Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty

When her best friend, Hope Weaver, moves away from Pineville, New Jersey, hyperobservant sixteen-year-old Jessica Darling is devastated. A fish out of water at school and a stranger at home, Jessica feels more lost than ever now that the only person with whom she could really communicate has gone. How is she supposed to deal with the boy- and shopping-crazy girls at school, her dad's obsession with her track meets, her mother salivating over big sister Bethany's wedding, and her nonexistant love life?
(Summary from jacket flap)

The Jessica Darling books are super well known. Everyone says that they're fabulous. But I don't quite buy it yet. Sloppy Firsts didn't show me where all the hype is coming from. It's an okay book, sure, but there's nothing ground breaking in there. It's just kind of mediocre.
When I picked up the book, I thought that the thing I would like the most about it would be the true to life characters and plot twists. It was all very true to life but within that, surprisingly boring. Most everyone's life is boring and not fit to be written about. I'll be the first to admit that. If someone wrote a book about me, it would seriously suck. I don't do anything! There's nothing exciting or crazy going on with me. Wake up, eat, school, homework, sleep. That's it. 

And to me, that's kind of all that Jessica did in this book. She did lose her best friend, she did alienate her social circle, she did meet up with the mysterious Marcus Flutie, but it was all hidden under a layer of meh. It could have all been quite interesting but it wasn't. I just didn't get it. 

There were a few redeeming things that I saw, though. I did enjoy the not boring parts of the book. I loved Marcus, I loved how Jessica had a crazy social life at some points, and I enjoyed the letters and lists that she made. Those shining moments somewhat made up for the crappy parts. They added a little spice.

I am going to continue to read the series, I think, because I want to see if any of the other books change my mind about Ms. Jessica Darling. When everyone's so hyped about a group of books, you kind of have to see it through. So I'm going to. 

I just sincerely hope that Marcus doesn't go away. He's the guy who made this book readable. He was AWESOME. 

So don't ruin it for me, but does Marcus stick around? 

I can't quite recommend this series yet, but I might be able to give you guys a diagnosis after I read Second Helpings. All you lovers of the Darling books, cross your fingers for me. I want to like it. :)


  1. I agree. This book was just...average. I have heard the second is better though. If you say it is, someone who also was only meh about the first, then I'll definitely give it a try. Otherwise...I think I may be fine with just reading the first book in the series.

  2. I hope you do like the others, though. I've not read them yet ;)

  3. Yes, the second one is definitely better than the first. I'll admit that this is probably my all-time favorite book series, and I think I love it because of Megan's writing style. She has a way with words and humor that I can only dream of aspiring to; thus, reading these books makes me laugh every. Single. Time. Without fail. Even if I've read them five times before (which I have). I'd be interested to see what you think of Second Helpings!

  4. I read the third one in the series a while ago, and I really liked it...don't remember what happens, though, but I do want to read the other two...thanks for reminding me!

  5. I'm right there with you Liv. I had trouble figuring out what makes this series so darn popular! But I agree with Steph, the second is the best. After that is kinda of goes back downhill and a bit even worst than the first.

  6. I read this book about a year ago and felt the same way. But so many people love the series that I'm thinking of trying again.

  7. Hm.. I read Steph Su's comment and I really agree. Megan McCafferty's writing style is intelligent and sarcastic, marked with humor that never fails to make me laugh. She really does have a way with words. The book can be boring at parts with Jessica's rants about her life (especially her track meets) but even so Megan McCafferty's wonderful writing style doesn't make it boring. It's the only book that I can read again and again occasionally, because the ending of the book isn't really the ending... and plus, I always look forward to Jessica and Marcus's realistic relationship. If you're a fan of Jessica and Marcus then you should probably read Second Helpings and find out the tie on their relationship... although from there the series really goes downhill.

  8. Oh gosh, I disagree COMPLETELY!

    I find it fascinating that McCafferty is able to write such an entertaining book when it really is "only" about her life. No complex or unrealistic plot is necessary with such a smart, observant, sarcastic, spot on, REALISTIC character. I have been a Harry Potter fan my whole life, but have realised that I love Jessica Darling (and Marcus!) even more.

    Really, I respect your opinion, but if you're into character development, believable relationships between characters, (incredibly) authentic dialog and relatable scenarios - there is no better story (+ the Marcus/Jessica relationship is EPIC and will make you wish someone asked you to pee in a cup!)

    I'm a huge critic of a lot of YA because it's blah and homogeneous, I'm very much into details and I can honestly say that the Jessica Darling series is on a scale of its own.

    On another note some might think the third and fourth book don't live up to the previous (I have come to love them too in time, because they're just... right) but the FIFTH! It is soooo beautifully written and the whole thing will make you quiver all over.


Pour your heart out. :)