Here Lies Bridget

Here Lies Bridget

by Paige Harbison

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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….

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781426884481
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication date: 02/01/2011
Sold by: HARLEQUIN
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 304
File size: 435 KB
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About 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.

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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Here Lies Bridget 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 43 reviews.
irishbookworm21 More than 1 year ago
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.
BooksWithBite More than 1 year ago
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.
pacey1927 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The story was such a quick little read that I made it through the entire thing in one evening so obviously the story held my interest throughout. Bridget was just such a NASTY person that I really didn't connect with her and I suppose thats the point. The beginning part of the story details a past and present history of how Bridget Duke singlehandly manipulates and hurts the people she comes in close contact with. Brief hints of her background give us insights into what has made Bridget the way she is. When she gets into a self inflicted car accident, she wakes up to a weird world where she has to literally step into the bodies of those she has hurt and see (mostly) the same scenes of her abuse from the victim's point of view. Unfortunately these scenes are supposed to make us feel the pain that these characters went through at Bridget's hand but ultimately they were somewhat boring to read as they were mostly line by line the same scenes I had read earlier. Plus, I felt their pain and humiliation originally and didn't need "Bridge" to see it just for me to understand the gravity of what she was doing. The third part was more interesting again as Bridget is given a chance to go back and try to make amends with her friends and family. Unfortunately this part of the book was far too short and things wrapped up quickly. To conclude, I found the book to be interesting and easy to read but uncomfortable in several places, which I am sure it should be. Even though Bridget had some things happen in her past that were were supposed to feel sorry for her about, I personally didn't think they were severe enough to even begin to explain why Bridget was a nasty beast. I think this book would best be used as I mentioned before, by middle schoolers. There is a lot of discussion about casual drinking at parties but there was no sex or sexual situations and the language was pretty mild.
sgcallaway1994 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Summary:As Bridget Duke drives recklessly home after a miserable day at school, she imagines what it might be like if she were dead. Pressing her foot down harder on the gas pedal, picking up speed, she wonders would anyone even miss her? Who would show up to her funeral, what would be whispered at her graveside? It doesn't take her very long to realize, it may not be pretty, since Bridget Duke has not been a very nice person, lately - she's been mean, cruel and downright detestable. In fact, she's not quite sure she even likes herself or the direction her life is going in. She quickly realizes death, at this point in time, is not at all what she desires, but this daunting revelation takes place just moments too late. Her car is careening off the side of a steep embankment, heading towards a huge tree and it then hits her like a ton of bricks, her earlier death wish may just be materializing right before her very eyes. Ramblings:BACKGROUNDHere Lies Bridget is the debut novel for aspiring author Paige Harbison who just happens to be the twenty year old daughter of New York Times Best Selling Author Beth Harbison. Writing great books is undoubtedly embedded in her genetic code, so no surprises here that Here Lies Bridget is not only a fantastic read, but also has had the screen rights purchased, so it may be a movie sometime soon.SETTING/PACE/WRITING STYLEThe story primarily takes place in an affluent private high school. Starting off immediately at a race pace and never really slowing down until it ends, Here Lies Bridget is a surprisingly fast read. Harbison's choice of writing in first person works extremely well, giving the reader the much needed insight into Bridget's self doubts and insecurities. Some readers may find fault in the fast paced fashion the author chooses to wrap up this book. She really does sprint through the ending. However, the key piece for making this book work is getting the reader to buy into the fact that Bridget wasn't always mean! (She really doesn't like the direction her life is heading in, either.) She's just not sure how to get off this crazy ride. Without out this buy in, lets face it, Bridget's character will be absolutely detestable without any chance of redemption and the story would have been a colossal flop.CHARACTERS & PLOTBridget Duke, the main character in this book, is a cruel, spoiled, self preservationist who always thinks of herself first. If you looked up "bitch" in the dictionary, you'd definitely see her picture on the page. Harbison must be given a great deal of credit creating a main character who is so easy to hate! The book begins in the present, with Bridget's car accident and then goes back in time to the events leading up to the crash. It follows along a similar plot line to Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. After the accident, Bridget wakes to find herself in a boardroom at the mercy of a select panel of so called friends and enemies as they decide if she is worthy of life or death. She literally is allowed to step in the shoes of each member of the panel and see how her previous actions and words impacted each ones lives, usually in a very negative way. In lieu of her terrible past, will she be able to somehow persuade the panel she really can change or is it already too late for this spoiled rotten mean girl?Recommendation:I totally loved this book! From the moment I opened it up and read the first page I was hooked. I seriously couldn't put it down until I finished reading the last page. (Its been a long time since I've read a book like that.) I strongly recommend this book to all girls (sorry - don't see how boys would be interested in this one) ages 12 years old and older. Littered with real life examples showing teens how what is said to others (jokingly or not) can have a huge impact on lives and happiness shouldn't be measured by how many "friends" one has, written in a non-threatening, unpreachy way teenagers will gobble it up. Note to parents: Som
