I absolutely loved the first two Bridget Jones books – possibly because although I’m not *quite* as old as her, I could identify with her; she was a properly rounded character, and we all grew to love her, I think.
But the big problem for me with Mad About the Boy is (unless you live in a bubble, this will not be a spoiler), Mark Darcy is dead. So gone is that element of romantic tension. You can see the ending of this book coming a mile off, in fact, and while there is another man in Bridget’s life throughout (other than Daniel Cleaver), he doesn’t feel particularly developed as a character.
There’s also a confusing and slightly ridiculous subplot about a screenplay. Even the depictions of Bridget’s grief feel a bit superficial, and while her weight obsession seemed funny 10 years ago… now it just seems very irritating. If a woman really weighed herself that often you’d be really worried about her sanity, wouldn’t you?
Of course, there are some moments to make you smile: Bridget’s efforts to understand Twitter (we’ve all been there), an outbreak of nits. But much of the plot feels… well, contrived. The other bizarre thing is that this book is obviously aimed at the Christmas market… but reading what is supposed to be a diary that talks about November and December 2013 in October 2013… feels a bit weird, to say the least. Like it’s suddenly become a futuristic novel, without the sci-fi.
And personally I don’t see why Mark Darcy had to die. Why couldn’t they have just been divorced? In fact, I think it would have been more interesting if he’d been there in the background, waiting for her, to pick up the pieces after a failed love affair and tell her he loves her, just as she is.
*Have you read it? What did you think? I’d love to know.