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Two teenagers, strangers to each other, have decided to jump from the same bridge at the same time. But what results is far from straightforward in this absorbing, honest lifesaver from acclaimed author Bill Konigsberg. Aaron and Tillie don't know each other, but they are both feeling suicidal, and arrive at the George Washington Bridge at the same time, intending to jump. Two teenagers, strangers to each other, have decided to jump from the same bridge at the same time. But what results is far from straightforward in this absorbing, honest lifesaver from acclaimed author Bill Konigsberg. Aaron and Tillie don't know each other, but they are both feeling suicidal, and arrive at the George Washington Bridge at the same time, intending to jump. Aaron is a gay misfit struggling with depression and loneliness. Tillie isn't sure what her problem is -- only that she will never be good enough. On the bridge, there are four things that could happen: Aaron jumps and Tillie doesn't. Tillie jumps and Aaron doesn't. They both jump. Neither of them jumps. Or maybe all four things happen, in this astonishing and insightful novel from Bill Konigsberg.


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Two teenagers, strangers to each other, have decided to jump from the same bridge at the same time. But what results is far from straightforward in this absorbing, honest lifesaver from acclaimed author Bill Konigsberg. Aaron and Tillie don't know each other, but they are both feeling suicidal, and arrive at the George Washington Bridge at the same time, intending to jump. Two teenagers, strangers to each other, have decided to jump from the same bridge at the same time. But what results is far from straightforward in this absorbing, honest lifesaver from acclaimed author Bill Konigsberg. Aaron and Tillie don't know each other, but they are both feeling suicidal, and arrive at the George Washington Bridge at the same time, intending to jump. Aaron is a gay misfit struggling with depression and loneliness. Tillie isn't sure what her problem is -- only that she will never be good enough. On the bridge, there are four things that could happen: Aaron jumps and Tillie doesn't. Tillie jumps and Aaron doesn't. They both jump. Neither of them jumps. Or maybe all four things happen, in this astonishing and insightful novel from Bill Konigsberg.

30 review for The Bridge

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bill

    Oh, this book. THE BRIDGE took me two years to write, and they were hard years! I truly believe I was at the edge of my ability the whole time, doing things that were quite possibly beyond me. And I loved the process! Except when I hated the process. :-) My hope was to write a book about suicide and depression that was so real you could feel it in your bones, but that also felt hopeful, that left the reader with a sense that there was hope, because to me that's everything..I wanted to do that by Oh, this book. THE BRIDGE took me two years to write, and they were hard years! I truly believe I was at the edge of my ability the whole time, doing things that were quite possibly beyond me. And I loved the process! Except when I hated the process. :-) My hope was to write a book about suicide and depression that was so real you could feel it in your bones, but that also felt hopeful, that left the reader with a sense that there was hope, because to me that's everything..I wanted to do that by telling the same story four ways. So that readers could see the impact of the choices these two teens make on top of the bridge. So often when I've been depressed, I've had the thought that no one would care if I were dead or alive. That's a lie. Depression makes our brains lie to us. I wanted to reveal that lie in all its power and complexity, and show what can happen when we decide to stay another day. In the end, I cannot say whether I succeeded or failed. That's up to readers. But please know that I put my whole heart in this book. I hope that one person with suicidal ideation or severe depression will read this book and decide to stay.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Snjez

    This was such an amazing story, complex, emotional and very thought provoking. The concept of the book was fantastic. I loved how the author handled the subject matter and I loved the overall message of this story, including the author's note at the end of the book. I'm keeping this review short because there's not much I can say without spoiling anything. I feel the blurb gives just the right amount of information. I started off listening to this on audio, but I switched to ebook at around 20%. This was such an amazing story, complex, emotional and very thought provoking. The concept of the book was fantastic. I loved how the author handled the subject matter and I loved the overall message of this story, including the author's note at the end of the book. I'm keeping this review short because there's not much I can say without spoiling anything. I feel the blurb gives just the right amount of information. I started off listening to this on audio, but I switched to ebook at around 20%. There's something about the narrator's voice that annoyed me, especially when she was singing.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Anna Luce

    4 ½ stars The Bridge by Bill Konigsberg took me by surprise. While I did enjoy reading two of Konigsberg's previous novels, Openly Straight and The Music of What Happens, they certainly didn't affect me as The Bridge. This is the kind of novel I wish had been around when I was sixteen and contemplating suicide. While there are quite a few novels that expand on 'what if' scenarios, Konigsberg's diverging timelines are far from gimmicky. The first scene in The Bridge, regardless of its different ou 4 ½ stars The Bridge by Bill Konigsberg took me by surprise. While I did enjoy reading two of Konigsberg's previous novels, Openly Straight and The Music of What Happens, they certainly didn't affect me as The Bridge. This is the kind of novel I wish had been around when I was sixteen and contemplating suicide. While there are quite a few novels that expand on 'what if' scenarios, Konigsberg's diverging timelines are far from gimmicky. The first scene in The Bridge, regardless of its different outcome, plays a pivotal role in each section of the novel. Within the first pages of this novel we are transported to George Washington Bridge where two teens, Aaron and Tillie, strangers to each other, are planning to jump. In the first section, titled 'A', Tillie jumps, while a traumatised Aaron returns to his home, unable to forget what happened. As we become acquainted with Aaron, reading of his relationship to his extremely supportive father, and of the anxiety and depression that made him go on the bridge, we also read of the repercussions that Tillie's suicide has on her adoptive parents and younger sister, as well as the guilt felt by those who in their own way contributed to her decision to end her life. In 'B' it is Aaron who jumps and Tillie who survives. Aaron's suicide destroys his father, leaving him bereft, while Tillie confronts the people who have hurt her the most—a former best friend, her ex-boyfriend, and her emotionally distant father. In 'C' they both die, and Konigsberg doesn't repeat himself, offering his readers instead with just how everlasting is the grief and guilt experienced by the relatives and loved ones of suicide victims. He goes as far as envisioning the people Aaron and Tillie would have met, loved and helped, had they stayed alive. 'C', which for obvious reasons was my favourite, depicts a world in which they don't jump, forming an unlikely bond, and finding comfort in each other's despair. I can't stress enough how well-written and structured this novel is. However heartbreaking the various narratives were, I loved reading them. Konigsberg injects plenty of humour in his novel, alleviating somber scenes without making light of any of the subjects he writes of. Trough his portrayal of mental health Konigsberg demonstrates extreme empathy and sensitivity, never offering one-sided arguments or easy definitions. Both his adult and his teen characters are given their own distinctive voices, and regardless of what they say or do, they aren't demonised or easily labelled as 'bad'. Some of the parents in this novel are terrible. They are extremely unsupportive or blind to the pain their actions or words cause to their children. Our protagonists too are more than capable of making mistakes and or of jumping to conclusions. Konigsberg is particularly perceptive when it comes to the effect that offhanded remarks can have on vulnerable young people. He doesn't offer magical cures for Aaron and Tillie's depression, and in the narratives where they do not jump, their lives aren't depression or suicidal-thought free. Konigsberg dialogues and his characters felt strikingly real. While each narrative navigates painful realities, The Bridge doesn't succumb to the dark thoughts or difficult circumstances of its characters. Aaron's relationship with his father and the bond between him and Tillie truly made the novel. Unlike the other books I've read by this author The Bridge is a novel that will stay with me (as clichéd as that may sound) and I can't wait to re-read this. If you are looking for a piercing and emotional YA contemporary read, look no further. Read more reviews on my blog / / / View all my reviews on Goodreads

