such a conflicted character in Bridget and explored all the dynamic relationships in Bridget's life both before and after the car crash. here lies Bridget will definitely make you pause for thought on how your words and actions may affect other people and therefore tread carefully when you speak before thinking.

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  • Posted March 7, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Awesome book to make you think about your choices in life

    In the debut novel by Paige Harbison, you see the main character of Bridget Duke and you quickly see how she is both feared and hated in school. Bridget has a habit of being manipulative and gets herself out of situations and has no concern for the actions she takes. But her reign as queen beyotch of the school starts to take a turn after a new girl named Anna Judge comes to the school and upsets the order of things.
    And in a moment of chance Bridget crashed her car and she thinks of herself in purgatory, but Anna is there. And Anna is the one that leads her through an intervention that smacks of A Christmas Carol by Dickens. But instead of ghosts of Christmas, Bridget goes into the shoes of some of the people she has hurt by her mean actions, and gets to see first hand how awful she has been.
    And in true Dickens form, after seeing her faults, Bridget tries to make things better for some of her close friends and earns a do-over for her life.
    I liked how you got to see how individual characters reacted to Bridget's actions and you learn a few secrets that make the whole book really come full circle.
    Its a great book for anyone to read, but especially for people who have been in the sights of the mean girls and how things might be a little better someday.

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  • Posted February 11, 2011

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    Reviewed by Jaglvr for Teens Read Too

    Bridget Duke thinks she's the "It" girl at Winchester Preparatory. She believes that everyone wants to be her or know her or do anything for her that she asks. Little does she realize how far from the truth that is. When the new girl, Anna Judge, shows up, Bridget's life starts to unravel. Anna seems to slowly be worming her way into every facet of Bridget's life. Anna has become instantly popular, Bridget's evil stepmom finds her sweet, and the icing on the cake is that Bridget's ex-boyfriend, Liam, has taken Anna under his wing to show her around. No matter what Bridget tries to do, things just keep snowballing out of control. She tries to cheat off another student and gets caught. She goes to throw a party and Anna shows up, taking most of the credit. Her friend, Michelle, tells Bridget she can no longer be her friend. When she encounters graffiti in the bathroom saying "Bridget Duke is a loser and everyone knows it," it's the final straw. Bridget peals out of the parking lot in her car, only to find herself in some other place. Bridget has woken up in a boardroom. And to add insult to injury, none other than Anna is there. At this point, HERE LIES BRIDGET reminds the reader of A CHRISTMAS CAROL and the like. Bridget is faced with past examples of her behavior to those whom she considered friends and family. As the revelations come to Bridget, she must confront herself and decide what she wants to do about everything. I have to say I totally did not like Bridget. I guess Ms. Harbison did a great job with writing this story, because to me, there was nothing redeeming about Bridget at all. I found her ex-boyfriend, Liam, quite likeable, and surprisingly, the stepmom, Meredith, was a favorite of mine. When Bridget winds up in limbo, she really gets thrown to the wolves with all of the revelations that she becomes privy to. Some of the most amusing moments were when she realizes that the principal, whom she thought she was able to wrap around her finger, was quite onto her and knew everything she was up to. The cover artwork for HERE LIES BRIDGET is quite colorful and eye-catching. That alone should draw readers to it, but the story should keep them engrossed to the final pages, when Bridget's life is decided. Even though I didn't like Bridget, I believe that was part of the appeal of the story. I know I was actually rooting for her to get what she deserved the whole time - and the fun was in the journey to her final decision.

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  • Posted February 4, 2011

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    Unlikable main character, but still enjoyed.

    Bridget is not a nice girl. There's no way around it, she's just mean and shows no redeeming qualities. I didn't like her and, unlike other heroines in similar books, she didn't grow on me at all. I liked her time in limbo and how she had to come face to face with the consequences of her actions, but the ending was a little rushed for me and seemed too easy.

    It's a little strange to read a story where you don't particularly like the main character, but enjoy everything else about the book. I liked the idea of limbo and being judged. I also liked the secondary characters, even though stepmother Meredith and ex-boyfriend Liam were unbelievably understanding and kind to Bridget. Would have liked to have seen more of Michelle, one of Bridget's friends, and wish she had a larger part.

    Gave this one a 3/5 as I liked the story well enough, just not the main character. Also didn't care for the ending, which tied things up too neatly. Actually wished the book could have been longer so we could see more of Bridget's possible redemption and get a better feel for her motivations.

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  • Posted January 28, 2011

    Teen girl gets second look on life

    HERE LIES BRIDGET, by Paige Harbison, is a story about a girl who dies and is judged by those she has wronged during her short life. Reminiscent of A Christmas Carol's past/present/future ghosts but with a different and modern twist.

