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Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination
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Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination

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3.08 of 5 stars 3.08  ·  rating details  ·  10,110 ratings  ·  697 reviews
Move over, 007: a stunning, sexy - and decidedly female - new player has entered the world of international espionage armed with her own pocket survival kit, her Rules for Living, her infamous overactive imagination, and a very special underwire bra. How could a girl not be drawn to the alluring, powerful Pierre Ferramo - he of the hooded eyes, impeccable taste, unimaginab ...more
Hardcover, Viking, 306 pages
Published June 2004 by Penguin (first published November 1st 2003)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kate
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Preeti
Damn. I never had so much fun without moving an inch. Bloody brilliant.

Helen Fielding is finally back with a brand new heroine - Olivia Joules. Olivia is instantly likeable: down-to-earth, smart, self-made, and armed and ready to go with her own set of insecurities.

As the title suggests, Olivia's seeming downfall is her overactive imagination. She is berated by her boss and friends equally for it, especially because, as a journalist, she's been known to botch up more than a few stories along the
...more
Jen
Try very hard not to compare to Bridget Jones because that one was just in a world by itself (I love laughing until I cry and it's one of VERY FEW that were successfully told on screen - Renee Zellwegger is perfect for that part!).

Okay, back to OJATOA (that title's too long to write!).
* Title: Too long but it's sort of part of the humor
* Hilariously NOT NOT NOT believable at all
* The main character stereotypes people in the most ridiculous ways - you want to just slap her on the head - I suspe
...more
Valissa
Rules for Living by Olivia Joules
1. Never panic. Stop, breathe, think.
2. No one is thinking about you. They're thinking about themselves, just like you.
3. Never change haircut or color before an important event.
4. Nothing is either as bad or good as it seems.
5. Do as you would be done by, e.g. thou shalt not kill.
6. It is better to buy one expensive thing that you really like than several cheap ones that you only quite like.
7. Hardly anything matters: if you get upset, ask yourself, "Does it rea
...more
Krista
What I liked about this book is that it was a surprise. I don't understand why some readers berated this book for not being Bridget Jones' Diary. It was written by the same author who obviously wanted to write about something else for a change. I also enjoyed it because I've always had a secret desire for espionage.

I was expecting another chick-lit story, but was pleased to find myself reading a light-hearted comedic chick-lit spy thriller. It became hard to put down to prepare meals for my fami
...more
Julz
I was drawn to this book since I loved Bridget Jones, adore South Beach, and have been accused of having an overactive imgination, but I was sorely disappointed. I found it over-the-top and silly. It completely lacked the absurdity-meets-reality of the Bridget Jones books.

It made me wonder if Fielding is one of those authors who should stick to writing only what they know.
Greg Bascom
I read this novel twice in as many weeks, the first time zipping along sniffing the eccentric aromas of lovely silliness laced with adverbs about a pert blonde British freelance journalist with the essential ingredient for a M16 spy, an overactive imagination. Skimming along, oblivious of details, not looking for clues, I enjoyed what I presumed delightful nonsense although with the haunting suspicion of missing something.

So I read it again. With foreknowledge of important characters like the cl
...more
Callista
Jul 15, 2014 Callista rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Callista by: Jamina Fritts
I remember reading a snarky review of this when it first came out, and I see that the average rating here at Goodreads isn’t all that high. Maybe those who dislike it are comparing it unfavourably with Bridget Jones’s Diary, which I know is very popular. I still haven’t read Bridget, and I thought I would start with Olivia and judge it on its own merits, because a friend highly recommended Olivia to me. I liked it. It’s a fun, entertaining read. In comparison to that Perry mystery I recently rea ...more
Georgiana 1792
Ho letto assurdità che non stanno né in cielo né in terra. Chissà cosa si era fatta la Fielding prima di scrivere questo libro...
Catty
BEZPROSTREDNE PO DOČÍTANÍ: Ehm, neviem či to mala byť paródia, alebo to autorka myslela vážne. Ako paródia na všetky možné žánre a klišé situácie to obstojí, ale aj tak mám pocit, že to Fieldingová tentokrát poriadne prepískla. Aj Bridget Jones bola tak trochu vedľa a uletená, ale to ma bavilo. Olivia Joulesová je o pár levelov šialenejšia, ale zlým spôsobom.