  4. 5 out of 5

    Larry H

    4.5 stars, rounded up. Bill Konigsberg's new YA novel, The Bridge , is an emotional, eye-opening look at teenagers, depression, and suicide. Aaron can’t take it any longer. He’s tired of not feeling like he’s good enough or talented enough. He’s tired of wondering if he’ll ever find a guy to love him, tired of putting himself out there and getting little in return. One day, he goes to the George Washington Bridge and is ready to end it all. And there he sees Tillie. Tillie is at the end of her ro 4.5 stars, rounded up. Bill Konigsberg's new YA novel, The Bridge , is an emotional, eye-opening look at teenagers, depression, and suicide. Aaron can’t take it any longer. He’s tired of not feeling like he’s good enough or talented enough. He’s tired of wondering if he’ll ever find a guy to love him, tired of putting himself out there and getting little in return. One day, he goes to the George Washington Bridge and is ready to end it all. And there he sees Tillie. Tillie is at the end of her rope. She’s been bullied, she’s been ghosted, she’s fighting to be seen and heard and loved. She just doesn’t feel like she can go on any longer. And then she sees Aaron. What happens if Aaron jumps? What happens if Tillie jumps? What if they both jump? What if neither one jumps? Konigsberg explores all four scenarios, the impact on those left behind (including Aaron or Tillie if they saw the other jump), the possible ways they might have touched the world had they not jumped, and the beauty and strength which comes from having the support of people who get you. He recognizes, however, that’s not all we need to help us. This was a beautiful, moving book which hit me in the feels, reminding me of my own struggles with depression and suicidal thoughts. The unique 4-scenarios-in-1 concept mostly works, and it really looks at the big and small moments of depression. Konigsberg is a terrific writer; I've enjoyed his previous books, particularly The Music of What Happens . He has written an important, gorgeous book that will make you feel and think, but it's not so heavy or maudlin that you'll feel utterly finished afterward. If you or a loved one is experiencing suicidal thoughts, in the US you can call 1-800-273-TALK or 1-800-SUICIDE. Check out my list of the best books I read in 2019 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2020/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2019.html. Check out my list of the best books of the decade at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2020/01/my-favorite-books-of-decade.html. See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com. Follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Vegan

    This book is extraordinarily difficult for me to rate and review. Most of the time I really liked it so it’s 4 stars from me. There are 4 sections/alternative stories. In the first Tillie commits suicide, in the second Aaron commits suicide, in the third they both do, and in the fourth neither do. My favorite section was the last, though at a few times I got bored because by then there was some repetition. The third part was my least favorite, partly because part of it became speculative fiction This book is extraordinarily difficult for me to rate and review. Most of the time I really liked it so it’s 4 stars from me. There are 4 sections/alternative stories. In the first Tillie commits suicide, in the second Aaron commits suicide, in the third they both do, and in the fourth neither do. My favorite section was the last, though at a few times I got bored because by then there was some repetition. The third part was my least favorite, partly because part of it became speculative fiction though going so far into the future was interesting. I read the author’s intent in his note at the end and it’s good but the fact is some kids don’t have anyone who care about them. (view spoiler)[ Both these kids have one parent who does greatly care about them and one parent who doesn’t care enough and one also has a loving sister. These two kids are relatively lucky compared with many teens who suffer from mental health problems. (hide spoiler)] I do think that many young people might find this book helpful but as I read I often thought Trigger, trigger, trigger, trigger… I struggled with parts of it wondering how it might affect other readers of different ages. It is very much aimed toward today’s teens. Maybe that will work. Maybe it will work for reluctant readers, of all genders. The portions in different font used for writings including songs are so faint on the page I literally could not decipher them. I simultaneously read the hardcover and the Hoopla audio book and only from the audio edition could I hear the diary type entries and the sung songs. Otherwise, I’d have probably preferred reading only the paper edition. This is a well-meaning book. I liked the characters. I grew fond of Tillie and of Aaron and some of the people in their lives. I thought it was helpful to witness the depression and in some ways even more the mania. It’s a great depiction of both and I think mania is written about less than depression in these sorts of books. It’s a great friendship book, really wonderful. I’m not sure about recommending this book to teens struggling with severe affective disorders, unless they have support in place, but I can recommend it to kids struggling with issues around their sexuality, kids who feel like oddballs, readers looking for a good story about bullying, and for anyone looking for a fine friendship story even though it takes a while to get there. It's also a wonderful NYC book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Skip

