By Ann Beisch, 15, Marymount HS
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Bridget Jones’s Diary
By Helen Fielding
Penguin USA, 267 pages


Everyone’s heard of this book. It’s kind of old news now since they made a movie out of it and all, but still I wouldn’t miss reading this because it really does make you laugh out loud.

Seriously, Bridget Jones is so messed up, and her priorities are all in the wrong places. Her main goal in life is to find that perfect prince charming, and, oh yeah, to stop drinking, smoking and to loose weight. Bridget resorts to smoking and drinking whenever she feels sad or faces rejection from men or just when her day does not go exactly how she planned. She’s also totally obsessed about her weight and actually calculates the number of calories and fat units that she consumes each day.

The weird thing about it is that she does not seem to notice that this obsessive behavior is totally not normal.

I had problems trying to relate to her. The way she looks at life is way different from how the adults in my life handle their problems. This book seems to make fun of adults and their dependencies. At least I hope so—it would kind of suck if adult life is really as chaotic as Bridget’s.

If you were into this book try:
Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason by Helen Fielding
Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
Jemima J by Jane Green
Dating Big Bird by Laura Zigman
The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank

The Virgin Suicides

By Jeffrey Eugenides
Warner Books, 249 pages

Wait, I’ve heard this title before. Oh yeah, it’s because Paramount Productions made a movie about it after the book came out. This is the story: after a girl kills herself, her four sisters make a suicide pact. They all commit suicide on the one-year anniversary of her death.

The whole story is a flashback of an event from the 1970s told through the eyes of some neighborhood boys who are obsessed with the girls even after their deaths. The boys continue this obsession throughout their lives even now, decades after the girls’ suicides, when the boys have grown into men and are married.

The reasons for their suicides remain a mystery and the thought process behind their decision stays unclear, since the reader is never allowed into their heads. The girls never had any friends and attended school for only a short while, because their protective parents sheltered them from any communication with the outside world.

Duuuude, the whole story is so creepy and the writing style, although intricate and unique, is haunting. The deaths of these girls still haunt the obsessed men. They’re pretty disturbed by this—and so was I for about a week after I finished this book.

If you like The Virgin Suicides, try these books, but don’t say I didn’t warn you. These types of stories get really depressing, so to prevent sad faces eat lemon sorbet or watermelon-cherry Jolly Rancher lollipops. Or if this is an absolute emergency, resort to White Mystery Airheads.

Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen
High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
The Rules of Attraction by Bret Easton Ellis
American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

Brave New Girl

By Louisa Luna
MTV Books, 224 pages

If it sounds familiar, it’s because MTV publicized this book nonstop for a week. That’s how I heard about it. Once you start it, it’s impossible to put down. I got really into this book.

I had to find out how Doreen, 14, who feels alone in the world, deals with growing up in high school. Whether it’s her parents who constantly accuse her of stuff that’s going wrong, or her beautiful, popular older sister who claims all the attention at school and at home, Doreen always feels like the outcast. During the story, she learns about teenage life, drugs, alcohol, boys and social circles.

The story pivots around her rape and how she deals with it. But let me just warn you, the writer breezes over main points, like the rape. In fact, I wasn’t really sure if the rape really happened, because that story was so vague. So make sure to pay close attention while reading and not zone off, because you won’t understand what’s happening and then the story is not gonna make any sense.

Eventually Doreen gets through being a loner at home and school by the healing powers of her intense love for music and the support of her best friend, Ted.

At a first glance, Brave New Girl can easily be filed away as another coming of age story. But once you get into the story, you’ll appreciate how it depicts the reality of teenage life and a young girl who’s forced to mature before her time.

These books have a similar feel to Brave New Girl:
Floating by Robin Troy
Dreamworld by Jane Goldman
Pieces: A Collection of New Voices by Stephen Chbosky
Dogrun by Arthur Nersesian