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The Bridge (Southside #1)

3.59  ·  Rating Details ·  552 Ratings  ·  116 Reviews
The City is divided. The bridges gated. In Southside, the hostiles live in squalor and desperation, waiting for a chance to overrun the residents of Cityside.
Nik is still in high school but is destined for a great career with the Internal Security and Intelligence Services, the brains behind the war. But when ISIS comes recruiting, everyone is shocked when he isn't chose
Published October 9th 2012 by Tundra Books (first published August 1st 2011)
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3.5 stars

Why do you believe what you believe?

How much of the way you see the world is filtered through a lens built by your community, your education, the media?
‘We rode to war in a taxi-cab’.
This is the cracking opening line of The Bridge, an intensely thought-provoking novel that tackles head on the issues of war, propaganda, racism and class distinction, and the way political and religious ideology play into conflict.

The story follows Nik, a student at an elite Cityside school, who appears
Aug 07, 2011 Arlene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Arlene by: Street Corner Bookers - Aussie Tour Nic
Rating Clarificaiton: 4.5 Stars

The Bridge by Jane Higgins is definitely an award-worthy story in its own right. Winner of The Text Prize this intricate novel weaves heavy themes such as political power, friendship, self-identity and survival into a perfectly executed example of writing at its finest.

In this novel, Nik and his fellow classmates of Tornmoor Academy live in a world where their city is at war. There’s the Southside where the hostiles live in desperate, harsh conditions and are fight
3.5 stars

Aussie Book challenge 2011 #12

The Bridge is a ruthless, intense and heart pounding survival piece that is plunged deep within the setting of a chaotic war.
Tornmoor Academy is a school where kids go to be educated in physics, engineering, mathematics, chemistry, genetics and scripture in hopes to be added as an intelligence weapon for the ISIS (Internal Security and Intelligence Services), to be recruited as an elite and be apart of a team that will fight against the hostiles and find a
Shirley Marr
Nov 24, 2011 Shirley Marr rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: aussie-ya
The Bridge is the 2011 winner of The Text Prize, an annual X-Factor contest of the Australian publishing world where the prize is a publishing contract and a $10,000 advance (which btw, is huge, trust me - starving authors are salivating from a distance as we speak). I admit it - I've been watching this contest like a hawk since its inception.

The inaugural winner was The Billionaire's Curse. Like Johnny Ruffo - it's young and immature and when it comes to the crunch - talentless. This was follo
Rashika (is tired)
***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

I went into The Bridge expecting something that involved more secret agents but what I got was an intense dystopia that did not hold back on the realities of war. I have to say, with two good dystopias on my recently read list (this being one of them), I might just be ready to give dystopia another chance. I had thought I was done but The Bridge reminded me why I had once been so thrilled by this genre, why I had sought it out so much.

The B
Kelly (Diva Booknerd)
Mar 05, 2015 Kelly (Diva Booknerd) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: loveozya
It's no secret that I absolutely adore the dystopian genre as a whole, the oppression, the revolutions and characters that rise against adversity to save the world. Every so often a book comes along that breaks the typical mould that readers expect, The Bridge is that book. More political than pure dystopian, Nik's world is divided by two classes at war, his own in which children are trained to become elite soldiers with ISIS and the war hungry and barbari
Jan 28, 2015 Marianne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-swap
The Bridge is the first novel by New Zealand author, Jane Higgins. It is the winner of the Text Prize for YA and Children’s Writing in 2010. Since he was orphaned at the age of five, Nik Stais has lived, learned and excelled at Tornmoor Academy, hoping to be chosen by the Internal Security and Intelligence Service to use his talents in the fight that Cityside wages against the hostiles on Southside. Now seventeen, he and his friends are surprised and indignant when ISIS omits him from their inta ...more
Jane Higgins is a New Zealand Author and THE BRIDGE is her first book. The location of the story is an unspecified war-torn divided city that could be located anywhere in the world; little is said about the rest of the world. The two sides of the city are Cityside and Southside and they are separated by a fast flowing river and only linked by a series of heavily defended bridges. Both sides want to be in control. After the explosive start to the book Nik and Fyffe go over the bridge to Southside ...more
Paula Weston
This is an excellent novel. It’s got everything a great YA story should have: strong characters, gripping plot, nail-biting tension, and a powerful message (in this case, the futility of war).

I love the way narrative character Nik’s view of the world is shaken – and ultimately widened – when he crosses into enemy territory to find a captured friend.

