Not too long ago I succumbed to the lure of a great Kindle deal on Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty. While I own all the books in the series, I am separated from them by a great distance. I kept reading in starts and fits on the Metro, which was a mistake as the emotional impact of the story calls for sustained reading. I did not make this mistake with books 2-5 checking them out of the library to avoid waiting to be reunited with my copies.
A few comments:
1. Though the first book was published in 2001, the cultural references feel nostalgic rather than tired.
2. I was just as engaged by the romance between Jessica and Marcus this time as I was when the outcome was a surprise.
3. McCafferty has created teens I believe (and I taught HS for 15 years).
4. Having spent 10 years living near where the books are set, I enjoyed visiting McCafferty's thinly disguised Pineville.
5. Watching Jessica mature is almost as satisfying as the romance. She is a woman with whom I want to be friends. (Maybe Megan McCafferty will be my friend instead. - Holden Caulfield says it best: "What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn't happen much, though.")
6. Perfect Fifths is my favorite. The majority of the book takes place in the airport, based almost entirely on banter between Jessica and Marcus that sparks and snaps. Their exchanges speak to the genius of an author who can drive suspense with little action all the while slowly building up to the ending the two were destined for.
I am looking very forward to the second installment of Jessica Darling's It List. McCafferty is taking us back to Jessica in middle school, to see her as she becomes the thought-full, notso we love as a teen and young adult.