titania86 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Bridget Duke is a rude, inconsiderate girl who doesn't take responsibility for anything she does. All the people around her are negatively affected in various ways just by being around her and her penchant for foisting blame on the most convenient person. Everyone has their own breaking point and one day, all the major people in Bridget's life decide that they've had enough. Because of her loneliness, she gets in her car and speeds into an accident, landing her in limbo. A trial is in session to see if she deserves to go on living her life or if her transgressions prove that she is beyond redemption. Can Bridget turn her life around if given the opportunity? This was a quick teen read and mostly enjoyable. However, I found it a bit too pedantic and too much of a super obvious, modern morality play. I get that it's bad to be mean to your loved ones and I don't need to be hit over the head with the message. The ending was a little too conveniently wrapped up, making it a little unbelievable to me. The characters were this novels' saving grace. Each person's individual story was fleshed out and interesting. They were the reason why I kept reading to the end. I wasn't wowed by this book, but I wasn't completely bored either. If you want a more nuanced and funny version of this tale, I would recommend the film Mean Girls.
Bookworm_Lisa on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Bridget is a witch. She lives to promote her own agenda and make everyone else's life miserable. She is self centered and could care less what anyone else thinks or feels.Things begin to change for her when a new girl comes to the school. Everyone loves Anna and she pulls the attention away from Bridget. Bridget goes to extreme measures to regain her popularity and destroys a few lives in the process. She has an accident and is forced to examine her life and impact upon others. Try to make right her many wrongs.I admit to loving to hate Bridget. I am glad that I never had a friend like her. This book is a reminder to me to take a look around me and see what I am doing in my relationships to others. Bridget realizes that she isn't nice, but doesn't understand how her actions are affecting her friends and acquaintances.I had a few concerns about a couple of the words used in describing her, she finds them on the bathroom wall. They really made me cringe. I guess that was used to describe what kind a person she is in the book.Good message on changing yourself and forgiveness.I received a copy to review from Netgalley with the permission of Harlequin Teen.
sithereandread on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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.
ReadingWithMartinis on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Synopsis: Bridget Duke is the ¿It¿ girl of her school. She¿s the most popular girl, she throws the best parties, and she decides whether you are in or out. The school is Bridget¿s to rule, and she rules it with an iron fist. The only thing outside her control, it would seem, is her former boyfriend, who broke her heart.When a new girl shows up at Bridget¿s school, things seem to take a turn for the worse for Bridget. She feels her control over her friends slipping. When Bridget is tossed aside for the new girl, she doesn¿t know how to cope and Bridget resorts to a drastic action that brings her face-to-face with her own behavior in a most unexpected way.Review: This book really took me by surprise. I didn¿t honestly know what it was about when I started reading it. Bridget Duke is a straight up bully. She doesn¿t stuff kids into lockers, steal their lunch money, or do physical violence, but she is a bully nonetheless. Bridget¿s bully weapon is popularity. Though she doesn¿t truly realize it, people are her ¿friends¿ out of fear: Fear that she will ruin them socially.Bridget has progressed so far down the path of being a bully that she isn¿t aware of how her actions, verbal or physical, affect the people around her. Her boyfriend breaks up with her because he cannot handle her destructive behavior, one of her closest friends is struggling with a weight issue that Bridget exacerbates, and Bridget¿s step-mother wants only to be the best mother she can to Bridget, but Bridget refuses to allow her to be anything other than Bridget¿s verbal punching bag.Bridget finally gets to really see what she has done to the people in her life, though. I thought the way Harbison handles this aspect of the novel was brilliant in an Dickensian sort of way. Experience is generally the best teacher, and Bridget gets to experience exactly what she has inflicted on others.My only problem with this novel was that I thought the ending of the novel wrapped everything up a little too neatly. I felt that there should have been more repercussions for Bridget. Bridget wreaked havoc on those around her, so for her story to be all tidy at the end of the book just didn¿t work for me.Overall, I enjoyed this book immensely. I was touched by the story. I enjoyed the author¿s writing style and voice. I would definitely recommend this novel.
