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  • Writer's pictureAnnika Pillai

is bridgerton worth reading?

At this point, I’m really not sure. I wanted to read the Bridgerton series before the second season of the show came out––or at least Anthony’s book, but I also wanted to go into the second season with very little expectations––that way, I wouldn’t have any chance of being disappointed.

I knew I wasn’t going to read the first book, partly because the first season was out, and also partly because of that god-awful rape scene, and since I wasn’t planning on reading the second book, I skipped to the third book, Benedict’s book…which I also didn’t read.

In my defense, I went into the book with every intention of reading it, but after catching wind of what the plot was, (apparently, he forces her into being his mistress?), I just decided to skip to the fourth book, altogether.

In all fairness, the whole time I was most interested in reading Penelope and Colin’s story, so I wasn’t all that upset about it anyways.

Romancing Mr. Bridgerton

It turns out, this was actually a really good decision, since I thoroughly enjoyed Romancing Mr. Bridgerton. I thought that both Colin and Penelope were so cute, and I loved watching their romance unfold.

The book follows Colin, the third Bridgerton sibling, and Penelope, his little sister's best friend. Penelope has always had feeling for Colin, but she feels like he doesn't really even know that she exists. When Colin returns to London from one of his trips, he quickly discovers that nothing in his life is the same––especially Penelope.

The pacing of this book felt right, the buildup was great, and honestly listening to Colin finally notice Penelope, and how amazing she was, was just so satisfying to read about.

I will say, that the last 30% of the novel was not my favorite. I didn’t love the main conflict throughout this book (I don’t want to spoil it) but I did end up skimming the end, and I will say that Colin was irritating at times. I didn’t think he was insufferable or anything, but there were points where he got on my nerves.

That all being said, I really did enjoy this book, and if you are interested in picking up one of the Bridgerton books, I really do recommend you check this one out.

Rating ➳ 4/5 stars

(tw: bodyshaming, bullying, fatphobia)

To Sir Phillip, With Love

After reading Penelope’s story, I was actually pretty interested in checking out Eloise’s story as well, and boy was I in for a ride.

To Sir Phillip, With Love follows Eloise, the fifth Bridgerton sibling, and her love interest Phillip, who is a widower with two children.

I really wanted to like this book, and I really wanted to like Phillip in general, but I just felt icky after reading this book.

Eloise in the books is very different than Eloise in the show, and its not in a bad way, but in the show she is way more girlboss-y (I can do a separate post on my thoughts of this). Despite that, I honestly didn’t have a problem with Eloise’s character, more so than I did with Phillip. My god Phillip was aggravating.

He was pretty much a terrible father to his children, and basically wanted to marry Eloise so that she could mother them and relieve him of his fatherly duties. He is basically an absent parent, but then justifies it by thinking “at least I don’t hit my kids, like my father did.” He does spank them, which I don’t necessarily condone, and it did somewhat contribute to the icky feeling I got.

The main contribution to that icky feeling, was the way Julia Quinn handled Marina (his first wife) and their marriage. Shortly after the birth of the twins, Marina quickly falls into a state of depression, which lasts up until her first suicide attempt. She is a shell of herself, never wanting to be with the kids, or do anything. I think there is a scene where Phillip describes how he went to have sex with her, and even though she didn’t say no, she just laid there uninterested, whilst he continued to have sex with her, and then he went on to say that he felt uncomfortable and never tried to have sex with her again.

Oh my goodness this scene made me so unbelievably uncomfortable. Not saying no, is not consent.

That was not even the peak of my discomfort. Once Eloise and Phillip actually get together, all Phillip wants to do is sleep with her. When Eloise tries to actually have a conversation with him, he gets upset. I’m sorry, what?

I also just hated the way that Julia Quinn wrote Marina? There is a point in the book where Eloise catches Phillip staring at Marina's portrait, and she asks him if he loved or, and if he missed her, to which he responds that he didn't love her and he didn't miss her. Obviously there's nothing wrong with him admitting that he didn't love her, but the fact that he didn't miss her? I just feel like so much more nuance could have been added regarding Marina's character. I get that this book was written in the early 2000's, but still.

This book was just so unbelievably bad, and Eloise deserved a way better hero.

Rating 1/5 stars

(tw: dubious consent, suicide, domestic abuse, death, depression)

Whether or not Bridgerton is actually worth it, I don't know; out of the three books I read, I loved one, DNF'd one, and hated the other. As of now, I really don't think it's worth it? Now, I haven't really read the second book, or the later books in the series, so my opinion totally could change. I think in the near future I will try to read the second book and/or see how it differs from the show, and I'll try and finish the series.

But right now, I can't really say that it's worth it.

Romancing Mr. Bridgerton ➳ 4 stars

To Sir Phillip, With Love ➳ 1 star


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