Tuesday 14 April 2015

Blog Tour: The Lives and Loves of Jesobel Jones

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? 

What drew me to this book was the hope for a true portrayal of teen girls with weight and self-esteem issues. And I definitely got that; Jess's voice was very real and so damn easy to relate to. I might have been a fairly skinny teen but I've struggled with my weight more recently and Jess's relationship with food and her weight was surprisingly familiar! 

Mainwaring wrote about the typical turmoil of teenage life - way too many t's there! It was nice and British too, think Bridget Jones, especially with embarrassing encounters and close friends. The main focus was Jess's battle with her image and her weight. It was a really nice journey to follow her on as she wanted to feel comfortable in her skin. I do think that some parts could have been fleshed out more, especially Jess's two weeks of not eating; I definitely would have liked to see how she struggled with counting calories and the inevitable dizziness. I also kind of wanted more cooking and baking; what was mentioned was fine, but it almost came too late in the introductions. 

What I found really interesting was to see the two sides of the coin within one family: Jess who loves to cook and savour food but has put on uncontrollable weight, and Cat, her older sister, who hates to eat, hates her body, and feels miserable because of it. With both ends being incredibly dangerous to the body, it was nice to see them both work out a balance and a middle ground. I think Gran said it best: if you don't love yourself, how can you expect someone else to? And that is a very important message to all teenagers. 

Published 25th March 2015 by Portal Press. Thank you to the author for my copy in exchange for an honest review.

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