resugo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I had a hard time with this book in the beginning, for two reasons. The first reason is because we begin the story with the car crash, then rewind a few weeks and get the rundown of what had happened before Bridget hits a tree. It isn't until at least half way through that we're back to the crash again. It took longer to get to this point in the story than I was expecting, so the beginning seemed rather long to me though it probably wasn't. I liked it, it just wasn't what I was expecting. Second, Bridget isn't a very likable character. She understands that she isn't as nice as she could be, but she's so wrapped up in herself she doesn't do anything about it. I didn't get why anyone would want to be her friend even if she was the most popular girl. So put the two together and I'm reading a longer beginning than I expected about a character I didn't like for longer than I wanted...you get the idea. However, I really enjoyed the second half of the book. Once we get to limbo and Bridget has to face what a creep she is, the pace picks up. And I bought into Bridget understanding what a jerk she was and that she would really change. Here Lies Bridget reminded me a lot of Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver, but even more so 7 Souls by Barnabas Miller and Jordan Orlando. Though Here Lies Bridget is much more lighthearted and humorous. And has a happier ending. So overall, I enjoyed the book. It was a fast read with a memorable main character and a happy ending and even a kiss. And I really do like that cover.
theepicrat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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.
gubry on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When reading this book, this made me think of Before I Fall. Mostly because Here Lies Bridget came off as that. Except, I liked Before I Fall much better than that. I have to say. Plot wise and writing wise.This is a difficult book to actually enjoy in the beginning. This is because the main character, Bridget, is a spoiled, controlling bitch. So it¿s hard to actually root for her. I¿ve had my share of mean girls before, but I never actually disliked them. This book is a different case though. But it¿s the point of the story anyways. So I give points to the author for making Bridget the way she is.In the end, my feelings for this book is mixed. Despite liking the middle-end portion of the book (in which Bridget realizes that she¿s wronged people after being oblivious) I didn¿t fully believe that Bridget¿s amends could come that quickly. Not to mention Bridget¿s transformation from being a mean girl to a girl who was remorseful was not entirely believable.Here Lies Bridget is short so it will probably be a quick read for you. Your opinions might be different from mine so I think you should read it. Plus, I¿d like to see your opinion on the little twist at the end. It¿s slightly confusing but interesting nevertheless.
