Book review: Bridget Jones: Mad About The Boy
WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS CRAPLOADS OF SPOILERS!!
I was beyond delighted to come into work one morning and find a copy of Helen Fielding's latest effort, Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy, lying on my desk. Turns out the team were passing it around for everyone who wanted to read it. Obviously I dove straight into it.
It's funny how, after you've watched the movie version of a book so many times, you forget how great the actual book was. I know both Bridget Jones films by heart and keep forgetting that, as a matter of fact, I read the books before watching them. Helen Fielding's hilarious writing was what brought me to the movies in the first place. And, despite what some Amazon reviewers have to say, that hilarity is still very much there. Despite some obvious problems.
In this book, we're fast-forwarding to a middle-aged Bridget who, while still single and neurotic, now deals with the adventure of motherhood. Her friends are still hilarious, her mum is still butting into her life and she's dating a gorgeous 31-year-old she met on Twitter.
Let's start off with all of the things I don't understand and/or like about the book (SPOILERS TONS OF SPOILERS HERE):
1. Why is Mark Darcy dead? Not exactly the idea of the century there, Helen. I understand that she wanted to make Bridget single but couldn't have them divorce as they'd obviously have to get back together, but, in my mind, killing Mark off just puts a dark, heavy cloud over the whole story. He's always going to be there, even if he's not there. I'd prefer it if a) they were married and the book had a "clueless on how to be married" woman angle, or b) if they had just broken up and predictably got back together at the end.
2. How is Bridget's daughter four years old while Bridget is 51? Did she have her at 47? In that case, why, since she's been married to Mark since her thirties? This one kept popping up in my head throughout the story and I couldn't help but wonder why Helen had made Bridget fifty-one instead of, say, a more manageable 40 or 45, where having a four-year-old is more plausible.
3. If all Bridget does for work is write a screenplay that in the end gets taken away from her and given to another writer (can they even do that?), how can she afford mini-breaks? And rent? And constantly shopping at Net-a-Porter?
4. Speaking of which, why does Bridget need a nanny if all she does all day is write a (rather ridiculous, to be honest) screenplay and tweet about her calorie intake?
5. How exactly did Bridget get 700-plus Twitter followers in less than a year of tweeting? I've been on that thing since 2009 and just managed to enter the 700s.
6. An obesity clinic at size 14? Really?
7. Why does the relationship with lovely Roxster have to end just because of the age difference? How cliché.
8. Last but absolutely not least, WHY does the book end in the most predictable and less romantic way possible? I didn't like that annoying gym teacher from page one (or, well, whatever page he first appeared), even if it was obvious how things were going to end. I must confess I hoped that Daniel Cleaver would jump out and propose to her out of nowhere up until the very last page. And..was it just me, or did this not feel like a happy ending as much as a "settled and content" ending? We all want Bridget to live happily ever after, not settling down with this insignificant man. I want Roxster back!
But even so...I couldn't put this book down. I was actually looking forward to my commute just so I could read it. I loved that Bridget is the same as she was in the first books. I loved her first haphazard attempts at tweeting. I loved the flirty, passionate relationship between her and 30-year-old Roxster (who, by the way, sounds like the perfect man!) and I loved the hilarious conversations with her mum. Most of all, I loved it that Bridget hasn't grown up at all and is still her obsessive self - makes me feel okay with the fact that I will very probably remain as neurotic at fifty as I am today! I'd definitely recommend it - I don't see any Nobel prizes in its future but it's definitely a breezy, entertaining read.
Filed Under: things I love