Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Perfect Fifths by Megan McCafferty

Published: April 14, 2009 by Three Rivers Press
Received: bought from Barnes & Noble

**Contains spoilers from previous books in the series**
Old flames are reignited in the fifth and final book in the New York Times bestselling Jessica Darling series.

Captivated readers have followed Jessica through every step and misstep: from her life as a tormented, tart-tongued teenager to her years as a college grad stumbling toward adulthood. Now a young professional in her mid-twenties, Jess is off to a Caribbean wedding. As she rushes to her gate at the airport, she literally runs into her former boyfriend, Marcus Flutie. It’s the first time she's seen him since she reluctantly turned down his marriage proposal three years earlier–and emotions run high.

Marcus and Jessica have both changed dramatically, yet their connection feels as familiar as ever. Is their reunion just a fluke or has fate orchestrated this collision of their lives once again?

Told partly from Marcus’s point of view, Perfect Fifths finally lets readers inside the mind of the one person who’s both troubled and titillated Jessica Darling for years. Expect nothing less than the satisfying conclusion fans have been waiting for, one perfect in its imperfection. . . . {taken from}
If you follow my reviews then you may be wondering what happened to book 4? Why did I not review it?  Well, my first intentions were to not write reviews for book 4 or 5 since I had taken a hiatus from Jessica Darling for a few months.

Then I read book 5 & finished the series.


How could I not write a review to sum up my thoughts on this INCREDIBLE series?!  Yeah. There's no way.  I have to express my love for these books. One. Last. Time.  So here goes . . .

WARNING if you have not read these books, I may slip up & spoil a few things.  You have be warned. SO BEWARE!

It's been 3 years since Jessica told Marcus she needed to let go.  She wrote it all down in two journals explaining WHY she had to let go & gave them to Marcus to read.  As painful as that was for me to accept, I now know WHY she had to let go.  Sometimes things get so freaking messy in life that you just can't handle the most important thing, the most important PERSON standing right in front of you.  Everyone needs a minute or two to step back, live life, & find yourself ALONE.  Jessica did just that.

She is at the airport, running full speed, attempting to catch her flight to the Caribbean so she can be a witness to two of her friends getting married.  In her spastic attempt to reach the gate in time she literally gets run over by the one thing that has managed to stop her over & over again; heart, mind, body and soul.  Marcus Flutie.  The two collide right there in the middle of the airport.  Before reality can sink in & Jessica has time to focus on the beauty that stands before her, she does what Jessica does best... apologizes & runs away!  But it's Marcus who refuses to let this chance meeting go by.  Jessica ends up missing her flight & has time before she can catch the next one out.  So what does this mean for Marcus?  He has TIME.  Time to talk to the one thing in his life that he never should have screwed up.  And ohhh what this time MEANS.

The story is told from the third person; however, as the reader you are witnessing thoughts & feelings from both Jessica and Marcus.  This puts an interesting twist on things because Marcus has always been what we see through Jessica.  We have never been able to really hear his voice & see his thoughts.  And what beautiful thoughts they are.  Marcus Flutie has always been portrayed as this boy who was always misunderstood.  Constantly being blamed for things out of his control.  Trouble always seemed to find him.  But there was one person who got him, one person who was always a step ahead, & that one person is Jessica Darling.  The middle chunk of the book is straight dialogue between Jessica & Marcus.  The two of them are sitting at Starbucks talking, catching up, listening, & saying everything (but nothing!!).  The way Megan McCafferty inserted this in to the story was genius.  Seriously people.  Straight dialogue.  GENIUS!  I could listen to Jessica & Marcus banter back & forth all day.  Even though they've spent 3 years a part, it's almost like they didn't skip a beat.  Their conversation flows timelessly, yet the tension is INSANE between the two.  So much is being said, yet NOTHING is being said about the obvious.

