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The Bridge (Southside novels #1)

3.55 of 5 stars 3.55  ·  rating details  ·  464 ratings  ·  108 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 chosen
...more
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Published October 9th 2012 by Tundra Books (first published August 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,974)
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Reynje
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
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Arlene
Dec 02, 2011 Arlene rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
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~Tina~
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
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Shirley Marr
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
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Kelly (Diva Booknerd)
http://www.divabooknerd.com/2015/03/m...
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
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Rashika (is tired)
***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

I went into The Bridge expecting something that involved more secret agentsbut 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 Br
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Marianne
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
Sally906
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
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Skye
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
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Bec
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.
Sarah
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.
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
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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
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Nomes


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
...more
Joy (joyous reads)
Feb 16, 2012 Joy (joyous reads) rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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
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Megan
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
Hayley
"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
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Fabian Lozada
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
Katrina Ly
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
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Khalil Green
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
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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
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KT
I feel so conflicted about this book. I really WANT to like it on account of it being dystopian YA which is a genre I love, but lots of things bothered me.

Nik, the protagonist, seemed very passive. He did a lot of being swept along by other people. It would have been nice to have seen him take more of an active role. I didn't find his voice overly convincing, either.

The main big adventure/showdown that the plot seemed to be promising doesn't happen. So frustrating! ((view spoiler)
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Alastair Crawford
It's that central necessity of a book to have an engaging narrator, who could be endearing, witty, smarmy, charming, belligerent, or shockingly honest. "We read to know we are not alone," they say, and it's often the narrator who is our mate as we go through the pages. It doesn't have to be a character, a first person narrator, Jane Austen's pithy witty omniscience is as great a temporary friend as Chief Bromden's constant fractured and disturbed insightfulness, and Todd's earnest blundering hop ...more
Jagged
This book did absolutely nothing for me. Nothing at all.

This is a story that has been told ten ways until Sunday. There really isn't much going on this book that didn't go on in the others like it. You have someone who grew up part of one faction, only to learn that he has massive roots in the other faction. This opens up roads for moral confusion. It also gives way to angst between existing relationships, reasons to discriminate against the character, and to also undertake a manhunt for them. A
...more
Lectus
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.
Book Master
The Bridge, - a war between the hostiles and the city, separated by a bridge...

Ratings

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.

ENJOYMENT SCALE

5.0 - One of the best books I've ever read, it affected me and I wi
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Beverly
The new twist in dystopian YA literature seems to be keeping the reader guessing as to who are the good guys and who are the bad guys. Jane Higgins successfully leaves the reader with the impression there may not be any good guys in The Bridge. At least not in their governments. Nik grew up believing the enemy was across the bridge, and he was going to be one of the warrior heroes who defeated them. When his best friend is captured, Nik goes to save him, knowing if he is caught, he will be kille ...more
Chris Yee
I took this to re-read before moving onto Havoc to refresh my memory of Southside, and even on the return flight back from Dunedin, passengers had departed as I closed on the last chapter. Gritty, gripping and thoroughly built (and subsequently destroyed) world, the pace continued to draw me into the web of intrigue that perpetuated this war. Well written, it pulls no punches on the bleak and dark themes. A young boy Nik, torn from his school life, only to have his loyalties questioned. He cares ...more
Alicia Marie
3 stars. I debated and debated with myself over how many star to give. I didn't hate this book. I didn't love this book. So, 3 stars.

This book's story is intriguing, mysterious, and action packed. It has a wonderful ending that leaves you really thinking about life. But there were 2 huge problems with this book that I just couldn't get over.

First, what was the war about? The whole book is based around 2 different sides of a war, but there is absolutely no background about how the war got start
...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
More about Jane Higgins...

Other Books in the Series

Southside novels (2 books)
  • Havoc
Havoc Labour Market Programmes for Young People: A Review

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