Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Fourth Comings by Megan McCafferty

Is the real world ready for Jessica Darling?
At first it seems she’s living the New York City dream. She’s subletting an apartment with her best friend, working for a magazine that actually cares about her psychology degree, and still deeply in love with the charismatic Marcus Flutie.
But reality is more complicated than dreamy clichés.
When Marcus proposes – giving her only one week to answer – Jessica must decide if she’s ready to give up a world of late-night literary soirees, art openings, and downtown drunken karaoke to move back to New Jersey and be with the one man who’s gripped her heart for years. Jessica ponders this and other life choices with her signature snark* and hyper-intense insight, making it the most tumultuous and memorable week of her twenty-something life.
(Summary from back of book)

I don’t think this measly review is going to succeed in summing up my immense love for this series. I adore Jessica Darling. These books have been some of the most memorable I’ve read in quite a while and possibly the only ones in recent reading history that don’t allow me to put them down. Literally. I was babysitting this past Thursday and Friday and could hardly stand to part from Marcus and Jessica’s story long enough to make mac ‘n cheese and take the push-bike to the park.

I’m surprised that I was so involved in this book out of all of them because it’s drastically different than the first three. The previous books are Jessica’s private journals – commentaries on the day-to-day events in her life. Fourth Comings was changed because this journal isn’t private, and less significantly but still importantly, Jess isn’t in school.

This one is a journal kept by Jess during the week after Marcus proposes to her in his dorm room at Princeton, until giving him her response seven days later. She’s all grown up and on her own in NYC. She’s got a much more realistic and depressing view of the world because she’s finally faced with providing for herself and living independently.

In Fourth Comings actually get to meet Hope, which I loved. In the previous three books she was alluded to and addressed indirectly through Jess’s letters and ramblings. Now there are conversations and conflicts and direct emotions. I liked it better this way. That’s the way stories about best friends should be.

I also enjoyed reading about Jess’s thoughts on personalities, relationships, and life in general. Even though I’m only around how old Jess was in Sloppy Firsts I feel like I’ve related to her more and more as the books went on. Maybe because she’s gotten better at putting words to her thoughts – something that I think I’m very bad at. And maybe because I only wish that I could experience what she’s going through. It’s a phantom world to me. I’ll get there soon enough though. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from reading these books, it’s to relish these years where I’m provided for and looked after.

Once again, McCafferty has succeeded in authoring a masterpiece of a novel. I don’t know how she’s hit these homeruns almost every time. The Jessica Darling series is on its way to becoming one of my all-time favorites. It’ll take a lot to remove them from that spot of honor. Because they really are phenomenal novels. I can only hope that Perfect Fifths, the conclusion to the series, doesn’t disappoint.

Another A+, of course.

*According to Microsoft Word, snark is not a word. I wish I could come up with a snarky comment about that.

Reviews of books 1, 2, and 3.

January 1, 2007 // Three Rivers Press // 336 pages
Goodreads // Amazon // IndieBound


  1. Glad you are loving Jessica Darling! =) Makes me want to read these again so much more!!

  2. I love Jessica Darling! And I loved that we got to meet Hope. She's very fun :)


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