Review – The Lives and Loves of Jesobel Jones by Anna Mainwaring
I have recently read this wonderful book The Lives and Loves of Jesobel Jones by Anna Mainwaring and loved it and I am so over the moon to be part of the wonderful blog tour for this book! This book made me laugh and was just brilliant!
For my stop on the blog tour I am going to share my thoughts on the book and post a review!
Jesobel Jones can bake. In a truly triumphant, appearing-on-TV kind of way. But this means nothing to the rest of the world, because apparently all that cake mix is starting to show – in all the wrong places. So when she lands an invite to the Party of Year by the Boy of Her Dreams, she wonders whether it’s time for a new, improved Jess. But will life still taste as good?
Anna Mainwaring’s debut is a light-hearted and sometimes poignant take on the pressures that face teenage girls. It’s hard to smile in all those selfies when you don’t like the girl who looks back at you. But which is more important – looking perfect or being happy?
Publisher – Portal Press Date
Published – 25th March 2015
Pages – 193 pages
Format – Paperback and E-Book
Category – UK YA, YA Contemporary
Source – I was sent a copy of this book by the wonderful author Anna Mainwaring as part of the blog tour. This does not affect my review or my opinions in any way and am delighted to write an honest review. Thank you Anna for sending this to me to read!
** Please note Tales Of Yesterday Reviews are written as spoiler free as possible**
I really enjoyed this book! This book made me laugh, say uh oh a lot and I think Anna Mainwaring took snippets of my own school life….not really I know, but I related to Jesobel so much!
The Lives and Loves of Jesobel Jones is told from the point of view of Jesobel or Jess as her friends call her and it all begins on Own Clothes Day at school. Do you remember those days?! Getting ready along with her friends, Hannah the bookworm and Izzie the witch, Jess starts to think that maybe her love for cooking, baking and all things food are starting to show in all the wrong places. What escalates over the course of Own Clothes Day is an encounter with the school bully, an invitation to a party by the perfect boy of her dreams and going viral on the internet! But over the course of the next few weeks Jess decides to change herself all to impress a boy but in the process learns some lessons about love, being yourself, friendship and family.
Anna Mainwaring writes with a brilliant humour and has created, in my opinion, a younger Bridget Jones in Jess. There were times I was laughing out loud at some of the scenarios that happened or something Jess says and this is down to the brilliant writing style with Jess sometimes speaking directly to the reader whilst Jess is telling her story of a particular day or event. It really reminded me of the first time I read Bridget Jones Diary.
Jess’s outlook on life throws up questions or observations and how things do not necessarily seem fair or right in life. Each chapter starts with a Jess observation or an invisible rule and these also made me chuckle! One of my favourites was Jess observation number 3….
“If being thin is so great, why are thin people always miserable”
One of my favourite parts in the book was when Jess encounters the school bully, Zara quite close to the beginning of the book which sort of starts the snowball of events that occur rolling. I don’t want to give too much away, but the whole scene is just brilliant! I love how when Zara calls Jess grotesque her response is
“Grotesque Zara! That’s a big word for you – do you think you can spell it?!”
Yay! I screamed at this book! Go Jess!
One of my favourite characters in the book was Jess’s Gran! I loved how she refused to conform to anything in her life and her whole outlook on life and the whole relationship Jess has with her Gran is touching. Jess uses a phrase her Gran uses – Tickety Boo…..meaning everything is fine….I just loved it! I also loved how Jess’s relationship with her sister Cat develops over the course of the book.
You do get a sense of how other characters are feeling too and I really think a book from one of the other characters perspectives and a glimpse into their lives as a particular point would really work as all the characters were that strong. I was intrigued by Dom a lot as well as the friends Hannah and Izzie and would love to take a sneaky peek into their thoughts and mind, lives and loves too.
The ending to the book was brilliant and I loved how it didn’t conform to the idea of a rom-com film and pushed the boundaries of a neat package and you get to see life after the package has started to be unwrapped. In this book you do…you get that extra glimpse and it’s great and finishes Jess’s story off perfectly.
Anna Mainwaring captures so many feelings in this book as well! My heart ached along with Jess when she speaks about love or heartbreak, I felt the strong bond and loyalty of friendship and what friendship means, I cringed as much as Jess would cringe at embarrassing moments, I also tasted the wonderful cakes Jess cooked with Jess and really felt everything that Jess was going through. I found Jess totally relatable as a character and it transported me back to that age in my life when I know I did think and feel the way Jess felt. I have never been a thin person and therefore I totally related to Jess’s thoughts over her weight and being bigger than other people. All the situations that occur in this book seemed to spark off memories of my own teenager years, first love, parties, friendship…it was a nostalgic memory trip for me in a kind of way.
What The Lives and Loves of Isobel Jones does is reach out to the reader to say you are not alone. Everyone has these feelings and doubts about them selves. These aches and pains are normal and everyone is different and unique in their own ways. Anna Mainwaring captures the thoughts of a teenager and situations perfectly and I cannot wait to read more from her!
I award this book 4 out of 5 Tales Of Yesterday Books!
You can buy The Lives and Loves of Jesobel Jones here
Or why not add it to your Goodreads wish list here
About Anna Mainwaring
Anna Mainwaring first read ‘The Lord of the Rings’ when she was seven and she hasn’t stopped reading since.
Her debut novel, “The Lives and Loves of Jesobel Jones”, follows Jess through the joy and pain of being a teenager in the modern world; first love, friendship, embarrassing families, and asks the big questions in life: how much cake is it really acceptable to eat?
After studying English at university, Anna made the foolish decision to work in corporate finance, not the best career choice for someone who a) is number dyslexic b) hates anything corporate. After travelling, Anna re-trained as an English teacher and works in a girls’ school in Cheshire. When not writing, teaching, or looking after her children, Anna can generally be found walking up a big hill, looking for inspiration.
The Live and Loves of Jesobel Jones Blog Tour
Monday 6th April – Writing From the Tub
Tuesday 7th April – Luna’s Little Library
Thursday 9th April – Fiction Fascination
Friday 10th April – Live to Read. Read to Live.
Monday 13th April – Chrissi Reads & Marie’s Journal
Tuesday 14th April – An Awful Lot of Reading
Thursday 16th April – Music, Books and Tea
Friday 17th April – The Page Starts Here
Saturday 18th April – Snuggling on the Sofa
Sunday 19th April – Tales of Yesterday
Have you read The Loves and Loves of Jesobel Jones? What did you think? Has this review made you want to go grab a copy? Do you love cake as much as Jesobel – I do! I would love to here from you! Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of this review or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy!
Happy Reading….and discovering Jesobel!