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.
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)