    Drawing from his own experiences with depression and attempted suicide, Konigsberg writes the story of two NYC teens, who cross paths on the George Washington Bridge where each intends to commit suicide. Aaron is a scholarship student at the Fieldston School and Tilllie is a wealthy student at the Spence School. Each has a number of problems, with parents and a lack of friends, leading to this momentous moment. There are four separate stories: one where Tillie jumps, one where Aaron jumps, one w Drawing from his own experiences with depression and attempted suicide, Konigsberg writes the story of two NYC teens, who cross paths on the George Washington Bridge where each intends to commit suicide. Aaron is a scholarship student at the Fieldston School and Tilllie is a wealthy student at the Spence School. Each has a number of problems, with parents and a lack of friends, leading to this momentous moment. There are four separate stories: one where Tillie jumps, one where Aaron jumps, one where they both jump, and one where neither jumps. Personally, I liked the versions in which Aaron survives better. The issues, with which both teenagers have to deal: rejection, bullying, sexual identities, self image are very real and adeptly handled by Konigsberg. Aaron is more of a loner, and finds that people think more of him than he does of himself. Tillie has more emotional baggage, but a poor self image aggravated by being dumped by a boyfriend. Konigsberg deals with psychology, medication, therapy and other tools in the battle to save lives. Read his afterword and resources for depression/suicide prevention. Special mention to Scholastic for publishing this book. 4.5 stars.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tzipora

    Two different teens- a boy and a girl, one gay, one straight, one white, one Korean- end up at the George Washington bridge at the same time to commit suicide. What follows is an exploration of possible outcomes- if she jumps but he doesn’t, if he jumps and she doesn’t, if they both do, and if neither do. I like stories like this with alternate timelines and getting to explore different options. It works especially well with suicide- exploring and teaching a lesson of sorts without being remotel Two different teens- a boy and a girl, one gay, one straight, one white, one Korean- end up at the George Washington bridge at the same time to commit suicide. What follows is an exploration of possible outcomes- if she jumps but he doesn’t, if he jumps and she doesn’t, if they both do, and if neither do. I like stories like this with alternate timelines and getting to explore different options. It works especially well with suicide- exploring and teaching a lesson of sorts without being remotely preachy. The author mostly excels with this and does an especially good job of teaching us about each character and their families and the events surrounding their despair through each storyline in a way that feels seamless and isn’t repetitive. You quickly find yourself carrying deeply for both gay only child Aaron and Korean adoptee Tillie. Aaron is passionate about writing and singing songs and wants to be famous, in fact he’s kind of obsessed and overly preoccupied with getting others to like his music and him. He’s a bit of a loaner, a scholarship kid at a private high school, and while he’s full of passion for music, he has limited training. Tillie writes monologues with the kind of angst and earnestness only a high school girl can but when she pours out her soul, at the talent show of her private girls only high school, she is made into the butt of a cruel joke and her already absent father pulls away completely, embarrassed and angry at her for sharing what he sees as dirty laundry that should remain private. Notably both teens have a close relationship with their same sex parent while the other parent is entirely absent. I found that interesting given that I could relate to the absentee parent thing and the pain of that but not the close relationship part and I wondered what the likelihood that two kids with that much going on and that much pain would actually be so close to a parent. I’m certainly not saying that kids who are close with a parent don’t have problems and mental illness but I wondered if these were really the two kids most likely to find themselves on a bridge on the verge of suicide. This book does so much, so well. I really loved that while Aaron is gay and openly so, and several people in the story end up asking if that’s the cause of his depression and suicidality, he states that it isn’t. In the afterwards author Bill Konigsberg discusses that queer kids are 5x more likely to attempt suicide and trans kids even more likely still, but it isn’t always queerness that’s the problem and I thought it was great to depict this. At the same time there’s a prominent secondary character, Amir, who unlike Aaron, is forced to remain closeted and worries what the guys at his all boys school will think and has been told by his mother that he would be disowned. Again we have some really great nuance since Amir is Arab and from a Muslim background but neither his mother nor he practice Islam and it isn’t the Islam that causes his mother to feel as she does. I also loved the way Amir’s character and Tillie bond over the stereotypes and racism they face and the complicated feelings Tillie has over being a Korean adoptee. Tillie’s parents end up having a baby of their own after being told they’d never be able to and again, I loved the nuance here with how deeply Tillie loves her younger sister and how close she is with her mom yet how she suspects some of her father’s issues with her have to do with the adoption and not being his biological child. These are real kids, written with real and complex issues and there’s so many different ways I think teens will relate as well as get a look through eyes of of teens with very different struggles. While every teen in the book attends private school, money is an issue in Aaron’s family too so there’s some class related diversity though I do think it’s a shame these are all very wealthy, financially privileged kids. Can’t fault that much though when there’s such a great depiction of diversity in many other regards. There is one flaw that really bummed me out and lower my rating- it’s the poorly handled section where both kids jump. It feels a bit long yet also lacking and I don’t know that much could’ve been differently since it comes after the chapters looking at it one kid or the other does so we already see how their families and friends grieve but where Konigsberg does go felt very contrived. In addition to seeing how Tillie’s sister misses Tillie at future milestones, how Aaron’s single father copes with being even more alone, how the families generally go on in the far off future- we also are given glimpses of random strangers who we are to believe were the guys both Tillie and Aaron would’ve ended up marrying and that feels... just too much. There’s also some bizarre takes on ways the teens may have left their mark on the world- a chapter relating to one of Aaron’s song but since he died it never exists and a lonely teen needed it. Or far worse but this also is a major issue to the previous chapter- Konigsberg goes way overboard in imagining how different the future in 20-some years will be- we see a girl entering the last remaining library (most people use the WWB-World Wide Bibliotech. Yikes. Just no...) and she’s looking for a book on weight related online bullying that doesn’t exist because Tillie never wrote it. Contrived but also wow. The strange details tossed into these chapters about the future were jarring and odd and wholly unnecessary. This section really falters while the other three soar. Thankfully the problematic section is the quickest to get through- and in being so quick and jarring really lacks the emotional impact- but the rest of the book is five star worthy. There’s so much emotion all around and we get a really in depth exploration of the options here, the consequences of what suicide can do and what choosing to keep fighting can look like. Because all despair is temporary but it can take a lot of work to climb out of that hole. And Konigsberg depicts that part so well too- both teens undergo different types of treatment. Aaron starts taking medication and we even see the struggles involved there. I thought it was a very interesting point that Konigsberg chose to include a manic episode that’s triggered by the Meds. That’s quite common especially when giving SSRIs to young people and I truly loved that while bipolar is mentioned, the psychiatrist explained that they would have to explore the option but it could just be a one time thing in response to the drug. Well done, especially when far too often behaviors show up as side effects or responses to medications that then spiral into further diagnoses and more meds and no one ever seems to stop to ask what’s the meds and what’s the real issue. I liked this and that while Tillie doesn’t end up using meds the medication thing is portrayed neutrally and both teens benefit from therapy though they have varying responses to their individual therapists. I loved the way Tillie and Aaron end up helping one another in the fourth and longest section too. And how they connect with other teens. I was also deeply struck by the way their families, in particular Aaron’s dad and Tillie’s mom rally around them. When I was a struggling teen I would’ve given anything to have had a parent like that and I think that makes such a profound difference. Yet there is still Aaron’s absent mother and Tillie’s dad who is physically present but emotionally absent too. So this is a brilliantly and uniquely done exploration of options and Konigsberg masterfully weaves each one, all four possible outcomes to these suicidal teens on the bridge, without ever getting preachy or anything but real. Of course beyond the bridge maybe the options are actually limitless. But there’s only one way to find out and that is to live. Finally, I thought it would be pertinent to add this quote from the author’s note at the end where he discusses why he wrote this book and what it meant to him. There is a range of feelings and beliefs when it comes to depicting teen suicide in media but in my mind Konigsberg nails it, doesn’t glamorize it or gloss over how difficult choosing to live can be, and has just the right tone in The Bridge. In his own words he says- “My strong belief is that talking about suicide does not, in general, lead young people to kill themselves. In fact, we need to talk MORE about suicide, to demystify it. We need to discuss the feelings of despair and depression, as well as the entirety of suicide, including the impacts. Including the alternatives. The discussion needs to be a complete one. In talking about suicide, we must be careful not to glamorize it. Not to create fantasies or magical thinking about suicide as some sort of answer to anyone’s struggles.”

