Book Review: Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding

PopSugar 2019 Reading Challenge Prompt: A retelling of a classic ( Pride & Prejudice ) TW: Talk of sexual assault, body hatred...

PopSugar 2019 Reading Challenge Prompt: A retelling of a classic (Pride & Prejudice)

TW: Talk of sexual assault, body hatred (lots of it), infidelity, homophobia, cultural insensitivity

Uuuhhhh. What to say about Bridget Jones's Diary. I've watched the movies a few time, but it's been a while, so I didn't really remember it much. I found the book at a yard sale for like a quarter and it's been sitting on my shelf for a while. I discovered it was a loose retelling of Pride & Prejudice (which I've never actually read), so I decided to read it for my reading challenge. And it was... worse... than I expected.

Bridget Jones is quite miserable. She's a single 30-something woman, working tirelessly to improve herself. She wants to lose weight, find a newer and better job, develop an adult relationship, and quit smoking. This book is literally her diary over the course of a year.

In a lot of ways, Bridget is relatable. Her moods fluctuate between being confident and sassy to hating herself and feeling unhappy and unattractive. She's quite possibly an alcohol, and mostly only worried about being a skinny, happy person that lives up to societal standards of beauty. But apparently, she's not even ugly and she weighs 130 pounds.

I understand this book is obviously a satire and was written in the 90s, so maybe 130 was "heavy" then. But the focus on weight was just too harsh for my liking. I disliked that everything Bridget did was to impress others, more often than not a man. It just irked me and I was not into it. But I did like those rare moments when she seemed "lucid" within the weird fantasies she created for herself. I wanted her to be more responsible and more honest with her friends, to stand up for herself more, and to not be so hard on herself all the damn time.

"Please shut up. I am very busy and important." - Bridget Jones's Diary, Helen Fielding

The book is written in a really fun a conversational way. It's super casual because it's written like a diary and it's easy to follow along with, but I wasn't a fan of the actual story. I think it was too harshly focused on body weight and size, and in an unproductive way, and that's absolutely not in line with my values. I want stories about body positivity and fat forward stories, and this was not that. So, this one you can take or leave. Maybe I'm being sensitive, I don't know, but I wasn't a fan of this book and won't read further into the series.

Goodreads rating: ★★★

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