Blurb: What do you do when your girlfriend’s sixtieth birthday party is the same day as your boyfriend’s thirtieth? Is it better to die of Botox or die of loneliness because you’re so wrinkly? Is it wrong to lie about your age when online dating? Is it morally wrong to have a blow-dry when one of your children has head lice? Is it normal to be too vain to put on your reading glasses when checking your toy boy for head lice? Does the Dalai Lama actually tweet or is it his assistant? Is it normal to get fewer followers the more you tweet? Is technology now the fifth element? Or is that wood? If you put lip plumper on your hands do you get plump hands? Is sleeping with someone after two dates and six weeks of texting the same as getting married after two meetings and six months of letter writing in Jane Austen’s day? Pondering these and other modern dilemmas, Bridget Jones stumbles through the challenges of loss, single motherhood, tweeting, texting, technology, and rediscovering her sexuality in—Warning! Bad, outdated phrase approaching!—middle age.
This was an absolute pleasure to read. Oh, I have missed Bridget! Mad About the Boy is as hilarious as ever and very heart-warming. I found myself laughing out loud one moment and resorting to tears the next at this sensitive time in Bridget’s life. And now she is back on the ‘single’ pile, a born-again virgin. Only, her friends urge her to change that fact! Is she ready?
Bridget (now 51), has aged, along with her audience; she was married, had children, and lived a settled family life. I found this easy to relate to as a reader, making the story believable and easy to read. I loved how Fielding has kept to the characters we all know and love, i.e. her family, her friends and even…… Daniel Cleaver!!! And yet, at the same time she has also introduced new characters as potential ‘love interests’ for Bridget. The main focus being on Roxster.
Roxster (29) is a fun and lovable character. He is cheeky, rude and dirty – but not in a Daniel Cleaver womanising way. Roxster is really uplifting for Bridget. He is silly, flirty, and yet he is respectful and mature when accepting Bridget’s lifestyle. The introduction of Roxster’s character is also great to cater for the younger audience, therefore building on the following that Bridget has.
As well as having to deal with her love-life, kids, mum and friends, Bridget is also juggling a screenwriting career and trying to work her way around modern technology! Being useless with a tv remote is one thing, but then figuring out Twitter, along with numerous dating sites, adds to the comedy. I found Fielding was able to use this aspect of the story to cleverly incorporate current issues into the storyline, e.g. horse meat found in ‘beef’ products, the Royals and their new arrival, etc. This kept the story real by allowing the reader to relate not only to the characters but the storyline as a whole.
There are areas of the story which I will not go into for fear of spoiling it for the potential reader. However, I do feel many of you will be a little disappointed with Mark Darcy’s storyline. I must admit that I was. However, life changes and it doesn’t always work out the way we thought. With this thought in mind, I was able to accept this instalment of Bridget Jones. Oddly enough, it is Darcy’s storyline which is fundamental to Bridget’s whole situation.
My only other niggle is that the story ended a little abrupt for me. There are twists (which I enjoy), however towards the end I didn’t feel that there was enough build-up for the reader to get too excited about. This did not change my overall feeling towards the novel as throughout I was giggling and generally feeling most of the emotions that Bridget was at the time. For me that was an important factor.
Mad About the Boy is written in the same diary-style we are used to seeing in this series. Bridget is still noting down her weight, calories and units of alcohol, with the added comical occurrence and sarcastic remarks. Due to the style of the chapter layouts it is very easy to put down and pick up where you left off so easy, whilst also allowing for those readers that can only fill a few minutes of reading here and there.
Certainly not my favourite of the Bridget Jones series (that will have to be the original), however for fans of the series, Helen Fielding and/or those who are looking for a fun, heart-warming starting-to-date-again chick-lit/rom-com Mad About the Boy is a touching and exciting read!
Reviewed by Caroline Barker