Bridget Jones and her diary are back in Mad About the Boy, but in this book she is middle-aged with two children and has tragically become a widow due to Mark Darcy's death. After being celibate for four years, Bridget is encouraged by friends to get back in the dating game.
She soon discovers that dating gets trickier with age, especially if you are hooking up with a much younger man. Roxster is his name and it's difficult trying to have a fun, carefree relationship with him when Bridget is dealing with trying to rid her children of lice, get along with other school moms, avoid the annoying school teacher Mr Wallaker who always seems to show up at the worst times, and attempt to return to the professional world of screenwriting. Added to this, the single world has more complications since the last time she was in it, especially with the arrival of social media.
The book then travels back in time to four years after Mark died, when Bridget's friends, Talitha, Tom and Jude, took her out for drinks and decided she had to start dating again. Bridget realizes that the unpredictability of children is not a good situation in which to bring a hot date, but her friends take her to The Stronghold in spite of her objections. At this club they encourage her to meet a man. But when Bridget does start flirting with a guy she describes as 'Leatherjacketman' who looks like a Mills & Boon hero, she panics and tells him she has to go.
She returns home to where Daniel Cleaver (her ex-boss and emotionally-unavailable ex-boyfriend) has been babysitting her children and has a second opportunity that night to feel like a sexy thirty-something singleton - but she rejects his sexual advances. However, she can't seem to get Leatherjacketman out of her mind and texts him after being encouraged to do so by Talitha. They go out on a date.
Bridget falls into a vicious cycle readers of previous Bridget Jones books know all too well: that of trying to remember dating advice from books and winding up doing the complete opposite. She feels insecure about Leatherjacketman's feelings and creates pressure over having sex again after four years of celibacy. The guy winds up telling her she's not ready for something serious, so they stop dating. The ordeal makes Bridget undergo an intensive dating study, rehashing all the advice and wisdom she has curated from her extensive collection of dating books. They offer good, practical rules for successful dating and make her realize how she should not repeat the dating mistakes she made. The one thing she has to do most of all that isn't in any book, however: allow herself to grieve Mark's death.
Now the book returns to the present time, with Roxster arriving on the scene. The twenty-nine-year old tweets Bridget and they end up going out on a date. In spite of Bridget's continuous dating insecurities, things go well with Roxster until one night at Talitha's birthday party when he is drunk and tells Bridget he loves her but wishes he had a time machine. It's the first time the issue of their age difference comes up and to Bridget it feels like the happy bubble of dating her toy-boy has burst.
After trying Botox in an attempt to look younger, Bridget experiences ghastly swelling and annoyingly runs into Mr Wallaker out of all people whose timing is bad as always. He remarks on her swollen lips and tells her she shouldn't have done the procedure because she looked good before. Then at a school concert shortly after that, he nears Bridget and touches her hair, but she rejects him in horror, thinking that he is married. The truth is that he isn't and he seems to be just the man Bridget was looking for even though he didn't appear to be at first.
Best part of story, including ending:
I enjoyed this book because it had a good mix of emotion and humor.
Best scene in story:
During her first date with Roxster, Bridget tweets about what is happening to her followers. When Roxster tells her 'No tweeting', she replies that she hasn't been, only for him to inform her that he has been reading her tweets throughout the date. This scene is funny and entertaining, true to the Bridget Jones character.
Opinion about the main character:
Bridget Jones is a funny character who encounters situations to which single women and those in relationships can relate. However, at times she can come across a bit too neurotic or childish, which at times doesn't seem to fit with her being older in this novel.