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Jemima J: A Novel About Ugly Ducklings and Swans Paperback – June 5, 2001
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"A brilliantly funny novel about something close to every woman's heart –her stomach." –Woman's Own
"The kind of novel you'll gobble up at a single sitting."
From the Inside Flap
With a fast-paced plot that never quits and a surprise ending no reader will see coming, Jemima J is the chronicle of one woman's quest to become the woman she's always wanted to be, learning along the way a host of lessons about attrac
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― Jane Green, Jemima J
So. This book.
First off..this review maybe kind of long. I have read some of the other reviews. I do not usually read as many reviews as I did for this book But I wanted to know what others thought.
I do agree this book maybe terribly dangerous to the wrong reader. If I had a daughter I would not want her to read this. First the good. I liked Jemima. She was a well written character and I felt for her. That's it.
I do not believe the writer had any bad intentions writing this. I really do not. BUT..here's the thing..And please stay with me on this:
The writer seems to assume that the message in this book will be obvious. But it wont be. Not to teenagers. Not to people to young to have developed critical thinking skills..the ability to use them while reading. So if even a few girls misinterpret the message..that's what makes this book dangerous. Not just that "fat is bad". Not just that all one's problems will be solved if one loses weight. But also..that one will look like a super model when they are thin. Which is frankly nuts. Yes I will echo many others. 217 Pounds is not obese..far from it. But beyond that error, Jemima..loses the weight and suddenly is the most beautiful woman in the world. I mean she must be right? CARS ON THE ROAD STOP FOR HER, PEOPLE STOP TALKING MID SENTENCE. IT IS A BIT OBSCENE.
The bottom line IS THAT MOST PEOPLE DO NOT AND WILL NOT LOOK LIKE SUPER MODELS BECAUSE SUPER MODELS ARE GENTIC FREAKS OF NATURE AND LESS THEN ONE PERCENT OF THE POPULATION LOOKS LIKE THEM.
So she loses the weight and suddenly mere mortals are running up to her everywhere. Even in LA, where beauty is everywhere in the form of movie stars and model, Jemima surpasses all of them.
Obscene message and completely unrealistic. I think I know what the writer intended but intentions are different from the finished product.
At the time, I was overweight (I am in no way skinny now, but I am much smaller) and this book hit the nail on the head for me. The emotions Jemima went through - the self-loathing, the pity, the jealousy - I felt all of those at the time. This book was meant to be a light read with an underlying message, and to me, it was perfect for that.
Over the years, I lost my paperback version. I searched on Amazon a few times and saw that JJ wasn't available for Kindle. -insert sad face here - Finally, I saw it the other night as an eBook and purchased it right away. I dove in, reliving the storyline all over again. Now that I'm older (24) I see more flaws in the story, but nothing that outright cut stars for me. JJ wasn't a superhero and she never tried to be. But slowly, ever so slowly, she started to evolve into a different person. Still the same old JJ, but with a little more sass to her.
I love this storyline. I really, truly do.
So, whether you be 15 like I was then, or older, like I am now, JJ is a character that we can all see ourselves as.
While reading about how overweight Jemima was and how hard she was on herself, I was thinking she must be very, very obese. Turns out she weighted 217 ish. Although this is overweight for Jemima's height, I felt bad for her that she made herself feel like she weighed 500 pounds and was worthless and no man would love her for who she was. She worked hard, started eating right, and lost some weight. But then like a lot of people she became caught up in wanting to be thin and started exercising more and eating less than she should have. I was a little annoyed by how quickly she lost the weight. In real life and doing what she was, weight probably wouldn't have dropped off that fast. I decided to overlook this and continue reading because I liked Jemima and wanted her to have happiness no matter how much she weighed.
One thing that never changed about Jemima was the person she was. Regardless of her weight, she was still kind towards everyone despite her new looks.
I was glad that she saw finally found out the truth about Brad. I predicted his behavior with regard to Jenny and was slightly pissed off that he couldn't stand up to everyone and just admit that he loved Jenny no matter how she looked. And then Jenny made me mad that she put up with the situation also.
Ben was great that he didn't get caught up in looks and wasn't hooking up with woman who wanted him that were so attractive. I was kind of disappointed with him that once he realized who Jemima was and how he felt; he couldn't have felt that back when they worked at the paper together. But attraction is part of a relationship and Ben had never been overly superficial so if he loves her he'll still love her if she gains some weight.
In the end I was glad Jemima got what she wanted, but she should have gotten it no matter how she looked.
Top international reviews
Jemima J is the ultimate makeover novel that will appeal to women everywhere. The reader is put in Jemima's shoes, the shoes of a larger than life lady trying to make a career for herself in fashion capitol London. Jemima shows us the prejudice and assumptions that come along with her size. Although Jemima's story is ultimately funny and light it also packs a punch about image and body confidence. Jemima J is an honest, touching, hilarious story that every girl who has ever been body conscious will relate to, nodding along with Jemima thinking "she's just like me!"
Jemima is one of the loveliest, funniest heroines I've ever had the pleasure to read about. This girl has a heart of gold and I so badly wanted things to work out for her. You also can't help but fall in love with Ben just as deeply as Jemima has. He's intelligent, sweet, sexy and charming the perfect romantic hero. I also found myself really liking Geraldine Jemima's friend from work who grows on you more and more as you read the book. She really proves herself to be a brilliant friend to Jemima when she needs her most. The characters are very warm and likeable making them an absolute joy to read about.
I've read a few of Jane Green's books and seem to prefer her earlier books to her newer ones. They have a much younger, funnier feel to them and this is probably my favourite of hers to date. Jemima J is chick-lit gold and is now a firm favourite of mine in the genre. This is a totally feel good book which mixes low self-esteem, addiction, wit, fate, love and friendship together creating a comforting compulsively readable book. Perfect to snuggle up with on one of those ugly duckling days it will boost your mood and your confidence. I'd recommend this book to anyone who's ever looked in the mirror and has been less than happy with what they see. 4.5 stars.
Good afternoon reading book.