JamesterCK on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My opinion: I absolutely ADORED this book! I was sucked in by the first chapter and just could not put it down! Everyone needs to read this! Ok, so it starts out with Bridget Duke describing recklessly driving her car because she is so upset by the turn of events in her life. As she goes of the road, she goes back in her life story to explain how she got to that point. She was basically the mean girl of her high school (a prep school). Everyone wanted to be her friend, either because they wanted to be part of the "in" crowd or because they were absolutely terrified of her. She is constantly late to her classes, she tries to cheat her way through just about everything, and she treats her stepmom horribly. Her best friends seem to be Michelle and Jillian and she doesn't even show them one iota of respect either. Through the course of the first half of the book, she gets one of her teachers fired, gets a fellow student suspended, and manages to terrorize her "friends", family, and anyone else who comes into contact with her. Her mom died in a car accident when she was younger, and it has been hard for her to adjust after that. She starts to spiral out of control; her ex-boyfriend, Liam, had broken up with her because she just wasn't herself anymore. She became someone that no one really liked, although it was hard for her to see that. When everyone starts to turn on her, she decides to take a reckless drive that will reveal to her who she has truly become, whether she likes it or not. I'm trying so hard not to give away anything too important in my review. It's hard because it was such an excellent read. Bridget is definitely a character you love to hate, and hate to love. She's arrogant, snobby, and selfish; she never takes anybody's needs or feelings into account. But she's also very witty, she tries to care about her friends' problems (sometimes) even though her advice and comments usually come out wrong and hurt rather than help, and you can assume that not having her mother around has had a large effect on who she has become. The few interactions she has with Liam, you can tell her still cares for her, and wishes that they could be together, but you certainly can't blame him for not wanting to be around the new her. When she (literally) gets to walk in the shoes of the people she hurt, it's nice to see her gradually realizing how much her actions and words hurt everyone around her and the horrible things she has done. She finally feels guilt, regret, and compassion. The revelation about her mom was definitely an "Aha!" moment for me when I figured out what was going on. I definitely recommend this book to everyone, because I don't think there is anyone who couldn't relate to this book in some way or another. My favorite read in a long time, bravo! My rating: 5/5 stars
molliekay on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It's not often a reader meets a main character that is truly and utterly despicable. Bridget Duke is the undisputed queen of her school and is willing to go to any lengths to keep that reputation. From implying that her best friend is overweight to making up hurtful stories about her teacher, Bridget proves that she is ruthless dictator. The story begins with her crashing her car and it's up to the judge and jury in Limbo to figure out whether she deserves to return to the land of the living or perish in the crash.
krau0098 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This sounded like an interesting book and is part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge that I am participating in. I got an advanced reading copy through NetGalley(dot)com. It was an okay book. There were some things about it that I thought were clever, but I had a hard time looking past the really annoying main character.Bridget is the daughter of a famous ESPN sports caster and as such is a popular girl in school. Bridget is also very self-centered and nasty to the people around her. Then one day a new girl named Anna comes to school, everyone likes Anna instantly. Bridget watches as her popularity fades and Anna slowly gains control of the school. Feeling a bit down by her loss of power Bridget decides to recklessly drive her car in an attempt to commit suicide (this is where the book starts) but at the last minute realizes she doesn't want to die. That's when things get weird.The book starts with the scene where Bridget recklessly drives her car and looses control of it. Then it goes back to how she got to that point. The first half of this book is focused on how Bridget interacts with her family and friends. Bridget is a super mean and nasty girl, she disrespects everyone and is tearing apart the people around her in her apparent ignorance of her own meanness. That right there was my biggest problem with this book; Bridget is very mean and manipulative but she is shown as not realizing how mean she is. I had a lot of trouble believing that anyone could be that nasty to people and not realize what they were doing. In the second half of the book Bridget has to relive scenes were she is mean to people but from the other person's point of view. This was a neat idea, but it has been done before. It reminds a lot of the Christmas Carol and Ebenezor Scrooge's Ghost of Christmas Past.In the second half the author tries to get you to sympathize and maybe understand Bridget, but I had trouble doing that. I felt like the moral of this book was that you can be mean and nasty your whole life; then if you spend a day trying to fix everything that will be enough and you are forgiven. It wasn't a realistic way to end the book and was all neat and pretty to the point of being a bit contrived.The writing style was easy to read and the dialogue sounded natural so that was nice. There really wasn't much paranormal element to this book; just a touch but it wasn't the focus.Overall I thought the book was predictable and I really didn't enjoy Bridget as a character. I didn't really enjoy the plot (which focused mainly on high school angst) and thought things were a bit too neatly set up. Fans of books about the "mean girl" in a high school redeeming herself might enjoy this book. Fans of paranormal young adult books should look elsewhere. This book is definitely aimed at a female young adult audience and I don't think many outside of that subset will find much to enjoy here.
girlaboutbooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Here Lies Bridget is one of my anticipated reads this year. After I read the general summary of the story, I instantly had the feeling that this is one of those books or stories that I¿ll enjoy, most probably because the lead character is the Mean Girl. I don¿t know but I sometimes enjoy the disposition of the Mean Girls more than the Nice Girls. And I enjoyed Here Lies Bridget, indeed!I liked how Paige started the story, perhaps that¿s one of the reasons why I got hooked instantly. The writing was great. I did feel connected with the characters.Honestly, I enjoyed Bridget as a lead character in the story. Did you ever have that feeling where you love and hate the character at the same time? Bridget is mean, insecure, bratty and ill-mannered. Her terrorizing antics is not limited to her friends or at her school, she¿s even churlish to her step-mother, Meredith. She¿s aware that what she¿s doing is utterly wrong yet she would still act that way for her own reputation that she keeps on ¿protecting¿. Despite all of this, despite the fact that she¿s a nominee for Mean Girl of the Year, I love her. For me, she¿s not the typical lead character. This is the very first book I¿ve read that the lead character is not so nice.I was weighing whether the part where she was fixing her mistakes was too fast or was just fine. I thought, it was all good. Like I said, Bridget is aware that her actions are wrong; even for the briefest moment, she admitted that she's tired of keeping up with her reputation. All she needed to do was to have the guts to face the fact that she¿s screwed and she needs to fix it¿and she did. And that¿s another reason why I like her.I also find the little dash of Cinderella-ish in the story to be cute. I'm giving this a 5 out of 5 stars. If you want to read a fun, fast-paced and worth-reading book, then grab Here Lies Bridget, it's so worth it.Cover Thoughts: 5 out of 5. Definitely one of my favorite covers. It's also one of the many reasons why I loved the book.
meags222 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I received this novel as an ARC from NetGalley. I have to say I wasn't sure about this novel at first but when I started reading it I really wanted to know more. It only took me a few hours to read this story. Bridget is essential a spoiled brat. She treats everyone incredible rudely. She has absolutely no compassion for others. When she gets in an accident she is brought to limbo where there is a jury of her peers and she is able to view herself as others see her. The plot and the characters are quite interesting but one flaw in the novel is that it has already been done before. Also, while I do believe people can change I do not believe that it is something that can be done overnight. If you go into this book reading it for what it is, a light read with a good moral then you will enjoy it. Overall I give this novel 3.5 stars out of 5.
dukesangel002 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Here Lies Bridget is a story of a girl who thinks she knows what she wants and who she is, that is, until she dies. After a car crash Bridget ends up in a boardroom surrounded by the people she cares about most. She is forced to literally "walk in their shoes" and see all the wrongs she has done to them, and realize what a horrible person she has been.Bridget was seriously the MOST annoying, mean person I've ever read about. Of course, that was the point. As we relive her last few days leading up to the crash we get to see what a truly insecure, mean person she is. While I was enjoying the story, the fact that she had no redeeming qualities was very irritating to read.When we get back to the time of the crash, and into limbo, we get to jump into the heads of Bridget's loved ones. There was a few times that reading the same dialogue got on my nerves, but you also get to read how being in the others heads really helped Bridget come to the realization that the things she has said and done has really affected those around her, and not in a good way.Overall this was a story with a very meaningful message about how what you say and do can really affect the lives of the people around you. It was a quick read, and while it had it faults, I still enjoyed it.
ComaCalm on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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.I started reading this book with no idea what it's about but I wasn't disappointed. Bridget is a character that you should hate but I found myself liking her, because you can understand why she is like she is. Although she displays a her bitchiest side to the World, you can see the girl she used to be more and more as the story progresses. There was a lot of moments where I wanted to step in and say something nice to her friends!The story of how she got to the point of crashing her car drags a bit, so you have to be patient and wait for the good stuff! When she finally arrives in Limbo and shown what she has done to people, it is well plotted and really keeps you reading until the end. The idea that Bridget has to literally walk in other people's shoes, for me, was hilarious.This is a perfect Christmas read, A Christmas Carol meets Mean Girls for Teens.
