Oh Helen, Helen, Helen.. what have you done???
We all fell in love with the clumsy, neurotic, always-get-herself-into-ridiculous-situations Bridget Jones when the first book BRIDGET JONES'S DIARY was published in 1996. She became an instant heroine for all the women around the world and we all finally fell proud of our BIG PANTIES and all-alone-drunken nights spent singing "All by myself" while simultaneously eating Ben&Jerry's Cookie Dough straight out of the tub. Then in 1999 was published a sequel, BRIDGET JONES : THE EDGE OF REASON, which has become an international best-seller and we all had the privilege to get another glimpse to Bridget's life. Both books have been made into very, very successful films starring Renee Zellweger as famous Bridget and Colin Firth as her own Mr Darcy.
These books became a permanent parts of every girl and woman's library. So when the news spread that Helen Fielding is writing another book, BRIDGET JONES: MAD ABOUT THE BOY, we all got excited!! There were articles, tweets, Facebook updates predicting the next chapter in Bridget's life. So this year, the hardback (yes, only the hardback) came out. Immediately, there was a scandal with the publishing house messing up the book release with some autobiography. But I did end up spending my hard-earned £9 in Asda's special offer and purchased this book. I was ecstatic. Couldn't wait to read it and Christmas time fell like the appropriate time to read this beauty.
But I must say, it was a big piece of a disappointment.
We are meeting Bridget as mother, a widow, a woman lost in her own life. Mark Darcy tragically died four and half years ago on some foreign mission and left Bridget behind with their two children - Billy and Mabel. Bridget is now a full time mother, who is trying to make it big as screenwriter adapting works of great writers for the modern day audience. She struggles being a mother and finding love in the world filled with online dating, Twitter and technology. She can't even work out how the remote control to her Virgin Media box works. She finds herself a toy boy while catching the interest of school teacher Mr Wallaker.
Ok, we all know Bridget for the funny situations she finds herself in and the incredibly hilarious commentary to it and the writer is really trying to keep up the same style, but sadly is failing to do so. I feel like the book lost its famous wit. There is more forced humour than cheese in my fridge. And I am sorry, but I find it really boring at times and too over-written.
Some situation are literately forced on the reader to enjoy. I laughed the most at Bridget's obsession with Twitter as it reminded me so much of mine and my friends'. But the story with Toy Boy who hopelessly falls in love with her but can't be with her because of the age barrier, is silly. And then Bridget finds again a happy ending with a man she didn't like before! Sounds familiar???? Same recipe but a slight change in the main ingredient. We are not making a orange sponge cake but a lemon sponge cake!!
But I have to highlight some good bits about this book. I like the cover! It's simple and beautiful. Tasteful. No flashy images or some photograph with has nothing to do with the story itself. I have loved some great insights mentioned in this book and how Helen portrayed today's social view of elder women and their sometime very expensive tries to keep the youth. Hair extensions. Botox. Fat hospitals. Desperate measures to stay young.
But all in all, this book failed to impress me. Now the book has 386 pages and it only started to be a little bit funny 180 pages in. I have truly struggled with reading it. Everyday I had to force myself to pick up the book and finish it. It was a torture of a book.
I have to say Ms Fielding. I do love Bridget Jones and we all look up to her as a modern day heroine, but you shouldn't have written this one. It was perfectly fine the way it finished in the second book. She got her happy ending and that's what we all look for.
The only quote from the book I liked and remembered :
"The fantastic thing about texting is that it allows you to have an instant, intimate emotional relationship giving each other a running commentary on your lives, without taking up any time whatsoever or involving meetings or arrangements or any of the complicated things which take place in the boring old non-cyber world. Apart from sex, it would be perfectly possible to have an entire relationship that is much closer and healthier than many traditional marriages without actually meeting in person at all!
Maybe this will be the way forward. Sperm will simply be donated, frozen through the dating website which originally introduced you. "