As you read the reviews on Bookshop Talk, you'll notice that every review is positive. No, we're not a bunch of literary
pushovers who love everything we pick up; we just see no point in telling you about a book if we didn't like it.

December 14, 2010


Jemima J: A Novel About Ugly Ducklings and Swans
Jemima Jones is overweight. About 98 pounds overweight. Treated like a maid by her thin social-climbing roommates, and lorded over by the beautiful Geraldine (less talented but better paid) at the Kilburn Herald, Jemima's only consolation is food. Add to this her passion for her charming, sexy, and unobtainable colleague Ben, and Jemima knows her life is in need of a serious change. When she meets Brad, an eligible California hunk, over the Internet, Jemima has the perfect opportunity to reinvent herself--as JJ, the slim, beautiful, gym-obsessed glamour girl of her dreams. But when her long-distance Romeo demands that they meet, she must conquer her food addiction to become the bone-thin model of her e-mails-- no small feat. This is just the beginning of Jemima's transformation, a process that takes her through enormous physical and emotional change and halfway around the globe. First published in the UK to great fanfare, Jemimna J spent nine weeks on the bestseller lists. Jane Green's brilliant wit, warm sense of humor and honesty ensure that her success will continue--on both sides of the Atlantic.

Review by Jessica Day George, Young Adult and Middle Grade author

Dear heavens, I love this book. It makes me want to simultaneously eat ice cream and run on a treadmill!

I picked up a copy at a used book sale after several Borders co-workers (yep, I used to be a book-shelving-monkey!) recommended it to me, and at first I will at admit that I was skeptical. For one thing, after buying the book I discovered that they also recommended serial romances with cowboys on the cover. And for another, the book seemed a bit dated, and just a tad predictable. She’s just discovering the internet, and chat rooms—Sooo 1995! (This was circa 2002.) And as soon as I read the premise of an overweight woman meeting a hot guy online, I instantly thought: Ah! She’ll send him a picture of her hot, thin friend, and hilarity will ensue! I was picturing a sort of reversed Cyrano de Bergerac, with her hiring the hot friend to play her on dates and et cetera. But no! Green surprised me!

When the online suitor asks for a picture, Jemima’s hot, thin friend (who is very nice, might I add, and cheers for her all the way, another surprise) takes Jemima’s picture to a photographer and has him photoshop her thin . . . which leads them to discover that Jemima is pretty underneath that extra weight. So Jemima makes the admirable goal of looking like that very picture . . . and hilarity ensues. Not to mention romance! Drama! A few cathartic tears! And one ENORMOUS twist. Well, two really.

This is a fun book. A feel-good book. An I-want-to-lie-in-the-bath-and-relax book. I took it to the hospital when I had my first baby, as something light and soothing to reread during labor. It’s British, which adds an element of delight (for me anyway) in the dialogue, and in the culture shock when Jemima journeys from her crap London suburb to the California beach for her meeting with Online Hottie. So if you’re sick, in labor, feeling blue . . . let Jemima J. take your mind off things!

Market: Adult Fiction

Sensuality: brief and not too graphic, some talk of sex
Language: some, there might be an F-word, mostly of the deity variety
Violence: none
Mature themes: Sexuality

Book formats:
Jemima J: A Novel About Ugly Ducklings and Swans (paperback)

To learn more about the author, visit: Jane Green

No comments: