Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy

by Helen Fielding

Hardcover, 2013

Collection

Description

Londonite Bridget Jones faces the challenges of maintaining sex appeal as the years roll by, the nightmares of drunken texting, the skinny jean, the disastrous e-mail cc, total lack of Twitter followers, and TVs that need ninety buttons and three remotes to simply turn on.

Rating

(287 ratings; 3.3)

Media reviews

So what a pleasant shock to find that the latest Bridget Jones installment, “Mad About the Boy,” is not only sharp and humorous, despite its heroine’s aged circumstances, but also snappily written, observationally astute and at times genuinely moving. Fielding has somehow pulled off the neat trick of holding to her initial premise — single woman looks for romance — while allowing her heroine to grow up into someone funnier and more interesting than she was before. Who knew middle age could be so eventful?

User reviews

LibraryThing member RidgewayGirl
Number of books about Bridget Jones read 3, rank of this one from highest to lowest 3, characters who are deeply missed 1, cringe-worthy moments in book 15, relatable moments 6, times I expect to reread this book 0.

This is the third installment in Helen Fielding's series of chick-lit novels about Bridget Jones, the hapless, over-eager, but well meaning woman who is perpetually concerned with finding a good man, or at least a good shag. Back in the mid-nineties, before the entire chick-lit genre was a thing, Fielding wrote the first book about Bridget, lampooning women's magazines and loosely basing the plot on Pride and Prejudice. It's hard to see now, when we've been inundated with dozens of variations of Austen's novels and thousands and thousands of chick-lit novels, but Bridget Jones' Diary was fresh and surprising when it was first published.

This third installment begins long after Bridget rode off into the sunset with her man, Mark Darcy, the sexy but repressed human rights lawyer. They were happily married and have two small children, but the book begins four years after Mark's death, an event that Bridget is still dealing with along with the challenges of raising children on her own.

Fielding has kept the same format of the other books, and while Bridget is slightly more mature than she was, her friends are in exactly the same place Fielding left them over a decade ago, making the book more static and less solid than it could have been. This is a slight and inconsequential book, which was disappointing. While the first two books were fluffy, they were also doing something new, while this one is merely a retreading of old ground, and ground that thousands have now trod. A large part of Bridget Jones' appeal was that she was a new and different protagonist in a new and different genre. While I enjoyed revisiting her, I think it might have been better to have left the story at the end of the second book.
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LibraryThing member arielfl
When I first met Bridget I was a single girl looking for my own Mr. Darcy and I could relate very easily to her comedic dating disasters. Now that I am visiting Bridget again she is 50! and the mother of two children. I think the cat is out of the bag about the fact that she is now a single mother. So now that that we meet again I am also a little older as well as a mother. The difference between us is that Bridget never grew up. The same ridiculous things happen to her because she is completely lacking in common sense. What I thought was funny in my twenties seems like completely irresponsible behavior when I view it in my forties. After a string of embarrassing mishaps it works out in the end as it always does for Bridget. I just find it amazing that she was able to find two responsible, handsome, dependable men that were willing to put up with her crap. The ultimate message of this book is a good one. Sometimes tragedy happens in life and somehow you have to find a way to go on even when you don't want to. Ultimately though this book was for me like that friend you meet up with every ten years for a drink and then you go your separate ways.… (more)
LibraryThing member shelleyraec
I’d forgotten how exhausting Bridget can be, lurching from one crisis to another. Despite being twenty years older, a mother and widow, Bridget has barely changed, but then few of us do all that much.

I laughed more often than I expected, empathising as Bridget struggled with horribly sick children on her own in the middle of the night (if you have ever had to do it this scene will have you laughing and cringing in equal measure). Ugh and nits – the bane of my life! Then there is the running of the school gate gauntlet, the botox debate, twitter, Zumba and online dating.
The idea of ever having to re-enter the dating pool even now at 40, let alone at 50, makes me shudder but neither could I imagine being alone for the rest of my life. I was cheering for Bridget as she sucked in her tummy and warily put herself out there again, and slightly envious that she managed to score herself a toyboy with barely any effort.

