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Girl, 15, Charming but Insane (Jess Jordan #1)

3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  4,468 Ratings  ·  285 Reviews
Life was tragic enough before this spring started. With a distinct lack of boobage and an arse so big that birds of prey could nest within its shadows, Jess Jordan is saddled with the Goddess Flora for a best friend, a Britney Spears look-alike so gorgeous that one grain of her divine dandruff could make the blind see again. Jess knows that her soul mate is Ben Jones, a di ...more
Hardcover, 214 pages
Published August 10th 2004 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers (first published 2004)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Dec 02, 2011 Bricks rated it it was amazing
The book sweater reads FOR AGES 10 AND UP... though I am undecided that I’d recommend this book even for a twelve year old. Ha. It is an English book, maybe over there in England the children are much more mature. Most likely…
Jess (short for Jessica)- the main character who I am tremendously in love with, really likes this male boy called Ben. Though he’s a jerk so she really just fancies his looks… which is understandable… kind of. So Jess begins to question her own sexuality (as we all do at
Jun 14, 2007 Namratha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"When He created Flora, God was on tip-top form and really cooking on gas. On that day He also made the flamingos, the dolphins, the rainbows and a divine apple crumble with custard.
By the time He got around to creating Jess, however, He had rather run out of steam and had a slight headache, and could only manage a couple of other things - toads, baboons, and possibly methane - before needing to take an aspirin and have a lie-down."

You can read a multitude of trul
Loveliest Evaris
Jun 30, 2011 Loveliest Evaris rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People who like teen girls growing up and British shenanigans
Recommended to Loveliest by: English assignment
I'm not one for British literature, simply because I have a stigma against the stereotypical dry, oh so dry--oh God I'm gonna die from dehydration--humor. And usually, British people stay true to that stereotype and write in a way that I need to pause to breathe in some air from the mustiness of their prose.

Prejudices aside, I was actually surprised by this book. My classmate had to read it for a literature assignment with her group, and while I was supposed to be focusing on singing in Treble C
Feb 08, 2009 Theresa rated it really liked it
This one gets two thumbs up for the narrator who does a brilliant job. I thoroughly enjoyed this much more listening to it than I would have just reading it as it is British and the narrator (also British) makes it a really fun read.

Instead of describing the plot, I will just say that there were some very funny moments in this book, like: Jess, the 15 year old narrator, naming her breasts Bonnie and Clyde and using minestrone soup poured into bags as inserts in her bra to add more cleavage only
Jess Jordan is a fifteen year old comedic genius. Unfortunately, her rapier wit is often eclipsed by her best friend Flora, who is gorgeous, brilliant, popular, and an expert in making Jess completely crazy. Jess finds refuge from the pains of her adolescence with her friend, Fred, but she’s dying (absolutely dying) to go out with the fantastically handsome Ben Jones. When Flora starts dating Ben’s best friend Mackenzie, Jess has an opportunity to hang out with Ben. He’s…a lot different than she ...more
Jul 15, 2010 Posie rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people who need some light reading
Recommended to Posie by: The Ultimate Teen Book Guide
Shelves: summer-2010
OK. So today I went to the library today fully prepared to pick out a few light reading beach reads for my week long beach extravaganza starting tomorrow. I grabbed this book, along with a few others, and headed for the door. When I got home, if you know me, it's impossible to stay away from a book, so I started it. It's the kind of book that no matter how good it is, you're going to keep reading. Addictive.

Sooner or later I was finished, and this is what I thought: Nothing special. OK, so basic
Oct 10, 2014 Emma rated it it was amazing
I ADORE this book.

If you're like me, a fan of Meg Cabot, and appreciate the most riddicolous and random elements of humour, then you'll just adore this too.

I laugh until my stomach hurts and I'm short of breath, tears in my eyes.

Let me just let one of the thousands of hilarious quotes from the book speak for me:

"OK, Flora's house was a bit intimidating. It was rather like heaven. Flora and her sisters Freya and Felicity were all blonde. Her mother was blonde. Her dad was blonde. The dog was blon
Juniper Shore
Jul 23, 2016 Juniper Shore rated it really liked it
This book really surfs on its narrative voice. Jess is ever ready with a snappy remark and her wry humor makes for delightful reading. Her sarcasm never comes across as mean-spirited, particularly since so much of it is directed at herself. The metaphors are great, and the plot is unashamedly over-the-top. It's nice to find a narrator who is so consistently good-humored even in the face of disaster.