RECENZIA:
Hrdinka tak trochu vedľa
Po slávnej zmätočnej Bridget Jones prichádza autorka Helen Fieldingová s Oliviou Joulesovou. Tá je podobne
...more
Mistress   ~ ♠ Mistral's Kiss ♠ ~ (Mist)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Janny
The cover: Enter Olivia Joules, fearless, dazzling, independent beauty-journalist turned master-spy - a new heroine for the twenty-first century. In Miami for a face-cream launch, she spots Pierre Ferramo across a room. Dangerously charismatic and undeniably gorgeous, with impeccable taste, unimaginable wealth and exotic international homes, he seems almost too good to be true. But what if Ferramo is actually a major terrorist bent on destruction, hiding behind an smokescreen of fine wines, yach ...more
Lucy
Last week I was having real reading trouble. Nothing on my TBR pile (either in paper books or e-books) inspired me, I was tired and run-down with a cold, I had next to no concentration, and what energy and concentration I did have I was using for work. I tried to read my current paperback, I tried a few things on my kindle, nothing was working. I needed something light and easy, and, well, I don’t usually go for light and easy, so there wasn’t anything of that type around.

However on Wednesday I
...more
Laura
‘Olivia Joules and the Over-Active Imagination’ is a stand-alone novel from ‘Bridget Jones’ author Helen Fielding.

I have read and enjoyed both Bridget Jones books and Helen Fielding’s previous novel, ‘Cause Celeb’. However, I was a little reticent about reading this as I thought that after her success with Bridget Jones, Fielding would continue in the same vein but would find it hard to recreate another character as individual and captivating as Bridget. I was pleasantly surprised; this turned o
...more
Helen Moyes
Light thriller, with great twists.
Olivia Joules either has an overactive imagination, or she is in danger.
The journalist turns female Bond/ grown up Nancy Drew, enjoying travel, survival skills, thrills & trying to work out who (if anyone) can be trusted.
And yet I could relate to the character from the 6 reasons she likes hotels, packing strategies,being accident prone, reflections on life to her 14 rules of living:
1.Never panic. Stop, breath, think
2.No one is thinking about you. They're thi
...more
Anastasia
Ma perché ogni protagonista della Fielding si ritrova cocaina nella valigia..?

(I ain't happy, I'm feeling glad, I got sunshiiine in a bag, I'm useless but not for looong the future is coming ooon is coming oooon is coming oooon..)
Scusate, è che ogni volta che si nomina la polvere bianca mi vengono in mente i Gorillaz.

Comunque mi sembra chiaro che Bridget Jones è la regina indiscussa delle chick-lit, non c'è storia - Sophie Kinsella? Ma chi è, pff - e Olivia Joules in confronto è una cacchetta.
S
...more
Manuelle Mary
This book, I believe, completed my Helen Fielding collection and I can't be more than glad. I spent like less than 100Php for all her 4 books, and practically speaking, THAT'S A LOT OF SAVINGS THERE.

I was enchanted by the sudden coming of Morton C, not believing they'd be together in the end. I also love the character of Olivia slash Rachel. I wish I had her guts to follow a suspected (and notorious) criminal like Pierre, and experience a lot of devastating and outrageous scenes.

I'm giving it 3
...more
Kelsey
I actually want to give this book three and a half stars. I picked it up because I really enjoyed the two Bridget Jones books (there some of the only books I've read that actually made me laugh out loud), and this is by the same author. Similar to the Bridget books, it's funny in an absurd kind of way, and I *did* enjoy the fact that this female lead was a bit less idiotic and hopeless (though lovable!) than Bridget. And yet this book just didn't have the same insight and sharp humor I expected ...more
Blain
What can one say of a book when you live in a county where finding anything to read in english is a challenge. Well one can say that it was mostly an easy read and as far as entertainment it's passable although often laughable. As far as any complaints the largest would have to be wanting to slam an editor against a wall for letting Fielding get away with random over use of page breaks many times without any change in location, time, or even voice for that matter. Arggg! If I could I would give ...more
Elusive
I found ‘Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination’ to be a very strange sort of book littered with random happenings and lacking direction. It’s basically about a journalist, Olivia who is sent on what appears to be a never-ending journey in her line of work.

I didn’t enjoy the whole terrorism plot. It just seemed completely out of place and I thought all of that would have turned out to be a figment of Olivia’s overactive imagination (view spoiler)
...more
Kristen
Olivia starts on a pretty good hook. British Olivia has, well, an overactive imagination and its gets her in trouble on the job; she's a journalist. She longs to cover hard news, important stuff. But her editor, weary of her embellishments, sends her to cover the launch of a new face cream in Miami. Olivia meets the face cream magnate, who looks eerily familiar, like . . . like . . . Aha! Like a very famous bad man (I won't spoil it by naming him) who, in the face cream business, has devised a p ...more
Evelyn
It was good, but didn't raise up to the expectations created by the praises on the cover. I tried to imagine as a new work of Marvel, and that way it worked out nicely for me, fun and everything. Loved some of the life-wisdom presented by Olivia.