I am bemused at how bitter some readers are over Fielding’s decision regarding Mark’s fate, certainly almost everyone under 30 seems to feel personally betrayed by the loss of their happy ever after ending. I think Fielding was both brave and quite brilliant by bucking the norm, much as she did when she wrote Bridget Jones Diary in the first place in giving us a romantic heroine who was not a size 2, sophisticated sylph.

Hilarious, heartbreaking and moving I really enjoyed Mad About The Boy and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to fans of Bridget, – but given the online outrage, not to fans of Mark Darcy.
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LibraryThing member writerbeverly
Bridget Jones has been off the radar for many years now, because the last novel ended with a Happily Ever After.

However, time has passed, life doesn't generally grant us HEA's, and Jonesy is again neck-deep in the complications of life, including dealing with two v. young children. Some fans may be ticked off that (spoiler alert) the author did not allow Bridget and Mark Darcy to live to a ripe old age as a married couple. But if she had, this book would not exist, and I ENJOYED this book tremendously, found it believable, poignant in more than a few places, and laugh-out-loud hilarious in others,

The humor is still stellar and entirely relatable. Here's one of Bridget's (and my own) resolutions: "Deal with emails immediately and so that email becomes effective means of communication instead of terrifying Unexploded Email in-box full of guilt trips and undetonated time-vampire bombs." Yes, well, something about good intentions, hell...

Social Media distracts her from what she SHOULD be working on: "...Is absolutely imperative not to tweet today, but finish screenplay. Have just got to do the ending. Oh, and the middle lot. And sort out the start."

Regarding online dating, Bridget's friend Tom uses this catchy metaphor for a potential partner with whom he is flirting: "All text and no trousers." Then there was the twunken (drunken Tweeting) bird fiasco...

Bridget's mental digressions are delicious: "he picked me up in his arms, as if I was light as a feather, which I am not, unless it was a very heavy feather, maybe from a giant prehistoric dinosaur-type bird..."

It works as a stand-alone even if you haven't read the previous novels. If you have, it offers a peek at the glory of Mark and Bridget's past married life. It offers all the delights of mummyhood including lice infestations, vomiting, and cuddling in bed at storytime. I'm mad about this book.

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LibraryThing member MickyFine
Bridget has arrived in (dreaded, outdated term imminent) middle age and is now dealing with single parenthood, moral quandaries of getting a hair blow out at the salon when your child has nits, whether or not to put on reading glasses in front of toy boy, and figuring out just how Twitter works.

Funny as always, Bridget may be in her fifties now but she still has a propensity for getting into scrapes that only she can manage. However, this novel also had the ability to influence my tear ducts as Bridget deals with her grief over Mark Darcy. While the ending was absolutely no surprise, the journey was a delight. If this is the last outing for Bridget, it's a fitting ending for the girl whose internal monologue reminds me that my own may not be so crazy after all.… (more)
LibraryThing member ahef1963
Bridget Jones is a woman in her 50s, widowed with two small children, a cougar with a young and handsome lover, and it all should be wonderful and the Bridget Jones stories brought to life again, only somehow Fielding doesn't quite manage it this time around. I don't know if it's the widowhood or the vapidity of her romance, or the fact that quirky Bridget now, quite frankly, just seems air-headed, but I couldn't quite get behind this story or its hastily put-together ending. I gave it three stars because there were some funny parts, and because it was good enough to keep me reading, but it wasn't what I was hoping for, nor as good as I would have liked.… (more)
LibraryThing member sweetiegherkin
Now a single mom, Bridget Jones contemplates dating again, trying to fit a relationship into her busy schedule of carting two young children about, writing a screenplay, and staying in frequent contact with her friends and her mother. Bridget also dabbles in social media and new technologies while trying to lose weight and meet up to the standards of the "perfect" mothers she sees at her children's private schools.