I'll take off one star because the plot drags on a bit at the end, as Jess' travails start to read
Jul 15, 2015 Sinara rated it liked it
I picked this book up because I was looking for something "light" to read and this one pretty much fit in the description. Needless to say, my hopes were quite high as many seemed to say that this book was absolutely hilarious. Although there were some good bits, I found the book to be quite bland. Some parts were useless as they did nothing to develop the plot, and I didn't enjoy the writing style much.
Aug 20, 2016 Jacci rated it it was amazing
This was one of the funniest books I've ever read. I laughed out loud many times. Perhaps someone forgot to tell the author how hard it is to write comedy. I actually listened to the audio version which is even better because the reader did a great job. I want to find out more about this author but I think it is a great book for a savvy young adult.
Nov 12, 2009 nala rated it liked it
This book was ugh... okay. I just read it a few hours ago and I can't even remember what happened. It was pretty bland. It just wasn't a page turner for me. It is about a girl named Jess who has a really beautiful friend who she is always comparing herself to, and a boy she really wants. And, she is trying to be fit in. I wouldn't recommend this book because it was boring and unexciting.
Aug 17, 2009 Alicia rated it it was amazing
SO FUNNY! This author is hilarious! I laughed the entire time. It almost reminded me of all the neurotic characters on Scrubs forming one super person which happens to be a 15 year old girl. I can't wait to read the rest!
May 14, 2009 Primadonna rated it liked it
Shelves: teenlit-ya
Fun, wicked, crazy, and after reading this I begin to hate Flora. A lot. But hey, the protagonist gets even in the end, so... :)
I laughed out loud in places at this British school girl. A lovely fresh voice. Recommend it for younger girls reading in the young adult section. 13 or 14 or so as it's pretty clean.
Dec 18, 2016 SonySakura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is quite a... muddled review as I read this book as a part of my English class (Extensive Reading task), and this review is a compilation of 3 essays and 12 pages of random notes. Like, half of it is me rambling about my fav background character.

I own an actual copy of this book though I have no idea how it turned up in our town; I found it on a bookcrossing shelf (in English! in Siberia! I guess I’m just lucky). The book is British, and it’s a good thing it’s British. I certainly need more
Striratna  Nityahayu
Feb 22, 2013 Striratna Nityahayu rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 21, 2017 Harriet rated it it was amazing
One of my all time favorite books, always cheers me up on a bad day
Oct 23, 2014 ellemaddy rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
Girl, 15, Charming but Insane, ABSOLUTELY HILARIOUS.

I read this book years ago in junior high school and I loved it. I didn't get much action in the love department but I got plenty from the fictional characters I read in books (a bit sad, i know). Back then this book was one my favourite along with all-american girl by Meg Cabot (sam saved the president from getting shot and fell in love with the president's son and she's artsy as heck!), confession of a teenage drama queen (re-read this dozens
Jan 12, 2009 Jaemi rated it really liked it
Shelves: humorous, ya-fiction
I ran into this book while setting up one of the lists on the Read Something New page and the title cracked me up, so I went out front and picked it up.

Jess Jordan seems pretty sure of her station in life: she’s got a big bum, and no boy will ever notice her because her best friend, Flora, looks like a blonde goddess. Two goddesses, in fact. Venus and Flora. But this is alright by Jess, as she wants nothing to do with boys in that fashion anyway.

She’s rather fond of daydreaming away, instead of
Oct 16, 2011 Mary rated it really liked it
Jess Jordan has a crazy wild imagination that amplifies ordinary situations into hilarious comedies. She's obsessed with the size of her rear end (massive) and her chest (minuscule) and loves her best friend Flora dearly--except that Flora's so beautiful Jess is sure she looks like a baboon in comparison. She rarely sees her father, but he sends her made-up horoscope text messages every day. Her mother works as a librarian by day and an activist the rest of the time, so she doesn't even notice t ...more
April Helms
Jan 04, 2008 April Helms rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult, fiction
As 15-year-old Jess goes through the school year, she realizes that she has her own gifts. A comic tale of a 15-year-old, her dissatisfaction with her looks, how she copes with a best friend whom she perceives as perfect and dealing with her high school crush.

