Sunday, July 11

Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty

“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?
I'll admit I've read Sloppy Firsts before. It was about 5 years ago, but I never finished the whole Jessica Darling series, so I decided to start from the beginning. I'm so glad I did. Five years ago, I don't think I caught all the things going on in this novel. In fact, I know I didn't. This novel is so much deeper than I remembered it. McCafferty takes on so many issues and everything is so... raw. From drugs, to sex, to death, Sloppy Firsts tackles it. I truly applaud McCafferty for being bold enough to go there. 
I'm not going to say you'll fall in love with Jessica and that she lives up to her last name of Darling. In fact, you might not end up liking her at all. Jessica isn't your  typical girl, and she knows it. She's frustrated, full of angst, and just waiting for things to be normal, whatever that is.  That said, while you may not like her, you'll be able to feel her go through all of this. It took a while to take this all in- at first Jessica just seemed to be upset for no reason. However, once getting into the book, I was able to understand her unhappiness. The other characters played well into the novel. They all brought out the different sides of Jessica, a lot of times in unexpected ways. I really appreciated that because I loved not knowing what was going to happen next. Some may find Jessica moody, but a lot of her mood had to do with the other characters. Whether it be missing her best friend Hope, or her parents misunderstanding her, Jessica rooted her feelings in that. Understanding this, I was able to tolerate Jessica's emotions a little bit more. Overall, this was a great start to a series that I hope to finish by summer's end.

My Ratings:
Plot: B
Set up very well for  beginning of the series. It did take a while to get into, though.
Characters: A
Not automatically lovable. Not automatically understood. However, McCafferty made it easy to get swept into them. 
Cover Art: A
I love that you can't see Jessica. Plus it's really simple and kind of mysterious in a way.
Length: B
A little long, but that may just be because the beginning was slow for me.
A great introduction into the world of Jessica Darling, Sloppy Firsts deserves...
Four Stars!

P.S, this is the first book for my Summer Beach Reads Challenge! It may be a little deep, but the hilarity makes  it a great beach read!

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