Bookswithbite on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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.
jinkay on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Bridget is the most popular girl in school and is both admired and feared by her peers. At home, she lords it over her stepmother who tries really hard to win her over. She doesn't care about how her words and actions affect other people as long as she gets what she wants. When she ends up in limbo after a car crash, she finds out that her fate depends on the people she's wronged. The first part of the book is in one word, intense. I can't even begin to describe how shallow and downrght nasty Bridget was. She definitely wasn't a likable character and I flinched and wanted to strangle her everytime she said or did something. For a book to evoke that much of a reaction from me speaks of how effective the author was in terms of conveying Bridget's mean ways. I thought the "stepping into other people's shoes" was a nice touch although the twist about the new girl was a bit out of the blue. A good book about self-realization and second chances. 4/5 stars!
BookSpot on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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)
LauraMoore on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really wanted to like this book, and in fact I really enjoyed the beginning even though the main character was a total brat and I wanted to smack her silly. I thought the concept of the book sounded really interesting, but what really blew it for me was the repeatition towards the end of the book, with her reliving events in her life from another perspective.I understand why it took place and the significance behind it but for a book being under 250 pages it was WAY overdone! I lost interest and felt bored because for a good portion of the book you were reading the same thing over again, and i completly lost interest in it.I didn't hate the book, and its worth checking out, but i wasn't thrilled with it, and thinks the idea behind the book just fell flat for me.
booknerdreviews on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Everyone knows a Bridget¿ I know in my school, we had a couple. You know the type.. the girl who seems like she has everything. She is spoilt, conceited, and she makes others fear her, which is why she¿s so ¿popular¿ in the first place. She rules the school with an iron fist. She is nasty to everyone, even her friends and family. That¿s Bridget.Everything is peachy keen in her life.. that is, until Anna Judge comes to school. In an instant everything starts to unravel. Her friends would much rather hang out with Anna. Her ex boyfriend Liam thinks Anna is pretty great too. Bridget is not used to having her popularity contended, and she¿s not happy.In an act of desperation tries to kill herself in a car accident, rather than dying, she finds herself in limbo. And she finds herself surrounded by none other than Anna Judge. And her friends and family ¿ the people she has hurt most in her life.She must step inside each of their shoes and go through what it feels like to be friends with herself. How her cutting remarks make them feel, how her taunts and accusations have ruined their lives. Now she knows what she has done to everyone around her, is it too late for her to make amends?I particularly liked how the first half of the book was from Bridget¿s perspective. We see how mean she treats everyone around her and how ruthless she is. The second half of the book, when she has to re-visit these mem0ries and she what she has done to these people is from the perspective of those she has hurt. It really told a complete story from both angles which I thought was very creative.Overall a very enjoyable and easy book to get through, what a great debut novel from Paige Harbison!
MrsBoswellBooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ok... I just want to say, I HATED Bridget! I know that that is how her character is, but GAH! She was hateful, spiteful, rude and just plain mean! It was almost a little too much for me. I couldn't imagine myself giving her the time of day in real life, so I almost felt like I couldn't even give her my attention in the book. She pretty much treats her "friends" like crap and she is ruthlessly disrespectful to her step-mother and her teachers.One day in a fit of rage, Bridget races away from school in her car. Becoming reckless, she begins telling herself that people would be so sorry for the way they treated her if she died. Karma can be a pain, though. When Bridget crashes, she wakes up surrounded by five people it appears she has had some influence on, and it seems for the worse. Liam - her ex-boyfriend, Michelle - her best friend, Meredith - her step-mother, Mr. Ezhno - her teacher and Brett - a classmate. It appears she is in front of some sort of panel, and she must now be judged for her actions. Each of these people has a reason to dislike Bridget... more like 1,000 reasons to hate and dislike her. Sort of like A Christmas Carol, Bridget must now walk in each of these character's shoes, go back in time and witness how her actions affected each and every one.A quote that I really like: "I could suddenly see the grenade effect of my own actions." (from page 180 of eARC, quote subject to change).While I liked the underlying story that brought these characters together, I just couldn't get passed how much I disliked Bridget. I mean, it's been nearly a week since I read this book and I still have a sour taste in my mouth because of her actions and behavior. There are times where I felt sorry for Bridget because of her history with her parents, but that is no excuse for the way she treated the entire world.I felt like the ending wrapped up a little too nicely for someone like Bridget, but I'm glad that she eventually came to terms with her behavior. Not a terrible book, but Bridget can cause a dark cloud to loom over your head while you read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago