Jemima J: A Novel about Ugly Ducklings and Swans

by Jane Green | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0767905180 Global Overview for this book
Registered by PaigeTurner124 of Cibolo, Texas USA on 4/24/2005
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4 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by PaigeTurner124 from Cibolo, Texas USA on Sunday, April 24, 2005
Review from

From Publishers Weekly
Yet another take on the singles scene, and from yet another British writer, this jaunty novel has one slightly new focus--the Internet as a dating device. "Bored, fat and unhappy" Jemima Jones is a hack writer on a small London paper, whose weight precludes both promotion (which she richly deserves, because she's smart) and getting together with the man of her dreams: kind, modest and gorgeous reporter Ben Williams. The Web opens a new world to Jemima, and when she begins an online correspondence with L.A. gym owner Brad, identifying herself as JJ, her friend Geraldine encourages her to send Brad a doctored photo of what she would look like if she were thin. Jemima joins a gym, goes on a diet and even becomes a blonde, preparing to accept Brad's invitation to come to L.A. Lucky JJ: Brad turns out to be a hunk, and the sex is great... but JJ senses that something is wrong. Meanwhile, Ben has become a celebrity "presenter" on British TV, but while the whole country goes gaga over his looks, he too feels that something is missing. By the time several coincidences produce a dreams-come-true ending, readers are fond of plucky Jemima, but somewhat tired out by her adventures. Green's determination to provide texture results in too many scenes that brim with London and L.A. local color, but fail to add verve to the narrative. Outside of Geraldine, who, surprisingly, is both beautiful and a true friend, the other characters tend to be stereotypes: Jemima's roommates, airheads on the make; the predatory female TV producer; the editor who offers Jemima a promotion once she is blonde and svelte. Though the concept is clever and nicely handled, the broad humor lacks true comic brio. (As the online initiated would say: it's not LOL.) Green does, however, capture the nuances and neuroses of the singles scene with a gimlet eye and an uninhibited voice. A bestseller in England, the book should also hook female readers here as they relate to Green's frank comments about body size and social acceptability.

Journal Entry 2 by PaigeTurner124 from Cibolo, Texas USA on Sunday, May 01, 2005
My local readers club just picked this book for our June read, so I should be starting on it soon.

Journal Entry 3 by PaigeTurner124 from Cibolo, Texas USA on Tuesday, May 03, 2005
Reserving for Choclaholic and Flyingfox as soon as I finish reading it.

Journal Entry 4 by PaigeTurner124 from Cibolo, Texas USA on Wednesday, May 18, 2005
This book was a slow start for me, but once Jemina went to Los Angelos, it moved quickly. The overall storyline was a bit predictable, but it did have a few twists along the way (that really just drove me batty!). Some parts I didn't think were realistic, but it is fiction afterall, so maybe my expectations were too high. I did like the Jemina Jones character and could even relate to some of her situations. Overall, it was an enjoyable read. I'm passing on to Choclaholic next.

Journal Entry 5 by choclaholic from Laredo, Texas USA on Friday, June 03, 2005
This title was chosen as the June pick for my bookclub, and PaigeTurner124 was kind enough to pass it along to me.

Update June 9th: The verdicts are coming in from other bookclub members regarding this book, and I'm not getting warm fuzzies.

I was afraid to read this book in the first place, and it's gotten enough negative responses, that I've chosen not to read it. I'll just place it in the San Antonio Reader's Circle Archives.

Journal Entry 6 by SAReadersCircle from San Antonio, Texas USA on Thursday, June 09, 2005
Update: July 30, 2005.

Our June meeting was cancelled, so our group discussed this at our July meeting. A couple of our members really enjoyed it, giving it 7-8 stars, but overall. Some members commented that you had to have patience with the book and its characters, and after Jemima went to Los Angeles, (more than half the way in)it became a very good read. Having not read it myself, I can not comment on this.

However, most of our members were not so forgiving, and only gave it 3-4 stars, for an average overall rating from our club of 5 out of 10 stars.

It did seem likely that this book was most likely to appeal to younger women in their late teens and twenties, as they enjoyed the exploration and banter of modern day mating rituals.

This is reserved for future readers of the

Journal Entry 7 by SalDragski at San Antonio, Texas USA on Monday, July 26, 2010
Read for our book group.

Released 9 yrs ago (7/26/2010 UTC) at Fort Sam Houston (see release notes for details) in San Antonio, Texas USA


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