As time marches on the two of them are forced to get a hotel room for the night, so they can catch the next flight out in the morning.  However - Marcus doesn't have a flight to catch.  This is just one secret of his that he has not fully disclosed to Jessica.  As the night continues, the story reminds me why I love the two of them so freaking much.  I understand now why I was hesitant to finish this series for so long.  I DON'T WANT IT TO BE OVER!!!!!  I feel like Jessica & Marcus have become these fixtures in my life.  I know them.  Maybe they know me?? lol  But seriously.  I can't imagine my life without them!  It. Must. Not. End.  There are some seriously hilarious scenes that take part in this hotel room.  I will not divulge that information in this review because you must witness for yourself.  No spoilers.  Between the hilarity are the most softest & sweetest moments too.  The moments that make you stop reading, clutch the book to your chest, and sigh a heavy sigh of OH MY GOD DID THAT JUST HAPPEN??!!

The ending is epic.  Again, won't spoil THAT for you either.  But it's an ending that will go down in my little library of YA books as THE BEST ENDING OF ALL TIME.  The entire series comes full circle.  As the reader you realize why Jessica & Marcus had to go through the messy times.  They were children when they first met.  There was so much to be learned.  I love this series because it is REAL.  It reminds us that authors can take true life experiences & situations & still make a beautiful story out of it.  We don't have to lose ourselves in rich fantasies & urban myths to create a profound novel.  It can be a story about a girl, a very cynical girl who meets a boy, a very tragic boy, & their lives together as they intertwine, overlap, & collide.

I'm not ready to accept that this series is over.  I may have to pick it back up and re-read it again.  Perhaps a few more times after that too.  If there is ever a series of books that I have said "you must read this now!" - this is one to seriously consider.  And if my review of this final chapter hasn't convinced you, then go talk to Carla or Anna.  They know what's up.

(+ a million more stars!!)



  1. Oh, I swoon just thinking about this book. Seriously: Anyone who needs further convincing, talk to me. Assuming you have hours to spare to hear it all.

  2. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. Love the book, Love the couple, Love this review. MMmmhmmm people, READ IT! ♥

  3. I need to start this series. I love the cover.

  4. EEEEP. You make me want to fan girl over the series all over again. Ok, maybe I need to complete my Jessica Darling series and actually get a copy of Perfect Fifths even if I've already read it. So glad you liked it!!

  5. I found your blog because I searched "Marcus Flutie" on twitter, as one last ditch attempt to find some book, any book, that came close to the Jessica Darling books.

    It took me approximately two years to read Perfect Fifths. Read all the others, and just did.not.want. to admit that it had an end. So I avoided reading the last book for two years. It sat on my shelf, I stared at it every night. Thought about picking it up. But then just got too sad thinking that I would have to say goodbye to them. I've never been so in love with a character as I was with Marcus. And I've never related to a character as much as I did to Jessica. I think I literally had a periood of mourning after finally finishing the book. It really was the perfect ending. But there was some serious wallowing going on for me. I'd think of the characters several times throughout my day and my heart would break when I rememberd that it was all over. Since finishing I've re-read the first 4 books two more times, but I can't get myself to re-read the last, because I'd have to grieve the end all over again. Even though the last book was the best one, besides Second Helpings. I am still, almost 100 books later, looking for characters that hit me the way Jessica and Marcus did. I think there will always be a void, I will never find something like them, something to fill that space in. I'll just have to read their story over and over again.

  6. AMEN.

    "They were children when they first met. There was so much to be learned. I love this series because it is REAL. It reminds us that authors can take true life experiences & situations & still make a beautiful story out of it. We don't have to lose ourselves in rich fantasies & urban myths to create a profound novel. It can be a story about a girl, a very cynical girl who meets a boy, a very tragic boy, & their lives together as they intertwine, overlap, & collide."

  7. Good God Ginger! Okay, I did speak too soon on the last comment when I said I had two more to comment on because as you said in the review, you didn't do book four but I am so extremely glad you did book five! If you haven't guessed already, this series will be my next book purchase! Best reviews ever, I kid you not!


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