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Meanwhile, Jess's death-obsessed Granny moves into her bedroom, along with her grandfather's remains; her hypochondriac dad, who sends her daily "horrorscopes" like "You will fall asleep with your mouth open, and a family of earwigs will move in," acts strange about Jess staying with him this summer; and her longtime friend Fred, a television violence addict and closet thumbsucker, has decided that he can't stand being around her. Jess is determined to make things right . . . but with her offbeat sense of humor and her wildly active imagination, things get complicated along the way.
Fifteen-year-old Jess, living with her mum, separated from her father in Cornwall, and with a best friend who seems to do everything perfectly, finds her own assets through humor.
VIRGO: TODAY VENUS IS IN AMNESIA
AND MERCURY IS IN OPPOSITION
TO PROZAC. FORGET ABOUT THAT
WEREWOLF IN THE CUPBOARD
UNDER THE STAIRS.
Her dad had sent one of his “horrorscopes.” But Jess wasn’t worrying about the werewolf in the cupboard under the stairs. She had a more immediate problem: the size of her bum. She stared at herself in the huge mirrors of the communal changing room at Togs R Us. She was wearing leopard-skin stretch pants. Did her bum look big in this? You can bet your sweet life it did.
Geographically, Jess’s backside was a mountain range. The sun rose over it–eventually. Huge birds of prey nested on its craggy heights and hunted in it shadows. It wouldn’t have been so bad if Jess’s bum had been balanced by a nice big bosom. Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears, and Serena Williams were designed with this pleasing sense of balance. But geographically, Jess’s boobs could not balance her bum at all. Her chest was the kind of featureless plain upon which airports are constructed.
If only, thought Jess, some gifted cosmetic surgeon could slice off my bum and transplant it onto my chest, we’d be in business. Then she would have a majestic cleavage. It was wasted out back, under her jeans. Oh well. They say a clever choice of clothes can conceal bad features and emphasize one’s good points. But these leopard-skin stretch pants weren’t working. You don’t see leopards waddling heavily across the plains, do you? They tend to streak across in a streamlined kind of way.
“Flora,” asked Jess, “what’s my best feature?”
Flora was admiring herself in a cute little black top. A pink navel ring winked cheekily out above her gray hipsters. She looked divine. Flora’s dad didn’t know she’d had her navel pierced. If he ever found out, he would personally build a high stone tower and lock her up there until she was thirty. If that was what having a dad around meant, Jess thought, you could keep it.
“Your best feature?” Flora hesitated.
Oh God! thought Jess. She can’t think of a single thing.
“Your eyes are fantastic–and your neck–and your ears–and, well, you’re fabulous all over, Jess. You’re a babe.” Flora turned back with relief to the ravishing vision awaiting her in the mirror.
“But my bum is like some terrible gigantic Siamese twin!” wailed Jess. “It follows me around everywhere and gets stuck in doors.”
“Your bum is great!” cried Flora, but her voice went up just a little too high. “I wish I had a proper bum. I look like a boy.” Needless to say, Flora looked as much like a boy as a box of chocolates looks like a side of beef. Jess sighed.
Three hours later, having tried on approximately three thousand garments, Jess decided on a black top with plunging neckline and a strange shawl-like black skirt. “Gypsyish!” said Flora approvingly. “You look stunning, babe! Ben will see you as he’s never seen you before! Suddenly across a crowded room he will feel Cupid’s dart!” They’d been doing all about Cupid in English with Mr. Fothergill. They’d both tried to develop crushes on Mr. Fothergill, but he simply was too fat and sweaty. You could more easily fancy a hippo.
Jess doubted if Ben would fancy her despite the plunging neckline and gypsy skirt. Life was so unfair. Everybody fancied Ben no matter what he wore. Although Flora said she preferred his best friend, Mackenzie, who was dark and rather short. “It’s a biology thing,” she explained. “Blondes don’t fancy blond guys. It’s to avoid inbreeding.”
They parted, and Jess went back home to get ready. How could Jess cram it all into six hours? Jess’s house, of course, was empty except for dirty dishes. Her mother had gone off to demonstrate against the war. She did this every Saturday. There was usually a war to demonstrate against. Jess didn’t mind really. It kept her mum out of trouble and out of the way, and it was free. Just as long as she didn’t ever end up on TV, dancing for peace. Naked. This was Jess’s most nightmarish fantasy.
Having a mum who was often out on demos also permitted Jess to surf the Internet unchallenged by cries of “Get off that thing now! We’ll get a bill as long as my arm!” Jess did a search on lingerie. Soon she was in the slightly weird world of bra inserts–not just little cotton pads, but apparently bags containing water or silicone gel.
“Curves are made of a specially formulated silicone gel, enclosed in a sheer, skinlike polyurethane cover. This material was developed for space research and is extremely well tolerated by the skin.” Wait a minute! Space research? What would be the effect of nil gravity? Wouldn’t your boobs fly off in different directions? Jess didn’t like the concept of outer space. She liked to keep her feet firmly on the ground.
Thank God I’m an earth sign, thought Jess. What Jess needed now was water. She raced to the kitchen and found a roll of those small plastic bags mothers use to wrap up sandwiches. Jess filled a small plastic bag with water, tied it up tightly, and secured it with a rubber band. It was quite gel-like. Jess wobbled it around in her hand. It did indeed move rather like breast tissue. She didn’t have enough breast tissue of her own to have conducted personal research on the subject. But she had watched a lot of pop videos on MTV.
She wasn’t quite sure about the water, though. Perhaps a faint sloshing would be heard. And what if she sprang a leak? Jess shuddered at the thought of puddles on the floor. The jokes about potty training would last a lifetime. Maybe there was a food substance a little less watery than water. Jess ransacked the food cupboard, and her eyes fell on a tin of soup. Minestrone!
Getting it into the bags was a little bit more laborious and messy, but fifteen minutes later Jess had a cleavage. The bags of soup really worked. Amazing! She was going to have a ball! Now all she needed was a pumpkin coach; failing that, the number 109 bus would take her all the way to Tiffany’s. She just had to spend four and a half hours on her eyebrows first.
From the Hardcover edition.
Excerpted from Girl, 15, Charming but Insane by Sue Limb Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Girl, 15, Charming but Insane is one of my favorites. I became so engrossed in it when I was reading, that I didn't eat or drink. Only a few books have ever done that to me. I couldn't put it down for four hours, of course i had to wait until after school to read it (annoying teachers and distractions). I laughed out loud at least every other sentence, my mother asked me, "What is wrong with you?" Kudos to you, Sue Limb, for creating a book with the most witty characters and one of the best stories I have read this year.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 23, 2012
I am slightly in love with this book. Everytime i read i fall a little more in love with it, and i hate Flora a little more. Everyone should read it at least once in their livesWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 25, 2011
Posted March 20, 2011
Posted May 1, 2008
I thought the book was great. I mean some parts were just so outrageously embarassing. And it was really funny. But the ending was bad, I mean it should have been written a bit better.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 27, 2008
Posted October 29, 2007
Jess is the main character. she has a somewhat normal life. she has a best friend flora and fred they get into fights. they have boyfreinds all typical teenage stuff. She lives through her femminest, hippie, tree hugging moms ways. Her grandmother who is fascinated by mureder. She has to live without seeing her father. her Father lives in St.ives. shes very jealous of her mostley perfect friend flora and floras barbie doll family. She has a best friend fred who is only a freind except when they get into a fight she realizes how much she need him. They eventually go out. The book ends and all you get is how she goes out with fred. It wasn't a good ending,
0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 18, 2007
I thought this book was very exciting, Jess 'the main character' did many things I haven't even thought of. I do wish the author would write a sequal, because i feel like there is still some questions left unanswered.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 2, 2007
It was a good book but it was a little too wacky and a little insane, and a very weird ending that you have to read a few times to understand. Over all tha book was good anyone who reads it will understand that. It's a book that will make you want to read the second one!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 31, 2007
I absolutely loved this book! I read it on my way to Stowe, VT for a ski trip and usually I'm distracted from reading on a bus with my friends but this book I totally got into. Great story and a bit unexpected. I really have to but the next two books in the series. Definitely like a 10 out of 10!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 13, 2007
Being a teenager can be hard sometimes! dealing with crushes, friends, and family is not always a piece of cake! Girl, 15, Charming, but Insane tells the story about how a teenage girl named, Jess, deals with it all! With problems flying at her from every direction, some of the solutions Jess comes up with will have you laughing on the floor! From stuffing her bra with bags of soup, to stealing a video tape, you will never know what Jess will think of next!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 29, 2006
I just got this book the other day and after I started the first chapter I just couldn't put it down! The story just kept getting better and better! And it was sooo hilarious!! It was so great I finished the whole book in one night!! I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone. Don't let the cover deceive you. It's a great book!!! ^^ Although the cover could use some redoing.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 4, 2007
Books with ammusing titles always catch my eye, and this one proved to be great. It was so hilarious and was one of those books that actually had a good ending. I loved this book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 27, 2006
Posted November 21, 2006
man oh man what a hilarous book! jess is such a lovable character who will make you either A. laugh at her naieve stupidity or B. root her to victory. Both A and B were my reactions. I love this book. it's totally outta the ordinary and really unique. i recommend this to any girl who has a good sense of humor.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 19, 2006
I did not expect this book to be as great as it was. Girl, 15, Charming but Insane, was interesting, amusing, and very well-written. I recommend it to everyone who's looking for a good, quick read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 6, 2006
This book is so amazing. Its so hilarious how she gets herself in the worst situations imaginable. Its a page turner and im excited to read the rest of the series. It had me laughing out loud!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 15, 2006
Ever single line I read made me laugh outloud. It was hillarious, sad, outrageously contageous and somewhat over the top. However the fact that it was over the top made it totally relatable. I would reccomend this book to anyone who loves birtish expressions and teen dramas.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 1, 2006
This has got to be the most hilarious book I've ever read. It's actually got a good story to go with it, too, it's not just humor. The characters (mostly Jess, Fred, and Granny) are completely lovable too, which is always a plus. I would reccomend this book to any girl.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 14, 2005
Incredibly funny !! If you like Bridget Jones- you will love this book ! I originally picked this book up because of the cover-I thought it was soo cute and I was looking to buy a gift for my niece- when I read the inside cover- it was soo funny. I liked this book so much- that I looked to see if there was a sequel - and it just came out this year ! The sequel-Girl nearly 16-Absolute Torture- is great ! It reminded me of when I was younger! Hopefully the author will continue to write more books with this character ! A great book for teens !Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.