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Jemima J: A Novel About Ugly Ducklings And Swans (2001)

Jemima J: A Novel About Ugly Ducklings and Swans (2001)

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3.58 of 5 Votes: 1
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0767905180 (ISBN13: 9780767905183)
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About book Jemima J: A Novel About Ugly Ducklings And Swans (2001)

So here's the thing. Before I purged all of my Amazon reviews I think most people would have realized that I used to be a huge fan of Jane Green. I loved Jemima J, Mr. Maybe, and even loved Bookends. Then I started to really not get many of Jane Green's later books and after a while just stopped making them my always have to buy books. However, I still re-read Jemima J, Mr. Maybe, and Bookends once every year or so. Jemima J holds a special place in my heart just because it was my first Jane Green book and though there are problems galore with the entire story-line and ending. I loved the character of Jemima so much that I always over look it. And up until now I would have probably have still given it 5 stars. However, I actually read this book with an offline friend of mine at the same time and we later on discussed it. And I didn't realize until she pointed some things out, how seriously messed up this entire story is. So I can say that this book is probably going to come out of my rotation for future use. Told in the third person, we follow Jemima Jones. Overweight by 100 pounds (apparently she is obese), Jemima feels despair that her crush on coworker Ben is never going to realize how perfect for him she could be. Due to being sent off to a computer course with Ben and their colleague Geraldine, Jemima gets to know more about Ben and even becomes his confidant. However, due to the three of them talking on chatrooms on the internet, Jemima starts an online relationship with a guy named Brad in California. The only problem is that Jemima has lied about her job, her hobbies, and oh yeah about how she looks. Jemima uses this lie to push herself to being the thin woman that she has always wanted to be.As I said above, I can't help liking Jemima. Maybe it's because part of me wanted to give her a hug and tell her that her weight isn't her problem, it is her crippling self esteem.So below you will see my comments on the book and my friend's comments which seriously had me wondering if I just have really bad taste in books when I don't see some of the problems that she did. Most of this book is following Jemima being treated horribly by people until her weight loss transformation. Jemima does start getting treated differently by people around her and she is still focused on being what she considers a "hardbody" and losing so much weight that someone will practically be able to see her ribs.My friend thought this book was pointing out the wrong things to women and she got worried that if someone younger read it, they may try some of the same things that Jemima did to lose weight. For example, somehow Jemima loses almost all of her extra weight in 3 months. And I kid you not, I don't know how in the world I overlooked that detail all of the times that I read this book previously. It took my friend pointing it out to me that this was something that Jane Green had included in this book. I kept wondering as I re-read this how in the world did she not have any loose skin anywhere. Second, Jemima has really bad self esteem. I think things would have been better in the book if Jemima acknowledge she had some issues to work through, and saw a therapist. I guess it doesn't make for a chick lit type of book though. My friend loathed the character of Ben. Her exact words were and I quote:For goodness sake! Every woman I know has some idiot like this in their past. You just become the guy's sounding board and you think to yourself if only I lost some weight, or were more funny, or something that he would be into you. The only problem is that Ben doesn't even start to think about Jemima until he realizes he doesn't have someone to listen to his shit! Ugh! I hate him!Yeah...up until talking to her I always thought how romantic it was that Jemima was secretly in love with Ben.The writing I always thought was quite good, though in parts I remember initially not understanding what a lot of terms means (British chick lit novel) and I thought the pacing was quite good.My friend thought the writing was not as advanced as she would like it, and she thought the pacing was all over the place.Apparently my friend booed the ending.(view spoiler)[in the end she and Ben end up married (hide spoiler)]