    Our MC, Bridget, was merciless with her peers and her family. An event in her past and absent father turned this once nice girl into a cold-hearted you know what. Harbison must have channeled 'mean girl' very well for this character. But that was only Bridget's outward appearance. Inside she still knew what her actions meant but she did not hint to caring what anyone else felt. Issues of bullying and self-destruction were prevalent. Harbison did a great job honing in on the teenage-psyche.

    My only problem was when Bridget relived her past actions through her peers who were judging her. Some of the scenes were repetitive from previous chapters. But on the flip side, it was interesting getting into the other person's head and feeling how much Bridget's words and actions hurt him/her.

    Overall, this was a pretty good book. For me it was a quick read and Harbison kept me interested until the very end.

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  • Posted January 22, 2011

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    A Quick, Enjoyable Read With A Good Message

    I wanted to love Here Lies Bridget, I really did. But it's a difficult book to love because Bridget, the MC, is an atrocious person. That's the whole point of the story. Bridget is selfish and self-centered. She treats everyone around her like crap, tearing them down to bring herself up. To her, life is great because she lives in a Bridget bubble - that is until the Bridget bubble pops and she's forced to acknowledge what a terrible person she is deal with the consequences in a life or death boardroom judgment.

    Bridget really reminds me of Regina George with a little Gretchen Weiner thrown in because she is the queen bee, but she is completely oblivious to how she treats other people, believing that her peers actually like and respect her. That's pretty much where the Mean Girls similarities end though. There are no foot creams on the face or shirts with the boobs cut out; just a disgustingly horrible teenage girl who slips down the social ladder and crashes her car.

    100 pages into the book and all the reader really knows is that Bridget is one mean girl. She treats her friends like crap, degrades her stepmom, and uses her power to hurt others. Once Bridget gets in the accident and wakes up in a boardroom full of her peers, things get much better.

    When Bridget is in this limbo state, she must literally step into the shoes of some of the people she has wronged and see her actions from their perspective. In doing this, Bridget realizes who she is and how people see her. I even felt sympathy for her, which is surprising considering I loathed her before she nearly died.

    Here Lies Bridget is a quick read with A Christmas Carol feel to it. Bridget starts off as such a horrible person, but gradually she grows and her attempt to atone for her mistakes doesn't leave her with the happy ending she wanted. The story is wrapped up nicely and the character growth/transformation is handled well. While not my favorite book, Here Lies Bridget has a good message behind it.

    Opening lines: I pressed down on the accelerator. It felt good to have power back in my life. ~ pg. 7

    Favorite lines: Everything was done. I couldn't take it back, couldn't change it. It was way too late to say the two words that could have saved me if I'd just meant them sooner.
    I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. ~ pg. 9

    *This is the e-ARC version and lines, pages, cover art may be subject to change before official publication

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  • Posted January 14, 2011

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    A must read for any teen or parent of teen

    What if you died, who would miss you, what kind of impact have you made on your own little word, well if you happen to be Bridget Duke you might want to forget you asked. Bridget has it all, or so she thinks until she finds out some really hard truths about herself
    Paige Harbison first time author, college student and 19 year old wunderkind has a great read on her hands with this novel. She hit's on all the issues that affect kids today, peer pressure, fitting in, wrong from right and who decides what's wrong and what's right. Her plot is funny, exasperating, sad and redeeming, it's a coming of age tale, but it's also so much more than that, it's Grimms and Aesop rolled into a comedic tragedy, it's all about life lessons and ownership in our own choices. It's a YA that people of all ages should read. All her characters are very well portrayed and realistic as in, if I read another duh or you know I might just scream, but the audience this is truly aimed at will love. Her protagonist Bridget is frustratingly authentic as the snobby, poor little motherless rich girl who controls her life by controlling (or trying to) the people around her.
    People of all ages will enjoy this novel, some for the mere entertainment value, some for the educational value. If you're a teen buy it for a friend, if you're a parent buy it for your teen. If you're neither or both buy it for yourself. It's just plain good writing and good reading. And Paige kudos to you and here's to a long and prosperous career.

