Title: Bridget Jones's Diary
Author: Helen Fielding
Genre: Fiction, Chic Flick, Comedy, Romance, Life (is that a genre?)
"It was only 11:30. Maybe I should do something, like, well, er...mending? Inner poise. The phone rang. It was Tom.
'Are you alright?'
'Yes. I feel great. Why?'
'You just seemed, well, flat tonight. Everyone said you weren't your usual self.'
'No, I was fine. Did you see how thin I am?' Silence.
'I think you looked better before, hon.'
Now I feel empty and bewildered - as if a rug has been pulled from under my feet. Eighteen years - wasted. Eighteen years of calorie and far-unit-based arithmetic. Eighteen years of buying long shirts and jumpers and leaving the room backwards in intimate situations to hide my bottom. Millions of cheesecakes and tiramisus, tens of millions of Emmenthal slices left uneaten. Eighteen years of struggle, sacrifice and endeavour - for what? Eighteen years and the result is 'tired and flat'. I feel like a scientist who discovers that his life's work has been a total mistake."
For me, this quote pretty much sums up how every female ever feels about herself. She fights to get the "perfect image" that society wants and when she believes she gets there she finds out she looks dreadful and everyone preferred her before. I am not going to lie, I have been one of these people who think I need to lose weight, or tone up or exercise more because my tummy isn't right, or my arms don't look nice or I want more defined legs. Bothered! This is me and I am going to eat that extra slice of cake after having already eaten a takeaway and you are going to watch and not judge while I thoroughly enjoy it!
I had already read the second and third Bridget Jones books by Helen Fielding. I read The Edge of Reason when I was at school and on holiday. I found it hilarious. I remember sitting on the beach and crying with laughter at some of the things Bridget got up to. I have also read Mad About the Boy, which I'm sorry for those die hard Bridget fans, but it wasn't that good. The Edge of Reason is the best book out of the three, then Bridget Jones's Diary and finally Mad About the Boy. Which, by the way, is not the new film coming out. The film is a filler between The Edge of Reason and Mad About the Boy. Can I also just point out that it shouldn't be "Jones's", there already is an s, there doesn't need to be another!! And breath!
Right onto how I found this book...I did overall enjoy it. There are a number of funny moments in the story, including Bridget's awkward and stiff interactions with Mark Darcy. There are a number of scenes in the book which just are not in the film. Lots of interactions between Bridget and her parents, Bridget and her friends, Bridget and Daniel Cleaver and Mark Darcy, which do not happen in the film. Although, the scene in the film where Daniel and Darcy fight in the Greek restaurant, that does not happen in the book, unfortunately! Possibly my second favourite part of the film, favourite scene goes to Bridget and Mark at the end of the story where he goes and buys her a new diary and she runs out in the snow in her big girl pants.
I honestly can completely relate to how Bridget feels on a number of occasions in this book. Single, mid 20's, unsure where your life is going and just want some stability and confidence. You think your fat when you're not. You think the next man will be the one, he's not. You don't always realise how amazing your true friends are, they really are! You also want to be a millionaire and live in a big house, but no matter how many scratch cards and lottery tickets you put on it just does not happen (42 correct lottery numbers and 98 scratch cards over the course of the year couldn't even help Bridget make her millions). Bridget Jones is very much the definition of every single 20-30 something-year-old I currently know! None of us knows where our lives are going, we do not know whether we will ever find love, we keep finding the absolute bottoms of the barrel in the process, but hopefully we will one day find them!
I read this book on my kindle, there aren't many books which I have read on my kindle, I usually prefer an actual book, but I did enjoy using it for this. I like having the ease of using the kindle, it's light, it's easy and it takes up absolutely no room. It's also amazing for reading this time of the year with the amount of sun we have had up here in sunny Teesside (that's not a joke, it's actually true).
Towards the end of the story, Bridget goes back to her parent's house to enjoy Christmas with her family. She quotes a very fitting poem by Wendy Cope about being single at Christmas, is there a better time to be single! The poem goes:
At Christmas little children sing and merry bells jingle.
The cold winter air makes our hands and faces tingle.
And happy families go to church and cheerily they mingle,
And the whole business is unbelievably dreadful if you're single.
So perfect and so apt I think!
Overall I enjoyed the story and I would recommend the book but I would tell people to power through and get to the second book as well. I would not say Bridget Jones's Diary is anywhere near the best book I've read but it is something which I did want to read it and I am glad I have. I feel right now, at the stage of my life, and the recent events in the past week, I needed this book. Bridget has helped me through a very hard time. Thank you Bridge and thank you Helen Fielding.
10-word-review: some good laughs, glad I have read it, not marvellous.
My next book review will be on I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh. This is a book which I have heard great things about. Lots of people have recommended it and they have sung its praises. I am really looking forward to it and I have high hopes for it.
However, I am trying to write more on this blog about books as a whole. So I am hoping to write more posts about books which are of interest to me or recent buys or new releases. This includes a post which is coming soon about the new book shop which has opened in my town. Yarm is very excited! Waterstones have opened a new shop here! It opened on Saturday and I have already visited it twice and bought 5 books from it. I was fortunate enough to be able to go around and take some photos of the lovely, quirky features the shop holds. So keep an eye open for the post coming soon. Plus the arrival of the new library, which I will try to get to and post about. Have been very much looking forward to this as the library has been the same for a very long time.
On a final note, Sunday evening the world was told of a great loss to the Roald Dahl world. Gene Wilder, the marvellous actor who played the brilliant portrayal of Willy Wonka in the original film adaption of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory had passed away. Unfortunately, he had been suffering from Alzheimers. Something which he did not want children to know. He did not want children to associate the creation of Willy Wonka with this unfortunate and devastating condition. What an absolute inspiration and legend Gene Wilder was and always will be. I really do hope that Willy Wonka's world of pure imagination lives on forever.
11th June 1933 - 29th August 2016
"If you want to view paradise, take a look around and view it. Anything you want to; do it. You can change the world; there's nothing to it."
The summer holidays are very nearly coming to an end and school is calling me back in once again. I will try to post as often as I can, please keep reading and let me know if you have any questions or comments or recommendations. Thanks...Steph xx