  8. 5 out of 5

    Samantha (WLABB)

    I loved Konigsberg's approach to this book. It was very thought provoking seeing the different chain of events kicked off in each scenario. I liked the emphasis on human connection, but what I really connected with was when the characters talked about "the mask". How often does someone ask you, "How are you?" and they really want to know? Someone dealing with depression often has to wear a mask, say they are fine. Konigsberg discussed this and how exhausting it is to keep up appearance, while ac I loved Konigsberg's approach to this book. It was very thought provoking seeing the different chain of events kicked off in each scenario. I liked the emphasis on human connection, but what I really connected with was when the characters talked about "the mask". How often does someone ask you, "How are you?" and they really want to know? Someone dealing with depression often has to wear a mask, say they are fine. Konigsberg discussed this and how exhausting it is to keep up appearance, while acknowledging that this behavior keeps one from forming the type of connections they really need. He definitely nailed that for me. Oh, and I am glad he saved the best scenario for last. BLOG | INSTAGRAM |TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN | FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS

  9. 5 out of 5

    Wendy Poteet

    I just finished reading a draft of this and...WOW! I cannot wait for this to hit shelves and get into people's hands. Bill's character development and storytelling are top-notch. I fell in love with Aaron and Tillie. They broke my heart over and over but I never stopped pulling for them. I just finished reading a draft of this and...WOW! I cannot wait for this to hit shelves and get into people's hands. Bill's character development and storytelling are top-notch. I fell in love with Aaron and Tillie. They broke my heart over and over but I never stopped pulling for them.

  10. 4 out of 5

    The Nerd Daily

    Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Ankara C Published on September 1st, The Bridge is Bill Konigsberg’s latest novel. His new work revolves around how suicide affects every aspect of not only one’s existence, but also that of others. Talking about suicide usually involves people wondering what could have been done different and how would a person’s death affect the people around them. Bill Konigsberg does exactly that, but taking it a step further. He offers the reader all the pos Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Ankara C Published on September 1st, The Bridge is Bill Konigsberg’s latest novel. His new work revolves around how suicide affects every aspect of not only one’s existence, but also that of others. Talking about suicide usually involves people wondering what could have been done different and how would a person’s death affect the people around them. Bill Konigsberg does exactly that, but taking it a step further. He offers the reader all the possible outcomes of Aaron’s and Tillie’s decision to jump (or not) by making use of alternative timelines. But fear not, despite the apparent repetitiveness of the premise, never does the novel read as monotonous. On the contrary, it becomes increasingly gripping as one version of reality closes and the next one starts. Read the FULL REVIEW on The Nerd Daily

  11. 4 out of 5

    Nik Leasure

    Konigsberg has given us a story that includes all the elements of an intricate time travel story, including diverging timelines, without a time machine in sight. In a way, depression is a time machine. It holds us down in a single moment and forces us to live within that moment; it expands in one’s mind and fills every aspect of your being until you are forced to expel it from your body in one way or another. For those with suicidal ideation, that moment can be your last, and the act is the way Konigsberg has given us a story that includes all the elements of an intricate time travel story, including diverging timelines, without a time machine in sight. In a way, depression is a time machine. It holds us down in a single moment and forces us to live within that moment; it expands in one’s mind and fills every aspect of your being until you are forced to expel it from your body in one way or another. For those with suicidal ideation, that moment can be your last, and the act is the way that the moment leaves your body. Konigsberg’s The Bridge, focuses this moment on a particular place, the George Washington Bridge in New York City, making it real and tangible for the reader. This book expands and illuminates all the facets and faces in which depression expresses itself in the mind, the highs and lows, the effects on both the sufferer and their loved ones. A diverse and human cast of characters is introduced backwards, firstly by their effect on the world around them before we are introduced to the person themself. It is a profound and new way to tell a particularly important story. For those who suffer from depression, you can commiserate with Tillie and Aaron. For those that do not, this is a peek into the lives of those who do. Konigsberg has written a coming of age story that will resonate with young people for generations in a common struggle against an invisible enemy. If you have ever felt lost and alone, this book is for you.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kal ★ Reader Voracious