I think I might enjoyed it more if it wasn't connected to real-life persons and terrorists organizations. Because it doesn't fit the Marvel atmosphere and in general - unreliable. And also fails to pass the test of time. Reading it a decade later makes i
...more
Soho_black
As popular as the first two were, there could never have been a third Bridget Jones book at the time the first two were new releases. After all, what else was there for her to do? She'd caught her man, so perhaps marriage and kids, but it would have been difficult to make that funny. Think about it: "7.02 a.m. Changed baby's nappy. 7.05 a.m. Changed nappy again. How can something so small create so much waste?" It's amusing, but a year of that would have got very boring very quickly.

It was time
...more
Patricia
May 29, 2008 Patricia rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who want a fun beach read.
True this book is not nearly as good as the Bridget Jones series, but it's a fun read. Olivia Joules is a quirky heroine and a Scuba Diver as well. I actually heard of this book through Scuba Diving Magazine!
Pamela W
Sep 18, 2007 Pamela W rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No living creature
Shelves: abandoned
Ok, I was desperate for entertainment on the long commute and picked up the audio book of this from my neighborhood library. Sadly, I would rather endure road rage than listen to this drivel. It was that bad. Really.
Gen
Mar 21, 2007 Gen rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: bored people
Shelves: chick-lit
I loved Bridget Jones' Diary so I found the author's latest book thoroughly disappointing. I didn't connect with the characters, her adventures were ludicrous and silly and frankly, I wanted to slap her. Bah.
Brandy
p. 233: "Bloody good thing too," he said. "Never feel good. The corruption of the good by the belief in their own fallible goodness is the most bloody dangerous pitfall in the human spectrum. Once you have conquered all your sins, pride is the one which will conquer you. A man starts off deciding he is a good man because he makes good decisions. Next thing, he's convinced that whatever decision he makes must be good because he's a good man. Most of the wars in the world are caused by people who ...more
Lucy212
I read the book when it first came out, and naturally, being a Bridget Jones fan, was disappointed; I read it again a year later, and loved it - and I don't read "action" books at all; Fielding's command of the language of comedy is amazing, her sense of humour, the metaphors she uses - sparkling, inventive, original;on top of that - the book has turned out to be simply prophetic; I have one "but" though - an American would never say" they'll sort you out" , when meaning "they'll take care of yo ...more
Anne Marie
As usual, I'll read one or two reviews of the book I'm going to read, to see how others like it and what to expect. I was looking forward to the "surprises" and a "funny story." I got neither. This plot and story line were so bad I had to take naps in between pages. I made myself read until the end because I wanted to see what the big surprise was. The only surprises I came across were two funny parts; one about Olivia talked into buying a carpet, and the other a list of best picture possibiliti ...more
Margie
Definitely not in the same league as Bridget Jones' Diary, but fun as a literary bon-bon (empty calories & really not good for you, but fun).
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3090
Helen Fielding was born in Yorkshire. She worked for many years in London as a newspaper and TV journalist, travelling as wildly and as often as possibly to Africa, India and Central America. She is the author of four novels: Cause Celeb, Bridget Jones’ s Diary, Bridget Jones:The Edge of Reason and Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination, and co-wrote the screenplays for the movie of Bridget ...more
More about Helen Fielding...
Bridget Jones's Diary (Bridget Jones, #1) The Edge of Reason (Bridget Jones, #2) Mad About the Boy (Bridget Jones, #3) Bridget Jones's Diary and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason Cause Celeb

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Rules for Living by Olivia Joules
1. Never panic. Stop, breathe, think.
2. No one is thinking about you. They're thinking about themselves, just like you.
3. Never change haircut or color before an important event.
4. Nothing is either as bad or good as it seems.
5. Do as you would be done by, e.g. thou shalt not kill.
6. It is better to buy one expensive thing that you really like than several cheap ones that you only quite like.
7. Hardly anything matters: if you get upset, ask yourself, "Does it really matter?"
8. The key to success lies in how you pick yourself up from failure.
9. Be honest and kind.
10. Only buy clothes that make you feel like doing a small dance.
11. Trust your instincts, not your overactive imagination.
12. When overwhelmed by disaster, check if it's really a disaster by doing the following: (a) think, "Oh, fuck it," (b) look on the bright side, and if that doesn't work, look on the funny side. If neither of the above works then maybe it is a disaster so turn to items 1 and 4.
13. Don't expect the world to be safe or life to be fair.”
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“No one is thinking about you. They're thinking about themselves, just like you.” 11 likes
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