Bridget Jonesapalooza

Bridget Jones definitely fits the bill for "exception" in my book. First of all, I'm not a fan of chic-lit. Secondly, I don't generally read series. And yet last month I reread the first book and read the second and third for the first time (unless I've already read the second? I saw the movie, and didn't own it, but still, I can't believe I skipped it... so I don't know). Anyway, the breakdown:

Bridget Jones's Diary (1996)
This is the original, and in my opinion the strongest. Bridget was a thirty-something year old woman obsessed with losing weight, finding a man, and feeling valued at work, all the while counting calories, units of alcohol, and cigarettes. Her tone was fresh, witty, and hilarious. The parallels to Pride and Prejudice were modern and creative, while it was obvious that she didn't take herself too seriously. I was young at the time (I read it senior year in high school), but I could still relate to Bridget. I knew what it was like to be concerned with appearances, frustrated by guys (if you knew my high school boyfriend you'd sympathize), and always wanting to be improved (sub her self-help books for Seventeen and Cosmo, though, for me). 

Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (1999)
The follow up to the first book, Bridget must learn to survive in a relationship with a man very different from herself (politically, socially, and professionally), manage her job, and still battle the calories and cigarettes. Her insecurities haven't vanished, despite Mark Darcy's interest in her, and she must learn to handle her jealousy. Just like in the previous book, Bridget must also mediate between her crazy mother (she brings back a random tribesman from Kenya...) and father. Oh, and she also gets thrown in jail in Thailand for accidentally smuggling drugs. My biggest issue with this book was that I felt that it didn't really do anything new- it was just the same old typical Bridget falling into ridiculous predicaments. There wasn't much growth and there was no sense of maturity in the writing.

Mad About the Boy (2013)
After I finished this book I let out a really long, labored sigh. Bridget is now fifty-one, widowed (RIP Mark Darcy), and the mother of two small children (talk about late in life babies). Honestly, it was a bit ridiculous at times. She was well into middle-aged acting like thirty-year-old again, and her typical irresponsibility was annoying. Her obsession with her looks and men were redundant and some of the episodes were flat out silly. There were some truly entertaining moments, though, and it was interesting to see what happened to Bridget, but it just wasn't strong. Also, there is far too much conversation about lice for me.

I truly hope Fielding doesn't do another Jones book (at the reading I went to Friday night she did seem to leave the door open). What, Bridget at a rest home, hitting on men as she accidentally forgets her dentures and slams back Metamucil? No thanks. As a whole, the series is entertaining, but I think it definitely loses it's steam as it progresses.


  1. Fingers crossed Fielding doesn't writer another book about Bridget! I found the last one annoying at times. She isn't relatable anymore.

  2. I just saw the second movie a few weeks ago so I was considering a look at the third book. Now I think I will skip it.

  3. I only saw the first and second movie, never read the books :)