Book Review: The Bridge by Jane Higgins

Last year, I set myself a goal of reading 20 novels from the beginning of January to the end of December. I finished, but barely. So, what is my natural course of action for 2013? Raise my goal of course. This year, I’m looking at 25. That’s 5 more books. That’s 2.08333333 book a month. Should be easy. 
Then again, I also thought 20 books would be a breeze.
Anyway, since I’ve heard from many of you that you enjoy my reviews (and even read the books I recommend!), and since books are something I care a lot about, I’m going to continue to subject you to my reviews. Who knows – maybe I’ll even read more than my goal this year!

The Bridge by Jane Higgins

Technically, this is a book for teenagers. So is Harry Potter. So is Twilight. (*shudder.*) 50 Shades of Grey, however, is not, but I have a feeling I would probably have read it as a teenager anyhow. (I will not, however, read it as an adult.) So, technically, this is a book for teenagers, but that should not stop you from reading it, and enjoying it, and recognizing the message in it as applicable to everyone, not just 16 year olds. 

I was a little uncertain about how I felt about this book when I turned the last page though. I think you should read it, definitely – it was a great read – but I will warn you that it’s unlikely to leave you truly satisfied. Perhaps that’s the point. 

It’s post-apocalyptic, kind of, dystopian, definitely. The story follows Nik Stais a teenager who finds himself caught between two worlds – Cityside, a shiny, comfortable world of luxury and the Breken, the hostiles on the other side of the bridge, in the ruined part of the city, the invaders. When the Breken invade Cityside and destroy Nik’s comfy life, he must cross the bridge on a heroic mission to save a Cityside child from the grip of the Breken. I’m sure you can imagine what happens next.

On one hand, I loved it. The plot was gripping and moved quickly enough through a dystopian world to keep me enthralled and completely absorbed in the struggles of Nik and his friend, Fyffe. It was a little predictable in its twists, and the writing was simplistic, lacking in complexity, but was full of good messages and warnings. And a good story. It’s a book to read for its story. 

On the other hand, as I flipped the last page, I was dissatisfied. I recognize the dissatisfaction as being something completely and utterly real, but I felt by the end of the book like the author hadn’t finished her task. I read once that a good author will take his or her reader deep into the depths of despair and hopelessness, then lead the reader out again, offering a simple glimmer of hope that reminds the reader that our world is not lost, no matter what it may seem like. 

The Bridge ends with no hope. 

Or, maybe it did. But I couldn’t see it. It was an enjoyable read, but I feel like I’m looking for the last chapter.

Next up? The Lion Seeker by Kenneth Bonert. I’m loving it, halfway through and completely absorbed, but it’s definitely a slower, more demanding read. 

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