Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sloppy Firsts and Second Helpings

Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Sometimes I just like to kick back and read a girl book. One filled with smart writing, quick wits and tonnes of hilarity. It is rare to find a book that makes you feel good about yourself - without being preachy and Chicken Soupy.
The book is told from the diary and letters of one Jessica Darling, a high school student with anxiety and insecurity issues, yet being good at everything she tries her hand at. As a journal, the book is told in a very relatable manner in a readable format. Her best friend, Hope, moved away shortly after her (Hope's) brother committed suicide. Since then, Jessica's world has been turned into a whirlwind of sorts. She obsessed about her menstrual cycle, spent her time in school talking to her Pepe in French and hanging out with the Clueless Crew, a group of superficial beauty queen wanna-bes.
Her lovelife is something of a joke, which quite honestly I could relate to back in high school. She could talk to guys, except the one she had a crush on. The one that likes her, she tries to let down easily. The one she thinks that kind of likes her confuses the hell out of her so she's not sure. This makes for a very amusing, yet well-written story that I could easily picture as a teen comedy show.
I would highly recommend this book for any woman. 8/10.

Favourite excerpts:
"I can’t believe people come here to have fun. This is about the least fun place on earth. Besides school, that is. If I get any more depressed about the human condition, I just might feel sorry enough for Tsylt to accept one of his numerous broken-English advances. He’s the most persistent of my European suitors, the one I’ve nicknamed "Woody" for reasons that I don’t want or need to explain.".

"Right now I feel guilty to be alive. Why? Because I’m wasting it. I’ve been given this life and all I do is mope it away.
What’s worse is, I am totally aware of how ridiculous I am. It would be a lot easier if I believed I was the center of the universe, because then I wouldn’t know any better not to make a big deal out of everything. I know how small my problems are, yet that doesn’t stop me from obsessing about them.
I have to stop doing this."


Second Comings by Megan McCafferty

The second installment in the Jessica Darling series continues with the burning question: What is the truth when it comes to Marcus? He confuses her and she confuses herself. Poor girl. I loved this book for the realness of her teenage mind, slowly ebbing its way into adulthood. She deals with less trivial issues than the first book. As a senior in high school, she has to worry about colleges and trying to get a bit of exposure to the outside world before she leaves her hometown. She meets people who inspire and motivate her, as they see her for her brilliant mind and down-to-earth demeanor.
This book sees Jessica putting herself out there and standing up for herself, despite the fact that she's freaking out on the inside. Some second novels deviate a lot from the perspective in which the first book was written but McCafferty kept the tone in which Jessica speaks and writes constant while still changing the way she views things. She writes another wonderful teen book. 8/10.

Favourite excerpt:
"As he pulled out my desk chair, I did a quick once-over in the mirror. My hair was stuffed under a Williams baseball cap, a souvenir from the campus visit. My gym shorts were safety pinned at the waist. Low-riders are the thing right now, but since Ive lost my appetite, mine have a tendency to slip beyond plumbers crack. Thank God I was sitting down, so Marcus couldnt see the word BOOTYLICIOUS printed across my nonexistent ass - the butt billboard was a gag gift from Hope. Worst of all, I was wearing my favorite ribbed tank top, which was practically see-through from too many machine washings. I quickly grabbed a dictionary off the floor and held it to my also-nonexistent chest, hoping it would both cover me up and weigh me down."

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