Saturday, March 31, 2012
Book Review: Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty
Where have I been these last 11 years? I've been missing out on Jessica Darling this whole time? I am truly clueless, and disappointed that it's taken me this long to read this book. But a good thing about waiting this long is that I can read the other books in the series right after one another and not wait years in between. So perhaps my procrastination/laziness is a stroke of genius on my part!
Jessica Darling is 16 and can't stand her classmates, her town of Pineville, and her family. Her best friend has moved away and she feels alone, isolated and depressed. Even her athletic nature as a runner is something she secretly hates doing. Jessica is me. Jessica is most of you. She's universal, and yet unique at the same time. Her circle of friends are boy crazy, and nuts about clothes, and gossip. Jessica hangs out with them simply because it's a routine and doesn't particularly want to eat lunch alone. Even though she'd probably be better off eating alone. I love that her food of choice is Cap 'N Crunch morning, noon and night. Not healthy at all, but a great character trait.
The plot is simple. Actually, the book really doesn't have a plot. Jessica has crushes on a couple of boys, and boys have crushes on her (she knows it, but doesn't act on it). She works at a crappy summer job. Her friends turn on her. She falls for the reformed bad boy (but does he return the sentiment? Hmmmm) and she goes through the ups and downs of teenage life with wit and sarcasm. It's definitely a character driven book. My favourite kind of story. It's how I write as well. I've been working on my own teen novel where the protagonist Lucy shares a lot in common with Jessica. It's kind of odd how Lucy (whose story I have yet to complete) is so much like Jessica, and I haven't read this book until now. Hence why she's universal. Stories about teenage girls who have it all don't interest me. Teenage girls who feel like a fish out of water is genuine and realistic, and much more compelling.
I've fallen in love with Jessica and I can't wait to read more about her senior year, her college years and post college life. I'm off to the library right now to see if I can snag a copy of Second Helpings.