Sunday, May 16, 2021

Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding


So I'm doing this thing where I'm rereading the books I read as a teen and trying to figure out whether they hold up to an adult's perspective or if they were just zeitgeist-appropriate crap. BRIDGET JONES is definitely not a teen book, but that didn't stop me from reading it anyway! Actually, the first time I read it, I was ten. My mom wouldn't let me have it because she was like, "She'll be a bad influence on you!" which meant me pulling up a chair to the bookshelf to get it from where she'd hidden it and staying up three nights straight to read it. Did ten-year-old me understand WTF Ms. Jones was on about? No. Did I suddenly start weighing myself and listing my meals in my journals just like she did because I thought it was cool and the Grown-Up Thing to Do? Yes. Did it mess me up for life? Well, no, but it did seem to turn me into a thirty-something Singleton so maybe that's The Curse of the Book.

I'm not sure there's a book out there that captures the life of the thirty-something single woman quite like this one. Bridget is so relatable and so funny. She's like the perfect blend of good girl/bad girl, and her dynamics with her friends and family were such a delight to read and made her feel like such a well-rounded character. I did think the movie was better since so much of the focus is on Daniel that Darcy almost feels like an afterthought and when his feelings do crop up, they seem to come out of nowhere. It's funny that Hugh Grant and Colin Firth were chosen for the roles because both of the actors are actually mentioned in this book (which I thought was super hilarious). 

The sexual harassment and outmoded dating advice don't age quite as well, and part of my love for this book is definitely nostalgic, but I still really enjoyed being in Bridget's head. Her anxiety/neuroticism really mirrored my own in my teens/early 20s. I honestly feel a little embarrassed thinking about how much I obsessed over boys sometimes when I was younger. I still have my journals from my early teens and oh my god, I forgot how I could spent hours parsing through every single interaction for secret clues. I'm not sure this book will be quite as appealing to teens and young women now but if you're interested in some fun 90s references and a pretty well-rounded heroine (that also serves as a pretty decent homage to PRIDE AND PREJUDICE), you should definitely check out this book.

3.5 out of 5 stars

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.