There was a nearly 15-year gap between this third novel and the second installment of the Bridget Jones's series and I don't know if during that time I changed or Fielding did, but this novel didn't just have the same je ne sais quoi that I loved about the first two books. The style premise of the book - that Bridget is furiously scribbling in her diary at key points throughout the day - is even more far-fetched now that she has two young children vying for her attention constantly. In addition, Fielding chose to begin this book at a certain point in time, then reverse backwards a year, and then work up from there back to the current moment. I'm not sure what the purpose of this timeline mangling was except maybe to make the predictable ending seem like more a surprise. If this was the case, it was unsuccessful as it was obvious from the very beginning who Bridget would end up with by the book's conclusion. Instead, this set up had me puzzling a bit in the introduction because I thought perhaps I had forgotten or missed something, as I didn't recall Bridget having children before and didn't know why she was single again. (She is single again because her husband Mark Darcy has unexpectedly and brutally died. Her father has also passed away. These two events combined allow for a lot of grief and sadness to sneak into a purportedly humorous book.)

But these stylistic things were not the biggest issue I had; that fell to the character of Bridget herself. I recalled (perhaps incorrectly) Bridget as a quirky but well-meaning woman who often found herself in ridiculous situations and/or social scenes that seemed designed to make her feel uncomfortable or "less than" for not being married (an indictment on societal expectations, as I read it). The Bridget presented here sometimes still got into sticky messes (like having her child drop a box chocolates all over Bridget's dress at a fancy affair or finding herself stuck up a tree trying to help her children down said tree) but it seemed like more often or not, she was doing incredibly dumb (and frankly unsympathetic) things - like going into a drunken tailspin because a complete stranger on Twitter didn't like a joke she made, texting throughout the entirety of an important "first impressions" work meeting, lamenting about her lack of followers on Twitter when she hadn't yet posted a single tweet or followed anyone else on Twitter, and obsessively worrying about the status of her relationship if her boyfriend doesn't reply to a text within minutes, to name some of the bigger offenders. Fielding also had a field day (no pun intended) with the number of "jokes" based on vomiting, farting, and/or other bodily functions. Apparently in the post-Bridesmaids world, this is what qualifies as the humor women like.

In a similar vein, Bridget spends a large portion of the novel dating a younger man whose main attractive qualities seem to be a) he is younger than she is and b) he is "gorgeous." I began to feel like I was reading a Twilight novel all over again with the number of references to how "gorgeous" he was. He has few other qualities even mentioned as part of his personality (other than a fondness for constantly eating), seeming like a stock one-dimensional character. It was disappointing to have a female protagonist who had been through so much still be so blindly superficial in her choice of dating partner.

Still, these criticisms aside, there were definitely many humorous parts to the novel, and even some sections where I chuckled aloud as I listened to the audio book. (Side note, the audio reader was spectacular, using a variety of modulations and tiny shifts in accents to distinguish each character and really bring them to life.) There were some times when Fielding seemed to touch a little bit on ridiculous societal trends (like all the mothers at the posh private schools dressing like celebrities and obsessing over the class standings of their elementary school-age children), but I felt she could have gone a little deeper into exploring these issues and still have used her trademark humor to do so. In addition, there were some moments where the old Fielding seemed to be there, pointing out the ridiculousness of expectations for women and how the standard women hold for themselves and other women is unattainable and ultimately pointless. A particularly touching scene is when Bridget's children inadvertently infest her friend Tabitha with head lice and she must remove her hair extensions. She bemoans the lost of her beauty only to go home to her partner, who says she looks more beautiful with her natural hair.

Everything weighed together though, I was overall disappointed in this book and had hoped for more. I wouldn't go out of my way to recommend this except to the most hard-core Bridget Jones's fans and even then, I'd have some trepidation. I also don't know if I would try again with another follow-up were one to be published.
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LibraryThing member ASKelmore
From my Cannonball Read V Review...