    ✨ You can read the first 18 pages in the I Read YA exclusive excerpt! "It feels spiritual, almost. This skin, these organs.Alive, unalive. The fine edge between the two. It could have hap-pened so easily. He knows it."<?i> Thank you so much for the YALLWest 'This American Experience 2.0' panel for getting this book on my radar! I don't often read contemporary, but hearing Bill talk about this book and how much it means to him resonated with me. I need more stories with depression repr ✨ You can read the first 18 pages in the I Read YA exclusive excerpt! "It feels spiritual, almost. This skin, these organs.Alive, unalive. The fine edge between the two. It could have hap-pened so easily. He knows it."<?i> Thank you so much for the YALLWest 'This American Experience 2.0' panel for getting this book on my radar! I don't often read contemporary, but hearing Bill talk about this book and how much it means to him resonated with me. I need more stories with depression representation and can't wait to read this one! Content warnings: suicide (based on excerpt)Blog | Twitter | Pinterest

  13. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    This important novel is a 4.5 for me, and yes, Bill Konigsberg, it's clear that you poured your heart and soul into this one. I've loved every book that this man has written because of the humor and honesty in each one, and this book is no exception. But oh, how hard this one hits. Aaron Boroff has had one of those days, topped off by a dismissive comment about his singing, and he's come to the George Washington Bridge to end it all. He's through with trying and through with life. But to his sur This important novel is a 4.5 for me, and yes, Bill Konigsberg, it's clear that you poured your heart and soul into this one. I've loved every book that this man has written because of the humor and honesty in each one, and this book is no exception. But oh, how hard this one hits. Aaron Boroff has had one of those days, topped off by a dismissive comment about his singing, and he's come to the George Washington Bridge to end it all. He's through with trying and through with life. But to his surprise, he sees another teen, Tillie Stanley, moving past him, clearly intent on ending her own life. Although the two teens don't know each other, they KNOW each other in a very elemental way since both have reached the end of their ropes. What follows are four very different versions of what might happen. In the first one (A) , at 3:57 p.m., just a few seconds later, Tillie leaps to her death in the Hudson River, and Aaron must decide how to deal with his own issues. In the second one (B) Aaron falls from the bridge as Tillie watches. In the third one (C), the shortest, both Aaron and Tillie die by suicide, and those they leave behind are left to contend with the holes they leave as well as what can never be. In the fourth one (D) the two choose not to dive from the bridge and become friends, facing down their demons and choosing life, even though it is far from perfect and things haven't necessarily changed the way they might wish. Still, it is clear that despite how desperate both characters are, they have individuals in their lives who care deeply about them and they are not alone. This is an eloquent exploration of body image, bullying, depression, delusions of grandeur, and the writing shines with its humor and honesty. When Aaron's new prescription works far too well, making him almost giddy, readers who have experienced something similar will be able to relate, but those experiences also attest to the sometimes rocky road to recovery and healing. Aaron's and Tillie's reasons for wanting to leave the world behind will resonate with many readers, but it's also true that things will get better if they can only have patience and wait. I suspect that this book will save many lives and will provide a starting place for conversations about suicide and depression. Konigsberg has created two characters that touched my heart and made me care about them. I desperately wanted them to live and to go on to have all the experiences they were meant to have. I haven't even mentioned the parents in the book, but the way they handle their offspring also has importanc. The Author's Note and Resources are important inclusions in this book, offering insight and places to find help.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Pablito

    While I am not generally a fan of alternate narratives, I became less hooked on the four outcomes of Tillie and Aaron's suicidal dances, and more intrigued with the ripples. Overall, this is not a depressing tome, and yet it exposes how a single decision can alter and impact the lives of others for decades after that decision. It also reveals how sometimes one overture can radiate into a life-long trajectory. So yeah, the process of living out the alternatives is what makes each of the four ways While I am not generally a fan of alternate narratives, I became less hooked on the four outcomes of Tillie and Aaron's suicidal dances, and more intrigued with the ripples. Overall, this is not a depressing tome, and yet it exposes how a single decision can alter and impact the lives of others for decades after that decision. It also reveals how sometimes one overture can radiate into a life-long trajectory. So yeah, the process of living out the alternatives is what makes each of the four ways Bill Konigsberg relates Aaron's and Tillie's stories sing. And far from being off-putting, the four ways in the end create a medley. Adolescent suicidation, it should surprise no one, is pretty common, and The Bridge with its alternate outcomes offers a wide perspective of how things can play out. For that, it may indeed present a deterrent, or offer just enough pause for a call to a friend or a walk across the park to clear one's head. I am grateful to Bill Konigsberg for these compelling stories about a half-Jewish gay boy and an adopted Korean girl who decide on the same afternoon to jump from the same George Washington Bridge. L'Chaim is a Jewish saying, which means To Life!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Bill Silva

    An important and necessary YA novel that addresses teen suicide and mental health in a compelling and different way--the structure of the novel is innovative and it mostly works. Some characters and situations are more believable than others, but the author successfully (for the most part) avoids trite or unrealistic storytelling, and his message--while obvious--is a profoundly meaningful one. It is a pretty narrow slice of life that is depicted here--but I think many young adult readers will be An important and necessary YA novel that addresses teen suicide and mental health in a compelling and different way--the structure of the novel is innovative and it mostly works. Some characters and situations are more believable than others, but the author successfully (for the most part) avoids trite or unrealistic storytelling, and his message--while obvious--is a profoundly meaningful one. It is a pretty narrow slice of life that is depicted here--but I think many young adult readers will be able to see at least a part of themselves in these characters and their concerns. And if the book speaks convincingly to even just one reader, then that's a good thing.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Charlize A.

