I must admit, this is the only Judy Blume book that I don’t like. I really fucking hate this book. Mostly because I really fucking hate the protagonist, Jill. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book told from the point of view of a bigger cunt. And I read a LOT. So congratulations Jill Brenner, you are the biggest (first person) cunt in all of Y.A. lit. Even at the end, when she supposedly learns a lesson, she learns the WRONG fucking lesson. I hate her. She has so little conscience, it actually makes me uncomfortable to read the book. Shit, could I have cursed any more in this paragraph?
Jill is 11 years old. All the kids are doing a report on a mammal. Linda, the class chubby girl, is doing a report on the whale. So of course Wendy the class bitch says that everyone should call Linda “Blubber” from now on. Evidently everyone else in the class can’t say no to Wendy so everyone starts being really mean to Linda.
And not just a little mean; like really. fucking. mean.
Jill decides to dress like a flenser (a person who strips blubber from a whale) for halloween. Then Jill, Wendy and Caroline (Wendy’s BFF) torture Linda in the bathroom, including lifting her skirt up with the flensing sword to show her flowery underwear and making her curtsy to Wendy. Miserable bitches. They make her say “I am Blubber, the smelly whale of class 206,” before she can get a drink of water. At a school assembly, Jill’s class is responsible for singing lullabies. During one song, there is a part that goes “rest…rest….on mother’s breast…” and the whole class stops singing during the word breast, except for Linda.
Jill and her BFF, Tracy, play a prank on the neighborhood miser on halloween night by throwing rotten eggs into his mailbox. The miser, Mr. Machinist snaps a photo of them doing it. Mr. Machinist goes around showing the photo he took to parents in town to figure out who put the rotten eggs in his mailbox. Tracy and Jill were in costume, so they were sure they wouldn’t get found out, but of course they do. Jill is convinced that Linda turned them in. (She didn’t but she SHOULD have!) So Jill uses that as an excuse to torture Linda even more.
Jill has to go to a bar mitzvah for a family friend. It’s out of town, but guess who happens to also be friends with the family? Linda’s family. Jill and her little brother end up at the same table as Linda at the reception and it’s totes awkward. For which Jill blames Linda, but really Jill was acting like a stuck up cunt. So yeah.
Jill has a talk with her mom about teasing, in general. Her mom says that people being teased should just laugh it off. Jill, in her infinite idiocy, decides that means it’s Linda’s fault that she gets teased. Because she should just know to laugh it off. And in some extremely obvious foreshadowing, Mom tells Jill to put herself in Linda’s place, to which Jill replies “I could never be in her place!” Stupid bitch.
Wendy and Caroline decide that they have to do something really terrible to Linda to get back at her for supposedly telling on Jill and Tracy. Tracy refuses to take part in it, and accuses Jill of being afraid of Wendy and always doing what she says. Then at lunch when the class eats in their room without a teacher present, the class decides to put Linda on “trial” for tattling on Jill and Tracy. And they LOCK her in the coat closet. Rochelle, a new girl who never really took part in the teasing, says that Linda needs a lawyer. Wendy is all like fuck that! But Jill, thinking about what Tracy said about her being afraid of Wendy agreed. Then there was a fight and the “trial” never took place.
But rut-roh. The next day, Jill was the new Blubber. Linda is now great friends with Wendy, and everyone is teasing Jill and calling her Baby Brenner and accusing her of wearing a diaper still and I don’t know what all else. But Jill, remembering her mom’s advice, laughs it off. But the teasing continues. So then Jill calls out Wendy and points out to Caroline how Wendy has abandoned her for Linda. People kind of see that Wendy is not a great person. So at the end, people were fighting and at lunch Wendy sat with a girl named Laurie, Caroline sat with a girl named Donna. Linda sat alone (again) and Jill sat with Rochelle. (Tracy is in another class).
So, you see? She didn’t learn the right fucking lesson!!!!!! Jill learned to stand up to Wendy, but not to empathize with Linda!!! What the fuck Judy Blume? God, I hate this ending. She isn’t even a little bit sorry for being a bully.
- At the opening of the book, Donna is giving a presentation on horses. Evidently she is one of those tween girls who just luuuurves horses. She even said she was going to marry a horse named San Salvador. I WAS going to put a really nasty horse on woman bestiality porn picture in here. But although I am many things. A smut peddler is not one of them. Still, if you google it, you’ll see what Donna and San Salvodor’s honeymoon would look like. Bow chicka bow bow.
- Jill fails a math quiz, even though she got the answers right. She didn’t set up the problems correctly, and “isn’t thinking the problem through the right way.” This book was published in 1974, oddly enough, a good 30 years before W’s brilliant No Child Left Behind policy.
- I also hate Jill because she was raised by a nanny, Mrs. Sandmeier. When Mrs. Sandmeier went to her home country (Switzerland) for three weeks to help celebrate her mother’s 85th birthday, Jill was a fucking bitch about it. Cause it’s all about her, you know?
- Oh yeah, Jill finally stands up to Wendy because Wendy called Tracy a chink. So….it’s OK to call a fat girl Blubber, but not to call an Asian person a chink. I like how Jill is totally picking and choosing her prejudices. And it never fucking occurs to her that it’s just not right to bully anyone. For anything.
- Now I remember why I didn’t own this book. I remember borrowing from a friend (Hi Tracy!) and if I had really liked it, I would have bought it on my own. But I didn’t, so I know that I must have hated it back then too.
- I need to read any other Judy Blume book next. It will get the foul taste of this one out of my brain.
- Once again, my apologies for the use of the word cunt. Jessica Wakefield and Jill Brenner are so far the only characters to receive the honor of being called cunt in my blog. I can’t imagine there will be too many more.