I was trying to figure out how to write this review without spoiling the book (beyond the whole Mark is dead thing, which is not a spoiler, but instead the whole premise of the book). Most of what bothered me about the book involves pretty specific plot lines, but I'm going to try to get through the review by speaking at a general level. However, if you want to read the book and don't want to know ANYTHING about the plot, maybe just stop reading at the end of this paragraph. I'll TL:DR it for you: pretty entertaining, retreads much of the same ground from the first two books, Bridget does seem like Bridget still (but older), worth downloading in e-version or checking out of the library for a quick read.

Alright, the longer, slightly spoiler-y stuff. So Bridget is 51 in the book. For those of you who were introduced to her via the movie, that sounds too old, but I think the time line is based on the original books, but even so it's not that far off as the first move came out TWELVE YEARS AGO.

Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck

Overview:
As stated above, we're visiting Bridget over a decade down the road, and four years after Mark has died, leaving her a widow with a young son and a three-month-old daughter. I noticed this comment when Pajiba originally reported the news, from Sara_Tonin00 "There's a decent romcom to be made about a young widow trying to figure out how to date again - but I don't think it's about Bridget Jones." To that person I would say this works better than I thought it would, but that's not to say that it's groundbreaking or earth shattering. It's a pleasant book, and to me it strikes true to the Bridget we've gotten to know in the first couple of books: still self-centered but not much more so than most folks seem to be these days.

The high points:
She doesn't utterly forget about her children; they aren't like Emma in "Friends," they serve more than just a plot twist every few chapters. In fact I actually came to care for them. They aren't angels but they aren't devils; I don't have children of my own but my experience with my nieces seems to fit. And while the children certainly feature in the book, Bridget still has experiences that aren't entirely about them.

I also think that Ms. Fielding does a good job (as far as I can say, not having experienced the death of a spouse) of capturing how, as time passes, sure the grief isn't top of mind all the time, but it's there, and can pop up as easily at a mundane event as during the holidays. I think it made sense to set the book well after the death so it's not so much about getting through every day but instead about getting through life and what Bridget wants it to include since it can no longer include Mark.

Most of the same folks figure in this book, so it's fun to see how the past few years have been treating them. I especially enjoyed catching up with Daniel, who surprisingly does make an appearance. The writing was also pretty good - I started on Monday night (the benefit of being on the west coast - it came through on my Kindle just after 9PM) and finished up Thursday at lunch, and it only took that long because I had a bunch of stuff to do on Tuesday and Wednesday evening. I am traveling this week and wish I had saved it because I know it would have made the flight go faster.

The low points:
Yes, the book now incorporates Twitter and OK Cupid (woo, up to the minute technology!) but so much of it seems like a retread of the previous books. Obviously there are only so many different ways to talk about searching for love but, without spoiling anything, a lot of the book seems VERY familiar, and I was able to (accurately) imagine the last page of the book a few chapters in.

There's also a storyline about her being fat, and I get that Ms. Fielding was looking for a total transformation / look what's happened but COME ON. That's a pretty lazy writing device, and also offensive to anyone who is, well, fat, because fat is a substitute here for letting everything go. Fat isn't bad, isn't even necessarily unhealthy, and the fact that once she decides to lose it the method she picks just .. works? Not realistic. It's obnoxious and I would hope Ms. Fielding was better than that.


Also the Twitter component seems a little OOH! Look at the older folks and the hip new technology! It eventually serves a purpose but I did start giggling because it seemed like the start of a bad SNL sketch more than a plot component.

Suggestions:
If you enjoyed the first two books (or the first move - let's all just pretend that second movie never happened, shall we?), I think you'll be able to get past the whole no more Mark component and enjoy checking in with Bridget. It's not a feminist tome, and I doubt that any women who have lost their husbands will be looking to it as a guide, but it's a fun quick read.
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LibraryThing member Jillian_Kay
I expected to be disappointed by this sequel, but I found it surprisingly sweet.
LibraryThing member WendyBlott
Not nearly as funny as the previous books, but typical of Bridget. Plot was predictable and humourous situations needed more work.
LibraryThing member lisa1121mass
Usually I love Bridget Jones, but this book was disappointing. Bridget is now a widow with 2 small children. She is looking for love and fun again in her life.
The continuing story could have been so much more! This book is mostly texts back and forth from various friends and her 'boy toy'. Sadly, I did not and do not recommend this story.… (more)
LibraryThing member SusannahPK_83
I was very disappointed with this book. I thought it was a very desperately written book. Why couldn't the main protoganist just be happy with her life with Mark Darcy? No, he has to be killed off so that Bridget Jones can rekindle her single sex romp days of old. Apparently a book about marriage and children isnt appealing.