Jane Higgins does a great job of depicting how a society might respond to ongoing conflict. In The Bridge, both sides have de-humanised the other; bo
Aug 04, 2011 Skye rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review is also posted on my blog, In The Good Books.

Firstly, that's one hell of a cover. The artwork is just incredible.

Secondly, this quote:

Over the Bridge, it's dark not day
Over the Bridge, the devils play
Over the Bridge, their souls are BLACK
Go over the Bridge and you won't come BACK.

Anyway, I borrowed The Bridge from my library solely because it won the Text Prize, an award that went to the amazing This Is Shyness last year, and it definitely deserved the accolade.

The Bridge told th
Apr 09, 2011 Bec rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the 2010 winner of the Text Prize. While I can't post a review prior to another review that I've written being published in Bookseller & Publisher. I can say that this book is amazing. Absolutely incredible.
Aug 16, 2011 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: australia, dystopia, ya
Realized I forgot to review this one... Oops!

Hello, my name is Sarah and I'm obsessed with adding Australian YA novels that I can't get in the US to my Goodreads TBR.
I don't think that I have read many better first lines, 'We rode to war in a taxi-cab.' certainly drew my attention. Nik is a scholarship student at an elite school, and at the beginning of this book he is expecting, along with his 'girl friend' Dash, to be selected as a recruit for ISIS (International Security and Intelligence Services) only, as a reader, you kind of know that he won't be chosen. And you also get the idea that he isn't really attached to Dash that very much, 'Dash and I had bat ...more
Joy (joyous reads)
Jan 20, 2012 Joy (joyous reads) rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Joy (joyous reads) by: Legs
This book gave me grief; it was like staring at the sun, you know it's harmful to your eyes and yet you can't look away. It was a brutal read but try as I might, I couldn't refrain from reading. It was harsh, it tugged at my heart strings and it put my brain into some calisthenics its never been through before.

The City is at war, divided into settlements where some are living in impoverish, deplorable conditions. If you're living in the Cityside, you might be able to live decently but at a cost
Chiara (delicate eternity)
A copy of this novel was provided by Text Publishing for review.

Okay first up I’m going to say that I totally understand why The Bridge won the Text Prize back in 2010. Because it’s awesome.

Secondly: if you have ever wanted a dystopian novel that isn’t full of romance and unbelievable teenage revolutionists leading a country, then please read The Bridge because it fits the bill perfectly. That’s not to say that there wasn’t any hint of romance, or that Nik didn’t have some awesome ideas and play
Aug 19, 2012 Hayley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"We drove to war in a taxi-cab." So the adventure begins.

In this dystopian YA novel, Higgins builds us a broken civilisation, separated by a bridge. Cityside are the haves, run with military precision by intelligence agency ISIS. Then there's Southside, with the Breken (an interesting inflection on 'broken'). They've been shut out by the citysiders, who fiercely guard their privileges against rogue attempts to cross the bridge.

Nik is a Citysider with a blank past. His parents were killed when he
Christina (Ensconced in Lit)
I received this book from Librarything Early Reviewers program in exchange for an honest review.

The Bridge by Jane Higgins follows Nik, who is an outsider of sorts in his prestigious boarding school. The cream of the crop become part of a secret elite group called ISIS who are the prime defenders against infiltration of the other side. Nik, for some reason, doesn't get selected even though he's top in his class. After war breaks loose, Fyffe, a good school friend of his, and Nik cross the Bridge
Khalil Green
Sep 30, 2013 Khalil Green rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Here is something to think about: Have I ever read anything like "The Hunger Games"? Unless you have read the Bridge, you haven't.

The bridge is an action packed story about a boy, named Nikolai Stais, stuck in between a war between two people: The Citysiders and the Southsiders. Nikolai was born was raised in the Cityside This takes place in the future of America but not as futuristic as the "Hunger Games". Also in this story, there are these bridges that seperate the two places. Sense the South
Katrina Ly
Nov 16, 2011 Katrina Ly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ok so i guess its only fair to say that this book was written really really well and that as soon as i began to read the first words, i was totally and completely hooked from start to finish. however having said that, i am not very happy at the ending and i'm still wondering, is this a series or what? cuz if it is, then i definitely, hands-down, totally give it all 5 stars. however if its a stand-alone novel, i'm sticking to my rating.