    Whoa. This story was gritty, funny, and so incredibly complex... but most of all? It was REAL. Heartachingly, makes-you-think-about-the-world real. It wasn’t sugarcoated at all (which I loved), and it opens your eyes to another point of view. Not one where the main character gets all their wants and desires— one where life was just too hard to live in. I also though it was innovative of the author to add multiple endings to this scenario.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Chad

    This book was simply incredible! It does what 14 Reasons Why sets out to do but in a much more thoughtful and meaningful way. I think this book will save lives, specifically those who struggle with depression. The writing is beautiful and the characters have depth. I never thought any book or author would deliver a bit punch in the best way more than Adam Silvera but here we are! I can not recommend this book highly enough!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Wendopolis

    Good, but I was unable to read Aaron’s lyrics because they were light grey and practically invisible on the page. Bad move.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Emily Forsyth

    This book could be SUPER triggering for anyone who has ever struggled with suicidal thoughts/depression. But this book was so good holy shit

  20. 4 out of 5

    Molly R

    This book was amazing! I really loved how the author played out each outcome. The Bridge is beautifully written and I strongly recommend it.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Celeste

    Loved the approach to this very important topic.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kamden

    Important for everyone to read.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Gregory

    If you’re looking for a YA novel which explores suicide and its aftermath, by all means pick this over 13 Reasons Why. Konigsberg has done a terrific job at not glamorizing the struggle of two unrelated teens who find themselves simultaneously on the George Washington Bridge one afternoon, contemplating taking their own lives. I don’t know when I’ve seen a more accurate portrayal of bipolar disorder emerging in adolescence.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    I listened to this book so being able hearing the characters’s voices was a plus for me. This book was recommended by a friend. As a result of that I really had not read any reviews or summaries of this book. I was surprised when when story ended and another one started. My husband and I often talk about what would have happened if...how people start of one way and through circumstances and chance meetings our lives are changed, like a tree and their branches. This book gives the reader the four I listened to this book so being able hearing the characters’s voices was a plus for me. This book was recommended by a friend. As a result of that I really had not read any reviews or summaries of this book. I was surprised when when story ended and another one started. My husband and I often talk about what would have happened if...how people start of one way and through circumstances and chance meetings our lives are changed, like a tree and their branches. This book gives the reader the four ways this story could go from Aaron and Tillie’s chance meeting on the bridge. This book is about teen suicide. It would be a very interesting book club selection, not only to discuss how suicide effects the main characters and the people they love, but to give the many different options a person has rather then the only one they think they have. I would include the school social worker and guidance counselors in this discussion.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Belle Ellrich

    *I WAS PROVIDED A PHYSICAL GALLEY BY THE PUBLISHER IN RETURN FOR MY HONEST REVIEW. THIS DOES NOT AFFECT MY OPINION* I requested this book from Scholastic as a sensitivity reader. Before sending my request through, I really had to think it over if I was ready or not for something like this. Was I willing to put myself through that experience of feelings and emotions again? As I am an empath, I oftentimes take people's emotions as my own and understand just too much what they're feeling. But I work *I WAS PROVIDED A PHYSICAL GALLEY BY THE PUBLISHER IN RETURN FOR MY HONEST REVIEW. THIS DOES NOT AFFECT MY OPINION* I requested this book from Scholastic as a sensitivity reader. Before sending my request through, I really had to think it over if I was ready or not for something like this. Was I willing to put myself through that experience of feelings and emotions again? As I am an empath, I oftentimes take people's emotions as my own and understand just too much what they're feeling. But I worked up the nerve and the courage and sent my request through. Imagine my surprise when I was approved. I took it as a sign. Bill Konigsberg started this book off with an author's note, explaining why this book was significant and his own experience with suicide and depression. To some, this might be a page they skip over, but to me, I sat there. I read it once, twice, thrice... I'm still reading it as I'm writing this. Because you don't often see notes like these included in books, and you don't often find books with an author who's been in the same boat as you before. That meant something to me, and it still means something to me. That meant that this book is coming from somewhere, from someone who understands and knows that it's something we need to speak more about. So, I continued reading. This book is not an easy read by any means. It's heavy, it's sad, it's real, it's chest-pain-inducing, and more. If you were to take a look at the note on my notes app, you'll see that half of them are me relating to each of the main characters in some way or form. I'll admit, I had to really pace myself and stop reading every few sections because it got to be so much for me that I would sob. Because I understood the characters, and I knew what they were going through and why they felt the way they did. I don't personally think I've ever had an experience like this one with another book, and at the time, it really did scare me a bit. One thing that really stood out to me was that, in the beginning of each section of this book, one of the characters was telling themselves that the other person was probably going through something worse than they were, and what right did they have to take their life when the other person was probably having it worse off?  That hit me. This is something that I'm sure any person who's ever been depressed or suicidal has felt or thought. I've thought it, I've seen characters in other books or tv shows feel that way too, I've had people say that to my face. It's something no one really thinks about until it's staring at them and forcing them to pay attention. It's a stigma that is so ingrained in people who struggle with their mental health because it's been forced on us for so long by people who aren't suffering the same ways. Part of this is also the factor that, no one wants anyone to feel the same pain they feel. Majority of the time, someone who is literally breaking on the inside will be the person to go out of their way to make sure someone else isn't in the same boat as them. I know I've done it before, and that was also another added detail in this book that I really took to heart. There was a scene in this book were Aaron was feeling himself in a type of grounding technique to prove that he was still there, still alive, still a human being. I recognized it almost immediately and I connected with it. That was really important for me to see, and what would you know, I'd be performing it days into my pause on the book because I had another episode. Having that small but mighty detail added into this book could prove to be so helpful for someone else, and I'm really glad Konigsberg added that in here. Throughout the first part (part A) of this book, the writing appeared to be in an anxious-panic, frenzied type of style. For some people, this may annoy them. But for people like me who look into every small detail, every added mixture into a story, this was important. This displayed just the right tone and setup for Aaron's chapters--in all of the chapters involving him, not just part A--and it was a welcomed addition to the story. Along with that, it really hit me when Aaron disassociated in class. This is something that happens twice in the book, and for both times, I connected and related to it. I've never had to be wheeled out on a gurney like the first time it happened to him, but I did have to be shaken and "woken up" almost like the second time. It's frightening, and it's almost like your body is screaming at you to pay attention to and focus on your mind in that moment. For Tillie, I wasn't able to connect to as much but I understood everything about her situation. I've been bullied before, not for the same reasons as her, but it shouldn't matter what type of bullying or the instance in which the bullying stemmed from. Bullying is still bullying, and it hurts more than people realize. You can have a hundred anti-bullying classes or assemblies in a school, but kids will still find ways and methods to harm others. And they never realize the reason why it's horrible until it's too late for their victim or severe consequences befall on them. That's what happened in all of Tillie's situations. There were some minor problems I had with this book, but they weren't in any way connected to the important parts or messages the pages held. The Bridge is an absolutely necessary and important read, and I'm so glad Scholastic has published it. This book helped me in more ways than one, and I know for sure it'll help many others as well. For that, I rate it 4.25 stars. Bill Konigsberg promised me on an Instagram post I made about this book that he'd leave me in a good and safe place with this book, and he did follow through with that. For that, I am extremely thankful, and I look forward to any and all other books he releases in the future. 

  26. 5 out of 5

    Roger Hyttinen

    I'm a massive fan of Bill Konigsberg, so I was very excited to learn he was coming out with a new book. This was certainly an intense and quite a raw read. It follows two teens, Aaron and Tillie, two strangers but who end up on the George Washington Bridge at the same time with the intention of jumping. Aaron is gay and suffering from depression, and Tillie has just been ghosted by her boyfriend and has been publicly humiliated in an online bullying event. So there are four scenarios that could p I'm a massive fan of Bill Konigsberg, so I was very excited to learn he was coming out with a new book. This was certainly an intense and quite a raw read. It follows two teens, Aaron and Tillie, two strangers but who end up on the George Washington Bridge at the same time with the intention of jumping. Aaron is gay and suffering from depression, and Tillie has just been ghosted by her boyfriend and has been publicly humiliated in an online bullying event. So there are four scenarios that could play out: 1. Tillie jumps, but Aaron doesn't. 2. Aaron jumps, but Tillie doesn't. 3. They both jump. 4. Neither of them jumps. What's interesting about this story is that it explores all four outcomes in a diverging storyline format, which I typically enjoy. That is to say, the story plays out all four scenarios allowing us to see the fallout and repercussions of each decision on everyone in their lives. It's funny. I went into this without knowing anything about it (Bill is an auto-buy author for me). But when we moved onto the second scenario, I thought, "Wait, What??? Isn't Tillie dead??" It's at this point I read the blurb and had that: "Aha!" moment. So….to say this novel is powerful is an understatement. As you can imagine, any novel with the theme of suicide at its core is no doubt raw and heart-breaking, and this novel is no exception. Though a bit tough to read in places and definitely an emotional roller-coaster, it was also compelling as each section laid out the various possibilities of events following each scenario. In the story, he delves into themes of mental health, bullying, shame, body shaming, body image, parental neglect, family, loneliness, and of course, death by suicide. But I felt that at no point does the author romanticize suicide but instead shows the brutal results of such an act and how it can affect so many others. Now given that this is an exploration of these four different scenarios, there's really not any closure to the story as all of the stories end in an open kind of way. It's up to us to decide the outcome of each story. I'm glad the author saved the scenario in which neither teen jumps for the last, which ends the novel in a hopeful and optimistic manner. The message at the core of these four stories is kind of a wake-up call — maybe even a personal message to anyone who has or has ever had suicidal thoughts. There's no ideation here, but instead, the author attempts to show us that things will, indeed, get better, as well as illustrating how devastating the death of a loved one by suicide can be for family and friends. I also think these four stories create an often much-needed conversation around the topic of depression and mental illness in general. In the case of one of the characters, it's discussed how exhausting it is to keep a smiling face when the darkness inside threatens to overwhelm you and pull you down. The events that kicked off each scenario were not only fascinating but also eye-opening, and I felt that the author did an excellent job of bringing these events to life for the reader. And even though we get the same story after the events of the George Washington Bridge, the book is not at all repetitive because every decision the teens make sets off a chain of entirely different events. The ripples and repercussions of each person's decision in the story made for fascinating reading. I felt the story in which they both jumped was especially powerful, and the author took it to the next level by showing the hole that they left not only now but in the future. Here, the author shows us how far into the future, the ripples of their decision can reach. For instance, the book introduced the people they were supposed to fall in love with, people who now felt like something is missing from their life, but they can't put their finger on what. So here, we see the effects not just on the people they knew but also on the people they should have known. Ah… I'm tearing up just thinking about it. So again, the book is not an easy read by any stretch of the imagination. It's dark, heavy, sad, and gut-wrenching. The grief in this story jumps off the page. But it's also hopeful, in that there's always another option, and in this book, we explore those options.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Paul Manytravels