I thought Fielding really sold herself out with this one.… (more)
LibraryThing member holloar
Wow, you would think after so many years even Bridget Jones would have grown up...a little. As a now single mother of two she is continues to be more concerned about weight, how many cigarettes she has smoked and her popularity, as determined by her followers on twitter. She leaves her children primarily in the care of the nanny or in a pinch with her former lover, the irresponsible Daniel. While she is in pursuit of of younger men. Time to grow up Bridget.… (more)
LibraryThing member etxgardener
In 1998 Helen Fielding did a delightful send up of Pride & Prejudice told through the diary of a young "singleton living in London and continually trying to lose weight, stop smoking and find the love of her life. She followed this first book up with a second where Bridget, although now in a relationship with her own Mr. Darcy, travels to Thailand, gets herself into a mess of trouble and has to be bailed out, once again. The second book, needless to say, as nowhere near as charming as the first.

Now in 2013, Ms. Fielding, apparently unable to come up with either new characters or new stories, returns to Bridget. Now 51 and a widow, she is still trying to lose weight, and now, in a nod to the new century, is trying to acquire Twitter followers. Oh, and yeah, she's once again looking for love.

As the book opens, she has a boyfriend - or rather a boy toy - a young man who is twenty years her junior.. But all is not well and the twists and turns of her life go on and on and ON for close to 400 pages. Need we say that was is charming in a young woman of 32 or 33 is not so attractive in a middle-aged woman of 51? And need we say that the frenetic minute by minute diary entries are more than a little bit annoying?

Please, please, PLEASE Ms. Fielding. Put this character to rest. It's terrifying to think about the diary of Granny Bridget.
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LibraryThing member ktleyed
I didn't think I would, especially with the demise of one of my absolute favorite literary heroes - but I absolutely loved it! I laughed I cried I was all over the place while reading this book, but mostly I laughed. Hysterical scenes involving texting and tweeting - all with the same old Bridget we know and love. She really hasn't changed that much, considering she's aged a bit and is facing all sorts of new (and old) problems. Alas no Mark Darcy, but Roxster, her 29 year old boy toy was adorable and I was so glad to see Bridget have a happy ending. She really deserved it. Great book! Why am I surprised, the other Bridget's were my favorites too! Fielding has done a masterful job at mixing humor with some very tender and heart wrenching emotions. She hasn't lost it at all, just as fresh and amusing as ever. (Love the cover too!)… (more)
LibraryThing member dysmonia
I like the Bridget Jones books not because I relate to the main character (I don't), but because I enjoy the writing and the humor. This is probably why, unlike a lot of fans, I don't have a problem with Helen Fielding killing off the Mark Darcy character. I didn't have anything invested in him or his so-called "happily ever after" with Bridget. It is a very sad event, to be sure, and it is conveyed as such in the book.

The differences between this installment and the first two are mostly due to the fact Bridget is 15 to 20 years older, and she is a widow with two children. When I think of what I disliked about the book, it is the same types of changes that happen in real life when friends get married and pop out babies. Bridget, like anyone who steps up to the plate as a parent, is less drunk and irresponsible. In those ways, the book is less fun. But realistic for it.

Well done, Fielding.… (more)
LibraryThing member dysmonia
I like the Bridget Jones books not because I relate to the main character (I don't), but because I enjoy the writing and the humor. This is probably why, unlike a lot of fans, I don't have a problem with Helen Fielding killing off the Mark Darcy character. I didn't have anything invested in him or his so-called "happily ever after" with Bridget. It is a very sad event, to be sure, and it is conveyed as such in the book.