This reads very much like a sitcom, or three or four episodes in that sitcom. It’s told third-person, but I kept wondering if it would have been better as first-person, the writing almost slips into first person at times. I thought it was
Aug 19, 2007 Sookie rated it liked it
Recommends it for: ages 14+
I got this very charming (but insane!) book on a dare. I'm not usually a fan of chick-lit (with an exception with Meg Cabot's books though). But I have to admit-this one was pretty good!
It was fun reading about the hilarious situations Jess always gets herself into (also, her dad sends her hilarious joke horoscopes throughout, though he's sort of a mystery man because he doesn't show up at all in this book).
She wants to be a standd-up comedian-and appropriately so!
I did have a few problems with
Joanna Price
9th-12th grade. This British young adult novel features the fearless, witty Jess who struggles her way through her fifteenth year, with the help of best friends Flora and Fred. The protagonist is hilarious, causing the reader to laugh out loud in various places. She faces many a debacle, including her grandmother moving in, the mystery of why her parents split up, whether Ben does or does not like her back, whether her bum or her cleavage will ever be satisfactory, and other incredibly important ...more
Alexandria Jakupovic
Oct 11, 2013 Alexandria Jakupovic rated it really liked it
The audio book is great! If I read this book, I might not have enjoyed it as much because at times I don't get the British humor, but no, this was great. Jess is a 15 year old girl who is a little boy obsessed who is trying to get through life with her best friend Flora and her used to be best friend Fred. I think what I enjoyed most is that Jess's mom is a librarian, feminist, war protestor. Other great things that happen in this book: Jess's grandma moves in with her and her mum, Jess goes to ...more
Jan 02, 2008 treehugger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: funny ya fans, British culture/language groupies, anyone looking for an enjoyable audiobook!
This was a book that was rollicking good fun to listen to - the narrator is just FANTASTIC, the dialogue hilarious, and the characters so ordinary yet so over-the-top...I just loved them :).

If you liked Bridget Jones' Diary, and you appreciate British humor and some of the quirky language they use, you'll like this book. It's just about being a very imaginative teenager in suburban England with wacky parents, a too-perfect best friend, and a 'bum that's too big'.

I laughed out loud lots of times
Apr 28, 2011 Trisha rated it liked it
what a funny book. I love how neurotic her worrying could get and how much she could just wind up her own story. Very good at showing how your point of view can be total tunnel vision!!!

But, I am still floored by how many teen books there are where the main character is a habitual liar? What makes lying...pointless and, even, harmful to yourself! How is that easier than the truth? I know when I was younger (I know, a different time, different generation, yadda yadda) I loved the brutal and uglin
Jan 02, 2011 Natalie rated it really liked it
Jess Jordan is a typical teenage girl who worries about looks and boys. All she wants to do is to get the guy of her dreams which just so happens to be Ben Johnson. she struggles with paying attention in class and getting good grades. Her mum is a librarian with a passion for causes, and her dad is an artist who lives 200 miles way in St. Ives, and he connects with her through text messages of daily horror scopes. Her best friend Flora is a beautiful rich girl who gets what she wants, Jess is al ...more
Joe Young
Aug 13, 2009 Joe Young rated it really liked it
Girl, 15, Charming but Insane follows the adventures of Jess Johnson, the self-described charming-but-insane 15 year old girl of the title. Jess is funny, intelligent beyond her years, and plagued by the same adolescent insecurities that affect us all at that age. Jess's best friend Flora is studious, blond and popular, and just happens to be dating the best friend of Jess's not-so-secret crush, Ben Jones! Will Jess win the affection of her crush, Ben Jones? Or will her world be turned upside-do ...more
Sep 23, 2010 Scoot rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
I honestly had no idea what to expect when I picked up this book at the library. I just glanced at the back read a little of the synopsis and said, “Sure, why not”. I was pleasantly surprised. I enjoyed the witty repartee of Jess, especially with ‘longtime friend Fred’. Jess had a huge imagination that leaked over into real her life in so many ways. It was a refreshing change of pace reading this obviously British book because of the different terms and slang used throughout the story. The story ...more
Mar 01, 2010 Shannon rated it liked it
I really enjoyed the humor in this book. Jess Jordan is a talented writer who finds school a bore; daydreams over her crush,Ben Jones; and secretly resents her skinny and popular best friend. A glimpse at the humor: When assigned to write an essay on why Charles I was unpopular, she lets her imagine wander and creates this list:
1. He never changed his pants.
2. He refused to grow.
3. He passed a law saying everybody taller than him had to have their legs cut off.
4. He slurped his soup.
5. He used
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Share This Book

“Virgo: Your teddy bear will reveal that he is pregnant and will require counseling. ” 13 likes
“Jess actually dreaded having a boyfriend, because of having to tell her mum. Perhaps she would just avoid it until her mum eighty or something and in an old-people's home, and then Jess, who would by then be about fifty, would drop by and casually remark, "Oh, by the way, Mum, I've got a boyfriend." And even then her mum would probebly hurtle out of her wheelchair and smack her hard across the face, crying "You trash! You whore! Get outta my house--I mean, my room!" It was hard sometimes, being the daughter of a radical feminist who hated men. ” 11 likes
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