Saturday, January 29, 2011

Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty

Published: August 28, 2001 by Three Rivers Press
Received: Bought from Katy Budget Books
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 lavish wedding, and her nonexistent love life?

A fresh, funny, utterly compelling fiction debut by first-time novelist Megan McCafferty, Sloppy Firsts is an insightful, true-to-life look at Jessica’s predicament as she embarks on another year of teenage torment--from the dark days of Hope’s departure through her months as a type-A personality turned insomniac to her completely mixed-up feelings about Marcus Flutie, the intelligent and mysterious “Dreg” who works his way into her heart. Like a John Hughes for the twenty-first century, Megan McCafferty taps into the inherent humor and drama of the teen experience. This poignant, hilarious novel is sure to appeal to readers who are still going through it, as well as those who are grateful that they don’t have to go back and grow up all over again.

Before I review this book, I have to give a quick shout-out to my bookish peeps who have so lovingly poured their hearts & souls out all over twitter about this book.  It is because of them that I have been introduced to the hysterical, cynical, yet brilliant Jessica Darling.  I am forever grateful to them for doing so because my life in YA lit will never be the same.  So THANK YOU Anna from Anna Reads, Jen from Makeshift Bookmark, and Carla from The Crooked Shelf. You ladies are genius!!! ♥

Jessica Darling just had a bomb shell dropped on her in the middle of her sophomore year of high school.  Her best friend (and only real friend) is moving away - 1,000 miles away!  This news has come as a shock to Jessica & has left her devastated!  How on earth will a teenage girl survive her adolescence through the daily traumas of high school life with out her very best friend?  The only other soul who truly gets her.  Understands her.  And most importantly, accepts her.  As we all remember those wonderful teenage years, life sucks.  Crap happens & we just have to learn to deal with it.  Part of growing up, right?  Jessica is forced to become pseudo friends with the "Clueless Crew" at school, even hoping to spark a new friendship with Pineville High's newest member.  Her efforts in doing so are hysterically displayed page after page.  Jessica becomes the queen of putting on a smile (smirk?) for the world to see, but inside she cringes at the thought of even co-existing with some of these low-life, self-centered, over-dramatized classmates of hers.  However, there's one set of eyes that sees right past this facade.  And those eyes belong to the *queue swoon-worthy music* Marcus Flutie.  Oh Marcus, Marcus, Marcus.  His bad-boy reputation screams in Jessica's ear to stay away.  But between the devastation of her best friend being MIA,  her misinformed, over-bearing parents, & the pressures of being a teenager, Jessica finds solace in those eyes (or rather his voice through late night phone calls when sleep deprives her).  But it's the reputation floating around Marcus that causes Jessica to question his true motives in wanting to get close to her.

This book had me busting at the seams with laughter.  There may have been a time or two where I literally had to put the book down & take a deep breath because I was laughing that hard.  Megan McCafferty's writing is brilliant.  She is so on point & hysterical that I have to know, was Jessica Darling written about someone she knows?!  Please tell me this person is real.  She is too freaking awesome not to be real!  Scene after scene just gets better & better.  Behind the hysterics is a girl with wit & charisma.  A girl who is just as lost as the rest of us when it comes to high school life.  I feel that so many readers can take at least something from this character.  This being the first book in the series, I can't wait to see what else Jessica Darling has in store.  The build up between her & Marcus Flutie was insane!  I must know the rest of their unfinished business.  As Jessica grows older & encounters more every day dilemmas, I just know I will be laughing right a long side her.  If you haven't read this book, DO IT NOW.  You won't be disappointed. I promise.



  1. I love and miss Jessica Darling! It's been ages since I last re-read this book (and I'm afraid I never finished Charmed Thirds)! Must get back to this again. :)

  2. I loved reading your post. I loved Sloppy Firsts and Second Helpings is even better. (What I am saying the whole series is awesome!) I was lucky enough to find them when they first came out - it was like nothing I had ever read - such wit and sarcasm and fun! I admit I get a bit jealous when I see people reading them for the first time. Because it is like the best discovery ever. Luckily the reread is just as good!

  3. Ok, you guys continue to rave about this book, and I'm guessing there HAS to be some merit to your great reviews. Perhaps I'll check it out after all? Great review, G! :)

  4. I'm going to skip writing a review and just say "ditto" to yours :)

    Looking forward to reading the rest whenever they get here! Paperback Swap is taking forever on 2 and 3, and I might have to buy the rest because it doesn't look like my "wish" will get fulfilled on there soon enough. Need more Jessica Darling right now.

  5. Okay, seriously though...I am so happy you "get" it! This entire review is beautifully put. And this is why we are all bookish BFFs 4-eva <3.

  6. YAY! So glad you liked it! Just wait...the series gets better and better!

  7. Thank you! I will have to try this book out, I've been looking for a book that will make me laugh!

  8. Okay, after you left that comment on my TGIF post I just HAD to check out this love-fest review. It is AWESOME yet it makes me question my sanity. How have I NOT read this series yet??? My goodness, I must do so right now!


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