The differences between this installment and the first two are mostly due to the fact Bridget is 15 to 20 years older, and she is a widow with two children. When I think of what I disliked about the book, it is the same types of changes that happen in real life when friends get married and pop out babies. Bridget, like anyone who steps up to the plate as a parent, is less drunk and irresponsible. In those ways, the book is less fun. But realistic for it.

Well done, Fielding.… (more)
LibraryThing member Dianekeenoy
No stars, this was just awful.
LibraryThing member dysmonia
I like the Bridget Jones books not because I relate to the main character (I don't), but because I enjoy the writing and the humor. This is probably why, unlike a lot of fans, I don't have a problem with Helen Fielding killing off the Mark Darcy character. I didn't have anything invested in him or his so-called "happily ever after" with Bridget. It is a very sad event, to be sure, and it is conveyed as such in the book.

The differences between this installment and the first two are mostly due to the fact Bridget is 15 to 20 years older, and she is a widow with two children. When I think of what I disliked about the book, it is the same types of changes that happen in real life when friends get married and pop out babies. Bridget, like anyone who steps up to the plate as a parent, is less drunk and irresponsible. In those ways, the book is less fun. But realistic for it.

Well done, Fielding.… (more)
LibraryThing member bakenquilt
Bridget hasn't changed at all - it's still like not being able to look away from a train wreck. Thoroughly entertaining vacation-type book to read!
LibraryThing member ashleyk44
Loooooved it! Aside from the awfulness that is Mark Darcy having been killed in such a tragic way (like many, I was horrified when I heard this was the premise, and maybe it's common knowledge but I'm making this a spoiler just in case), I enjoyed this just as much as the first two Bridget Jones novels. I literally laughed out loud, and I also literally cried. Maybe it was just the type of book that was the right read for me right now, but I really enjoyed it - so much so that I was up until 2 in the morning last night reading. Makes me want to go back and reread the first two, and also watch the movies...… (more)
LibraryThing member vplprl
I never really expected to enjoy this book as much as I did. I think the great appeal of Bridget is her ability to enjoy the world on her own terms. Granted, her disorganized approach to life often lands her (literally) up a tree however fashionably togged. Her discovery of social networking seems a natural progression from the obsessive, telegraphese style of her pre-internet diaries and should leave the Twitterati reeling for some time to come. Welcome back Bridget!… (more)
LibraryThing member melissarochelle
I finished this a week ago and never felt any need to write a review of it. As the Internet will tell you, Bridget is a widow. Her (non)relationship with Mark Darcy is one of the big reasons why I enjoyed the previous two books. But while Bridget is the same, the same diary format just doesn't work for these big changes. For one, there were these moments that took me out of the story because I couldn't remember if that was something that was ever said in the books or just the movie (I'm still not sure, but I think it was movie only-- the nice boys don't kiss like that line, I could be wrong).

I've always thought the diary format was more of stream of consciousness and it REALLY didn't work for me here. Plus I have an issue with Bridget Jones making me cry. It just doesn't seem right.

Anyway...the book was OK.
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LibraryThing member Charlotte1162
Not as good as the previous, the loss of Mark Darcy just killed it for me and I don't know why but she just didn't feel like Bridget for me, but saying that, it was still a funny and endearing story.
LibraryThing member LARA335
Thoroughly enjoyable update to the Bridget Jones story. A Merry Widow, Bridget tackles contemporary life, including an obsession with texting, internet dating, being a yummy mummy, getting to grips with social media, the hazards and joys of a younger boyfriend, and trying to sort out the fridge noise.

For Helen Fielding, it must have been daunting to contemplate a follow-up to such a hugely successful novel, but I think she succeeded with knobs on.… (more)

Genres

Publication

Vintage (2013) 390 pages

Original publication date

2013-10-15

Pages

383

ISBN

0345807953

Language

Original language

English
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