Becky’s One Hundred and Twenty-First Book Review: “Jemima J” by Jane Green

After reading a horribly graphic but well written true crime book, I decided to pick up something a little lighter. I am a big fan of chic-lit and I find Jane Green to be pretty entertaining, so when I saw “Jemima J” at the thrift store, I had to have it. I’m glad that I picked it up because it was quite entertaining. 

“Jemima J” is about an unhappy girl working at a newspaper in England. Jemima J lives with two roommates who don’t know her at all and mainly look at her as someone to make them look prettier and skinnier since Jemima is very overweight. She is completely in love with one of her coworkers who she is convinced doesn’t even know she exists. There is one girl at the office whom Jemima feels a connection with, but never sees outside of work. Then, something changes – a subtle change that nonetheless grows and becomes the start of a whole new Jemima.  

I really liked Jemima and found it easy to connect with her. For one – she is a reader and (obviously, since I review books on a regular basis) I am as well. I always find it hard to connect with those who don’t read, those who don’t understand the immense pleasure that can be experienced from diving so completely into someone else’s world. I loved the way that Jane Green described both Jemima searching among the new books and also her feelings once diving into a new work. “Covers, so many covers, so many different, delectable pictures, and although, metaphorically speaking, it is the thing I hate most, when it comes to literature I always judge books by their covers.” (Jemima J, pg 52). I thought this a funny statement because I honestly do the same thing. If the title of a book and/or the author don’t reach out to me, I won’t pick up a book unless the cover grabs my attention. 

Then there is Jane Green’s description of Jemima reading a new book for the first time and slowly being sucked into a different world. “I forget I’m in Waterstone’s, to be honest I seem to forget about everything, and, as I read the fourth page, the fifth, I become Anna’s invisible acquaintance, a secret shadowy figure in the background, looking into Anna’s life, holding her hand as she meets the gruff professor.” (Jemima J, pg 53). I thought this was really well written and very accurate to how I feel when reading a new book. 

That aside – I did really enjoy this book. It was a little predictable, but still very enjoyable. Jemima goes though a whole transformation that I found to be very inspiring. I was able to relate to her character so strongly that I took something away from the book. It seems to me that if Jemima J can find some self esteem, that maybe I have a shot at it too. Maybe, my own worst enemy – the one holding me back from doing what I really want – is me. If that’s the case, maybe I can make the necessary changes to become the person that I want to be. Honestly, I was surprised at how inspirational I found this book to be, but there you go!

Would I recommend “Jemima J” by Jane Green? Yes, I think that it was quite entertaining and it took me by surprise with how much I enjoyed it. Again, it is a chic-lit book, so it isn’t for everyone. I think anyone who is looking for a fun, light read would benefit from picking up “Jemima J”.

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