    Every author brings a different strength to his writing. Some excel at plot, others at creating atmospheres, some at structure, other at beautiful and lyrical language. Readers enjoy each of these strengths, sometimes preferring books with one of these over the others. I prefer authors who are able to “get into the heads” of their characters, developing rather than describing characters. Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky do this superbly, of course, but in this book, so did Konigsberg. Konigsberg thoroughl Every author brings a different strength to his writing. Some excel at plot, others at creating atmospheres, some at structure, other at beautiful and lyrical language. Readers enjoy each of these strengths, sometimes preferring books with one of these over the others. I prefer authors who are able to “get into the heads” of their characters, developing rather than describing characters. Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky do this superbly, of course, but in this book, so did Konigsberg. Konigsberg thoroughly understands teenagers, a unique and wonderful accomplishment few ever achieve. He understands that their highs are extreme and that their lows truly scrape bottom. This book deals not only with those rock-bottom lows of two teenagers, but also with how their focus on those feelings leads them to tragic conclusions. While describing the depth of their depressions, the author also skillfully reveals what led to those depths, both the superficial motivations of their final decisions and the larger, deeper depressions that nurtured their feelings of hopelessness. While most people carry their burdens in a large suitcase, teenagers carry them in dump trucks. Konigsberg also skillfully portrays these sufferers’ roles and importance on those around them. Showing how eac is affected by the tragedies of the teens’ final acts. Their tragic decisions, often built upon the actions of others, will haunt those who have loved them for the rest of their lives. All of that is powerful writing, significant and praiseworthy on its own, but the author also evaluates the impact the teens could have had if they had followed less tragic paths, if they had gotten the support they needed to choose life over death. Anyone who has ever been touched in any way by a suicide knows that no matter how close we may or may not have been to the victim, their deaths will resonate within us the rest of our lives. However, sometimes we do not realize how grateful we should be for those we love when we are lucky enough to have them remain living, breathing, loving influences upon us, even when our kinship to them may be distant. If we all tuned-in more to compassionate kinship with everyone in our lives, wouldn’t our existences be richer and more complete? This is a powerful emotionally wrenching book, not fluffy escapism. As such, it rates as literature rather than as simply “a good read,”

  28. 4 out of 5

    Tasha

    Two teens arrive at exactly the same time on the George Washington Bridge, planning to jump off. At the last minute, when he sees Tillie, Aaron decides not to jump, but Tillie does. Aaron now must find new ways to deal with his rising depression, struggles that he can’t admit to his father, even though his father is desperately to figure out what is going on with his son. Tillie’s family is devastated by their loss, particularly her little sister. Tillie, ignored by her adoptive father because s Two teens arrive at exactly the same time on the George Washington Bridge, planning to jump off. At the last minute, when he sees Tillie, Aaron decides not to jump, but Tillie does. Aaron now must find new ways to deal with his rising depression, struggles that he can’t admit to his father, even though his father is desperately to figure out what is going on with his son. Tillie’s family is devastated by their loss, particularly her little sister. Tillie, ignored by her adoptive father because she embarrassed him in one of her performances, is being cyberbullied by girls in her school, including one of her previous best friends. But wait, perhaps it was Aaron who jumped and Tillie survived. Or did they both jump? Or did they both stop themselves and find one another. This masterpiece of a novel looks at suicide, getting help, and the impact of loss. Konigsberg takes one pivotal moment in the lives of two people and shows how it could be different given a slightly different reaction. How one person could be saved, or the other, or neither or both. He portrays two very different families, each struggling with loss or trying to help their teenage child. He shows glimpses of hope, the long slog of treatment, the lifesaving connections that can be made, and how one person can save another. In short, this is life on the page, captured with real empathy. Konigsberg takes his young protagonists and builds their storylines fully, in one part even projecting us forward decades into what their loss meant for their families and how it continued to echo in their lives. He shares their deep sorrows, their reasons for contemplating suicide, their inability to put it into words themselves, and the powerful desire to have their pain just be over. He gives us the darkness and then the light, the ending portrayal of their stories are just what the reader needs, hope and unlikely friends. Powerful, deeply impactful and masterful, this teen novel shows suicide in breathtaking complexity. Appropriate for ages 13-17.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Meg

    This book knocked the wind out of me - an honest, raw, and painful story of two young adults whose lives intersect on the pedestrian overpass of the George Washington Bridge, each with a leg over the cold railing high above the Hudson River. From that moment on, Bill Konigsberg writes four different stories. Readers look at and feel the impact of Aaron and Tillie's decisions from multiple angles and on multiple people. For every reason why one might not feel comfortable in recommending 13 Reason This book knocked the wind out of me - an honest, raw, and painful story of two young adults whose lives intersect on the pedestrian overpass of the George Washington Bridge, each with a leg over the cold railing high above the Hudson River. From that moment on, Bill Konigsberg writes four different stories. Readers look at and feel the impact of Aaron and Tillie's decisions from multiple angles and on multiple people. For every reason why one might not feel comfortable in recommending 13 Reasons Why to a teen, hand them The Bridge instead. Suicide needs to be talked about, openly and honestly, with our young people, where death by suicide has increased exponentially in the last decade. It is the second leading cause of death for young adults aged 15-24. It is preventable. There is hope. Hold on for one more day - people love and care for you even if you think you are all alone. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline toll-free number, 1-800-273-TALK(8255) provides 24/7 confidential support for people in distress, as well as prevention and crisis resources

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jay DeMoir

    Wow! Just wow! This book really pulled out all the stops and had me in my feelings. often times when I've been depressed, the thought that no one would care if I were dead or alive floated across my mind than a few times. Reading this book by KING Bill reminded me that "That's a lie!" someone would care...it would affect someone. Depression makes our brains turn on us in ways that shock us once we've come from under the dark cloud. this book reminded me to be patient with myself and breat Wow! Just wow! This book really pulled out all the stops and had me in my feelings. often times when I've been depressed, the thought that no one would care if I were dead or alive floated across my mind than a few times. Reading this book by KING Bill reminded me that "That's a lie!" someone would care...it would affect someone. Depression makes our brains turn on us in ways that shock us once we've come from under the dark cloud. this book reminded me to be patient with myself and breathe. At times, this book was EXTREMELY heavy and overwhelming and I had to take prolonged breaks because it was uber triggering for me, but I kept pushing through in order to finish it. Such a HEAVY topic to tackle but I feel like it was accomplished.

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