Jemima Small versus the Universe.

August 26, 2019

In it’s most literal form, this book is just what the title suggests. The main character, Jemima, is essentially fighting against that which the universe constantly seems to hurl her way.

About the book:

The book is rooted in the topic of bullying, one which I’m sure we all know much about in some way or another. The book jumps right into it, honing in on how Jemima, through a series of sneers and not-so-subtle remarks, is quickly made to become aware of her size and how it is “wrong” and “abnormal”. In addition to early childhood abandonment, throughout the story she is ostracized because of her size and it becomes a focal point for her insecurities. Jemima is wildly intelligent but she does not feel like it matters at all because after all, people can’t see brains.

As the story unfolds, Jemima’s confidence grows as her intelligence is brought to light and her support system broadens. Slowly but surely you can see how she is poking her head out of her proverbial shell, wanting to be the confident girl who doesn’t care what people think of her. At the end of the book, Jemima is at the top of her game and about to start living her best life as a big girl, and I found this to be very exciting. Anybody who is bigger than what is perceived as acceptable, will understand what it’s like to feel like you just want to shrink away into nothingness so people won’t see and judge you for your size. You’re big so that means you’re also stereotyped as being unintelligent, lazy and very ugly. It’s a horrible feeling and this story really touched on that subject in a way that, for me, understood what I may have personally felt as a teenager who was always a little bigger than all my friends.

My thoughts on the book:

The story is written in such a way that, in my opinion, it appeals to a wide audience of individuals both young and old. It is humorous and full of subtle bouts of attitude on the part of Jemima, and I found myself giggling throughout the book, much to the confusion of my family and those around me. In addition to these lol-worthy bits, I experienced the book as being quite up-and-down in its story line, in that, just when it seemed things were going well for Jemima and she was happy, the story took a turn for the worst, leaving me feeling very disappointed in humanity. In this sense I experience this fictional book as somewhat realistic, relating to the character and her experiences. As is with life, we experience ups and downs; just when everything seems to be going well, we get knocked by something that unbalances us for a while. In these moments of the book I found my heart hurting, as I need not merely imagine the pain she must’ve been in feeling.

I would 10/10 recommend this book for anybody who has been at the receiving end of bullying; particularly those who have been made to believe they are not worth anything based on the size or shape of their body. However, this book isn’t only for us. It’s for the bullies too, those who have found themselves in a position where they felt it was okay to treat somebody as less-than. This book may put things into perspective for you too.

Aside from the ever-important topic of bullying which this book covers, the book itself is an easy read and you may just find yourself not able to put it down. I don’t know about you, but I become QUITE immersed in a book I’m enjoying in the sense that I can’t stop thinking about it, and this was definitely one of those books!

I hope you enjoyed this post, and I sincerely hope to be able to do a few more in the future, as I love reading!

Until then,

Courts x

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