Books in Series
*I am trying hard not to leave spoilers, especially for people who have yet to read any of this series. If you do read the individual reviews(linked above), there may be spoilers to the previous books.
Megan McCafferty’s Jessica Darling series is a wonderfully unique set of contemporary reads. We first meet Jessica as a sixteen year old high school student who is using her journal to write letters to her best friend, Hope who has recently moved away. Readers then follow Jessica through high school, college and beyond. Also chronicalling her romance with Marcus Flutie, her friendship with Hope and the goings on of her whole family.
Most of the series is written in journal format, over the course of a full calendar year, through Jessica’s eyes as we watcher her grow from a snarky teen to a successfully employed adult.
In the first book, Sloppy Firsts, we get an introduction to Jessica Darling, her family and the 2002 graduating class of Pineville New Jersey. Her best friend Hope is a character we only get to hear mentioned because the journal is actually a letter to Hope, who has moved away. Now Jessica must navigate the halls of high school, alone. We watch her date, break up and start a new relationship with Marus Flutie – the class slacker.
In Second Helpings the series picks up, Jessica enters her senior year and realizes that life without Hope can still be pretty good. This book focuses on Jessica’s relationship with her Grandmother, Gladdie and her college entrance paperwork as she makes that ever important decision.
Charmed Thirds seems to be where the general population splits on how much they love this series. Instead of being spread over one full calendar year, we get to see Jessica’s entire college career in one book. I loved this, because I think if we looked at four years of college? It would get really boring – but a lot of people felt it was rushed. If you’ve read this series, I’m dying to know your thoughts on the third book!
In Fourth Comings Jessica has graduated from Columbia and is living in New York City (with Hope as her roommate!!) Marcus Flutie is in his freshman year at Princeton, and their relationship is FINALLY at a major turning point! I loved this one so much, it was nice to see Jess enter the real world and fully grow into her own.
Perfect Fifths is the perfect ending to this fabulous series! It takes place over 24 hours – and in an airport! Jess and Marcus look back on their journey and … well… it’s just the perfect ending! Everyone gets the ending to their story here.
In The End
Megan McCafferty did a great job of writing Jessica’s snarky personality and making us fall in love with the world as she sees it. We rooted for her and Marcus to keep their relationship in tact, we shared her hatred toward her brother-in-law, G-Money, we cringed as she found her parents having sex in the living room.
The Jessica Darling books are a wonderful contemporary read and I would recommend them to any fan of contemporary books.