to all those thinking about reading it, its set in the future
Fabian Lozada
Feb 23, 2013 Fabian Lozada rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely love this book. Most of my books involve fast paced action and adventure that gives me a need to turn the page and does not release me until the very last sentence. This book however is not like those, its more slowly paced, much more calm. I was able to sit down and read through this book, and although it kept me turning the page, it did not choke me with so much action and adventure (which is not bad, just always need a break from it). It did have its action, and the entire book w ...more
Kathleen Dixon
May 21, 2013 Kathleen Dixon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen-reading
I'm writing this while battling a nasty head-cold so the mind isn't working too well. Added to that I finished reading it 5 days ago, and have read another entire book since then and started two others, so the clarity of recall isn't that great. What I definitely remember is that I enjoyed this book and it kept me engaged the whole time. I have taken to reading as I walk from bus-stop to work (and back the other way) and found myself wishing I had to walk further so I could keep reading.

Nik goes

blurb: The City is divided. The bridges gated. In Southside, the hostiles live in squalor and desperation, waiting for a chance to overrun the residents of Cityside.

Nik is still in high school but destined for a great career with the Internal Security and Intelligence Services, the brains behind the war. But when ISIS comes recruiting, everyone is shocked when he isn’t chosen. There must be an explanation, but no one will talk about it. Then the school is bombed and the hostiles take the bridge
Adele Broadbent
Spoiler Alert!

In a world where the city is divided in two by many closed bridges, Nik has worked hard at his grades to become a recruit of ISIS (Internal Security and Intelligence Services). But when they come recruiting he is not chosen. No one understands it – least of all Nik. That night their boarding school is attacked – killing all the staff and many students including his best friend Lou. Nik soon discovers the bombers were the Breken – from across the river.
What’s even more upsetting is
Mar 02, 2015 Lectus rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
I really don't know why I keep trying dystopia. They are so... repetitive. In the years I've been reading them, I've come to know their lines, plot, and endings by heart. The only thing that changes are the names, but we will always have a country diveded in two... or into many camps/districts.

So The Bridge is another mass produced/written YA dystopia that bored me within the first pages.

ZZZZZ going to sleep now.
Pam Saunders
Appeal to teens who enjoyed Tomorrow When the War Began series.

Jack Salton
Extract read aloud page 36 to 37
Jessica Strider
Oct 11, 2012 Jessica Strider rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dystopian, ya
Pros: thought-provoking, characters are three dimensional, shows war for what it is

Cons: Southside people accept Nik's story too readily, some names are mentioned without context so when they're mentioned again it's hard to remember who the person was

For Parents: minor swearing, violence (not excessive, but it's a war situation, so: assassination, bombs, beatings, minor torture etc.), no sexual content

Seventeen year old Nik's brown skin marks him as a Southsider, though he's attended school on C
Bree T
Nik is a high school student in ‘Cityside’, divided from ‘Southside’ by a bridge. The hostiles live in Southside, making raids every now and then, blowing up Cityside landmarks until the Cityside army forces them back and retakes their territory. Citysiders believe they are on the privileged side and that the Southsiders live in poverty and squalor.

Nik doesn’t remember his parents, he assumes they died in a former uprising when he was small. He was delivered to the boarding school at which he is
Book Master
The Bridge, - a war between the hostiles and the city, separated by a bridge...


Personal Enjoyment: 3.5/5
General Quality: 3.3/5

Enjoyment is purely what it says - even if the writing contains spelling errors, if that didn't affect my enjoyment the rating wouldn't be altered because of it. However, in the quality section it most likely will be. I rate on enjoyment. The quality scale ignores genre preferences.


5.0 - One of the best books I've ever read, it affected me and I wi
Dec 12, 2016 Wendy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dystopian, ya
Janet Higgins sets the stage for "The Bridge" in a divided City where war rages between the poverty-stricken and desperate Breken living in Southside and the elitist Citysiders. Amidst all the turmoil Nikolas Stais an enigmatic student at Tormoor Academy dreams of being chosen as one of thirty candidates for ISIS (Internal Security and Intelligence Services) until he's mysteriously rejected without any explanation, and explosions rock the city and the school. With his best friend dead and eight ...more
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Jane was born in Christchurch, New Zealand. Over the years, she has traveled away, but she returned in the 1990s; she and her husband, Paul, live there still, even though the ground now shakes at regular and unnerving intervals and has done since the earthquakes of September 2010 and February 2011.

Growing up, she read a lot of classic science fiction, fantasy and myth, and was captivated by the as
More about Jane Higgins...

Other Books in the Series

Southside (2 books)
  • Havoc

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“We Rode to war in a taxi-cab” 4 likes
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