"Sometimes in life, you have to make things happen. That you can change your life if you're willing to let go of the old and actively look for the new. That even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.” 5 UGLY DUCKLING STARS.This is my ultimate go to book, it's like comfort pages for my book soul. I fell in love with Jane Green's perfectly written novels some years ago in my late teens and I have read and re read the novel so much that my paperback version is lovingly creased and well worn. I can't fault this author and her effortlessly romantic tales of love. Jane Green has a special ability to write fiction in a way that's engaging but with a hint of reality that hits my emotion buttons.So what's it all about ...Jemima Jones is overweight, lonely, unhappy and to top it all off is badly treated by both her housemates and work colleges, as a consequence Jemima finds that her only comfort is food. Bring into the mix her long term crush on the charming, sexy, and unobtainable colleague Ben, and Jemima realises her life is in need of a Complete makeover. During her transformation Jemima has a chance encounter with health and fitness nut Californian hunk Brad and decides to take the chance to move to the states to start her new life. Along the way we go on a journey with this loveable character and we see lessons about the meaning of true love, addiction, friendship and ultimately learning to love yourself.My final thoughts ...I have a complete soft spot for Jemima J, a character who we see battle her way to find her true love. I can't express how much this book touched me, makes me laugh and fall in love, over and over. This book is true romance at its very best. A novel that lovers of chick lit will adore. This fast paced plot and quirky love novel is one of my all time favourites and if your a fan of Jane Green then you will fall in love as much as I did.5 HUGE STARS.

Do You like book Jemima J: A Novel About Ugly Ducklings And Swans (2001)?

In the beginning of the book, I thought that Jemima J was going to be another one of those overweight girl bashing books in which the girl is forced to conform to what society defines as beautiful in order to find acceptance. Needless to say, this book definitely didn't disappoint, but the one thing which disturbed me the most was the manner in which it was done. Being overweight myself, I saw lots of myself in the character of Jemima J, from people who are only your friends as long as you're "ugly" to having a crush on someone who will be forever unobtainable to you because of how you look. I was somewhat irritated by the way in which Jemima reaches her goals and I personally think that she did'nt need to go to such drastic measure to lose weight in order to become comfortable with herself. True, by losing weight, it did allow her to experience things she would'nt have by being overweight,however I feel very offended that Jane Green would assume that in order to find love and happiness, one has to find a combination of starvation and excessive exercising. The other problem I had with this book has to deal with the sudden changes in narration. One minute, we're hearing the story for Jemimia's point of the view, the next minute, we're seeing things the second person, then we see things from the eyes of an complete outsider. My whole thing is this: if you're going to write a book, pick one type of narration;either did it first person, second person, or third person.Don't think that by mixing narration styles, this will make you appear clever, it actually makes it appear as if you are trying way too hard to be unconventional. All in all, I liked the book because of how well Jemima J was presented as a character. I saw her as the type of person that everyone has known or know of. I liked the way in which her transformation from an "ugly ducking to a swan" was illustrated. Although I wasn't completely comfortable with the ending message love and happiness await you if you lose weight, I enjoyed the book very much and I would definitely read it again.
—Tamara Evans

Okay, first of all, the switching from first person to second person to third and then back again was FREAKING ANNOYING. I can see how the author did it for effect, but it felt a little too much like she wanted to write a screenplay instead of a novel, and that was her shortcut to prose.The other reviews here are pretty much spot-on. Jemima is fat and she hooks up with a guy online because the people she knows IRL don't 'want' her, but her supposedly-good friend enables her in sending a photoshopped picture of a thin girl with Jemima's pretty face. So, heartbroken and fairly desperate, Jemima eating-disorders herself into that person so she can be all this online romeo thinks she is. It's disgusting and sad, and even though there's a twist at the end as to who Jemima (or "JJ") ends up with, it's still a terrible message to send about acceptance and loving oneself -- and in the right way to go about being the best You you can be.I do not recommend this book.

Maybe because I deal with literature every day in my job, I tend to pick books that are entertaining and easy to read while trying to wind down... and Jane Green's books fit that description for me. A lot of the other reviews I've read trash the "message" of this book about fat people, losing weight, etc.... but somehow I doubt that she wrote this as an attack on fat people of the world... or to promote eating disorders. I found Jemima to be pretty "real" -- most people don't initially go right for the "eat reasonably and exercise" theory of weight loss because of all of the quick fixes that are available. I also don't think this book promotes the idea that fat people have to lose weight to be attractive; what I do think is that Green does a pretty good job of illustrating the expectations of society as well as the ways social pressure/observations can affect a person. At any rate, I enjoyed reading the book. Fun read. Good summer/beach/lazy afternoon read. Not intended to be deep, philosophical, political, a social commentary, or a lifestyle manual.

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