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  • Posted January 14, 2011

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    Unbelievable

    I'm on the fence with this book because the premise is quite intriguing, but I feel like it didn't come across as smoothly as it should have. Hence my three-star rating. Let me explain. The main character, Bridget, is a spoiled, controlling b*tch. Normally I'm not one to throw words like that out there, but trust me when I say there are dirtier words I want to call her. I know it's to show how awful this girl truly is, but it felt like pulling teeth-I literally wanted to reach through my Nook and choke her. She's rude to all her friends, she treats her stepmother like she's the evil witch of the west, and shrugs it all off like she's so wonderful that her behavior is excusable. No-wait. That isn't right either, because it's as if she doesn't even think she's being mean. There is no excuse because what she's doing isn't wrong. Or mean. I guess what I'm trying to convey is that her meanness isn't believable. Let me give you an example . . .

    Bridget's father is a famous sports announcer and is away from home the majority of the time. Because of that, her stepmother has become, basically, her sole guardian. This woman is sweet, kind, and always pleasant to her-overly even. Many times through the book you see this woman's tender and endearing side shine. How Bridget treats her-this person who's been in her life since she was in elementary school and taken care of her-is, like I said before, unbelievable. How anyone can be that blatantly mean blows my mind. Especially to someone who's been there for you.

    I also don't understand how she can be so oblivious to everyone around her-emotionally I mean. I understand that her behavior was necessary so the author could get to the premise of the book: what happens when you are in limbo and everyone there wants you to go to hell? But did it really take 80% of the book to do that? No. Was it well written? Sure, absolutely. That's not the point. The reason I wanted to read this book was because of how it was projected to me through the summary. Instead, I'm busying reading this book through the point of view of a person I detest. Not someone who's having their actions shoveled back to them as they await the answer of Heaven or Hell.

    Now, here's where the book finally sunk its proverbial claws in. Bridget has to literally step into the shoes of those she has hurt and relive her snideness through them. It's an eye-opener, of course. How she didn't see it before this still blows my mind. This part of the book was my favorite. We get to see all these different points-of-view; this is where the book really picked. I was turning pages quicker at this point, even though most of the first part of the book, or scenes from it, are relived, it's always from the point-of-view of someone who isn't as annoying as Bridget (thank you very much). Then came the decision. Or judgment, if you will. This part I felt was rushed but I enjoyed it nonetheless. And there was even a nice little twist at the end! Overall, this book was enjoyable. Other reviewers haven't didn't endure the issues I did with this book, but I can only take so much inconceivable idiocy and obvious disregard for what's in front of a main character. That's just a preference of mine, I suppose.

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  • Posted January 13, 2011

    BookWhisperer Review: Here Lies Bridget

    Here Lies Bridget was an incredibly quick and awestruck read. Bridget is a hateful, snotty, and mean young girl. Without a particular reason for her horrible attitude; it is disgusting to see that attitude that this girl shoots at her friends, family, and peers. What for most of the book this our main character looks at as admiration; it down right pity and fear that she was turn on anyone brave enough to stand against her. When Bridget begins to see the wayward actions of herself it seems to become harder for her to hang on to what she perceives as normal. Then once she finds herself at rock bottom; one wrong decision has her in the teetering on the edge of heaven and hell. At the graces of the those judging her Bridget will learn things that she has been too occupied to notice, and will she be able to fix things before her time runs out. This story was captivating. I read on the GoodReads that is has 3.5 stars, and that is ridiculous. Bridget story is one that all readers will relate, and reflect on their own lives after reading. I was astounded by this child actions, and her ability to justify the meanness that she was so adamant on spilling on everyone she encountered. It was amazing to see where the story took her, and to follow this journey through the other characters shoes. I must say that little tidbit was a bit humorous to start, but very inventive. To see what others saw of this character and read the emotions that Bridget endures through the process was interesting to say the least. I recommend this book to young and old. It was well worth the time, and very enlightening.

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  • Posted January 6, 2011

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    Step into bridget's shoes

    Bridget Duke rules her school. If someone is cool, it's because of her. If someone is a loser, it's because Bridget thinks she is a loser. She has complete control over both the teachers and students. That is, until new girl Anna Judge shows up. Suddenly Anna is getting all of the attention, and Bridget doesn't like it one bit. But what lengths will Bridget go to in order to get her Queen Bee status back? And will she hurt the ones she cares about in order to do it?

    Though this book was rather cheesy at times, it was honestly enjoyable. It's one of those stories that will definitely keep the reader turning the pages to see what happens next, especially in the second half of the book. Bridget is a terrible, horrible, just awful person. The kind that makes me wonder how the author can stand to even write about someone this bad. But she is not unlike so many girls out there with their own issues and insecurities. The private school Bridget attends could be any high school in any city or town. And while Paige Harbison uses a not-so-subtle plot technique to teach Bridget a lesson, I enjoyed the ride nonetheless. A short and breezy read, but one that is sure to make readers think about their own actions.

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