Here Lies Bridget
Bridget Duke is the daughter of a famous sportscaster, popular-by-default among her peers and a nightmare for her stepmother and school faculty.
In an effort to hide her own massive insecurities, Bridget finds that she picks on everyone in order to feel better about herself. As a result, her best friends, Michelle and Jillian, are barely tolerating her, her stepmother and teachers have finally had enough of her, and her childhood best-friend cum ex-boyfriend Liam, can barely look at her.
For the life of her, Bridget can’t figure out why she’s so mean—or why she’s unable to stop herself. To make matters worse, new student, Anna Judge, arrives and immediately wins everyone over with her sincere and genuine personality. Bridget becomes even more desperate as she sees her “popularity” slipping away and fears she’ll lose Liam forever.
With everything so out of control, Bridget feels like she’s on a crash course. Then, while driving a little too fast, Bridget begins fantasizing about her death and how sorry everybody would be—right up until she loses control of the car and it actually happens.
To her surprise and confusion, Bridget awakens in a boardroom surrounded by Anna Judge and many of the people in her life whom she has repeatedly hurt—although Anna is the only one who can communicate with her. To see the error of her ways, Bridget must literally walk in the shoes of each person she hurt and experience her wrath from their perspective.
As her peers determine her fate, Bridget is given until midnight to atone.
Bridget’s story is told like a modern day A Christmas Carol with a hint of Lauren Oliver’s Before I Fall and a dash of Cinderella. Though Paige Harbison is the daughter of New York Times bestselling author, Elizabeth Harbison, her talents do not rely on nepotism.
Paige Harbison seems to have her writing skill well in hand and the young adult genre firmly in her heart. Not long out of high school herself, Miss Harbison does a great job of capturing the spirit and essence of today’s teens, as well as their angst and insecurities. With a great voice and accessible prose, Paige Harbison, a young adult herself, has added another entry to the YA must-read list.
Despite a few rough spots where much of the story is repeated during the atonement phase, Here Lies Bridget is a quick and entertaining read that makes an excellent point: It’s never too late to be a better person.