Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Review: Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty

GoodReads Summary: “My parents suck ass. Banning me from the phone and restricting my computer privileges are the most tyrannical parental gestures I can think of. Don’t they realize that Hope’s the only one who keeps me sane? . . . I don’t see how things could get any worse.”

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.

My Thoughts: Yep. This is potentially the hardest review I've ever written.


Because all I really want to do is vigorously pound on my keyboard with glee and happytears and EEEEEEE.

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I've found the Holy Grail of YA writing. The kicker? It isn't even YA! And yet it is. It's everything. It's Jessica Darling.

I've put off writing my review for Sloppy Firsts for a long time. I don't even know what to say without falling so incredibly short of what this book deserves. I hadn't even heard of this series prior to starting my blog. I figured that it couldn't be THAT good if I hadn't even heard anything about it. My friends, this series is a diamond in the rough.

The characters are so very distinct in all their own ways and mannerisms. I'm convinced that Megan Mc has fashioned Jessica from a real person. Or perhaps she wrote her right off the pages. Yes, that's it! Jessica is so imperfectly perfectly written, that the words and paragraphs came together to form cells and skin and organs and hair and acne and she has jumped right out of the book and exists in our world today. No one can just think of someone SO AWESOME and not have her walk amongst us. I need this to be true so I can find her and make her my BFF. Because we'd get along that well.

I loved everything about every character. Even the ones I hated. Because Ms. McCafferty has taken the time to develop each and every one of them. And each of them had an individual voice that was easily recognizable. Sara with her annoying "quote/unquote" abuse and Len with his "um" and Scotty with his...whatever it is that he does.

And Marcus. Yes, Marcus. I couldn't see what the hype about him was at first. But I have seen the light. Oh yes. And it glitters like Mariah.

The journal-style writing makes it easy to become completely immersed into Jessica's internal cynicism and outlook on life. Having been a cynical teenager (ahem, and having never grown out of it), this speaks volumes to me. There are so many quotes that have caused me to burst into laughter--this never happens--or made me write down a quote or 352 in my review journal. And perhaps I've contemplated getting one tattooed on me somewhere.

This is a series I think everyone should read. It's a beautiful, hilarious, amazinngggg piece of work that has become my golden standard. I'm taking my time with this series, because I don't want it to ever, ever end. Megan McCafferty is my hero.

Rating: 5/5

Series: Sloppy Firsts is the first book in a five book series.
Source: I purchased this book.
Published: Three Rivers Press, 280 pages (August 28, 2001)


  1. Oh wow...a 5 out of 5? So this is the Darling, Jessica that Anna raves on and on and onnnnnn about, eh? Hmmm I wouldn't normally pick this up, but if it's really a 5 like you say it is, I can't help it. I'll have to! Great review, Jen :)

  2. My thoughts exactly! 5+++++++. <3 <3 <3

  3. Glad you liked it! I read the series ages ago and loved it. Turns a little dull after the 2nd, but it's still Jessica and Marcus, and they're an incredible duo. :]

  4. I have the first two books in the series, but I haven't gotten around to reading them yet. This review just made me bump them up a few spots in my TBR pile :)

  5. Couldn't agree with you more! Fab review :)

  6. Awesome review! I just read this book last week and am on book two now. I LOVE IT as well and am obsessed with Jessica Darling. I love her witty and snarky comments. I wish I had read this series earlier; I completely agree with your review!

  7. I can't believe you would ever want to change the way you review a book. This was great -- funny but still informative. This is now on my TBR. Thanks.

    BTW, I don't know if it's just my computer, or what, but I can't read any of the text on your blog without highlighting it??? Might just be some strange setting on my computer or something.

  8. All aboard the Marcus Flutie love train!!

    I am so glad you loved Sloppy Firsts :-)

    Also, love your review tons!

  9. Wow I don't think I would have ever even considered this but thanks to your review I'll be looking out for it.

    Annette: I have the same problem I always just highlight everything. I think its my job but not sure.

  10. I have purchased book 1 & 2 in this series and am planning to read it once the new year starts! I give all credit to you, Anna, & Carla for hyping this book up so much! Your review has just put it over the edge ;-)

  11. Get ready for the other books then! The first book didn't quite have been convinced (looking back, I don't know why) but I DEVOURED the next books in the Jessica Darling series. Fell completely and utterly in love with her and Marcus! Enjoy :)

  12. Just wait until you get to the last books. I actually threw one of the final books in a pool because I was so mad I couldn't have the sequel for a few more months. lol The only book I've ever willingly damaged.