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‘Sloppy Firsts,’ by Megan McCafferty

January 17, 2010

I’ve written in the past about Megan McCafferty’s Jessica Darling series, though I haven’t been able to form real, intelligent thoughts about the books – well, except for the genius that was the collaborative Twelve Days of Christmas, Jessica and Marcus style.

McCafferty’s giveaway on Twitter inspired a load of #lassodicking tweets from my fellow JD-loving buddies, which inspired our Christmas song, which finally inspired a scheduled group re-read of the series.

Which brings us up to date.

This week, I completed my first re-read of the book that introduced Jessica Darling, the Clueless Crew and Marcus Flutie to the world, “Sloppy Firsts.”

I’ve struggled with writing an entry dedicated to this book (really, for the whole series), because I turn into somewhat of a gushing, bouncing, quoting mess of a fangirl when I start thinking/talking about the series.

“Sloppy Firsts” is the journal of Jessica Darling, an overachieving, cynical, sarcastic New Jersey sophomore who says goodbye to her best friend, Hope, just days before Jessica’s 16th birthday.

The book is a combination of journal entries and letters to Hope, who was forced to move from New Jersey to Tennessee with her parents.

Just when she thinks she’s going to drown in excruciating boredom at Pineville High School, Jessica’s interest is piqued by the most unlikely person: Marcus Flutie.

He’s sloppily dressed, a slacker, a known drug addict (Dreg) and juvenile delinquent and probably spends more time in the office than he does in the classroom.

Somehow, he knows exactly how to push Jessica’s buttons, and she likes it.

Sort of.

The biggest tragedy of this entry is that “Sloppy Firsts” was published in 2001, and it took me until 2009 to read it. Jessica is two years younger than me (technically one and a half, as her birthday is my half birthday), and so many of the popular culture references from the book are ones that jump right out of my own teen years.

I’m not sure what I love most about this book, whether it’s the characters (I could be brain twins with Jessica, and I have a serious crush on smart, bad-boy Marcus), the story (so easy to relate to) or the words that McCafferty weaves together to make hilarious, angsty magic.

I’m a firm believer in keeping books in pristine condition, but I love McCafferty’s writing so much that I want to attack the books in this series with dog ears and highlighters, just so I don’t forget a single word of what I’ve fallen in love with.

Perhaps I just need to read these books a few more times to commit them to memory. God only knows how much of the Harry Potter series I have permanently sticky-noted in my memory.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 17, 2010 6:49 pm

    Being 5 months younger than her myself, the timeline fits in my life exactly. I love that. And I definitely think that re-reading these enough will embed everything in our brains like with HP. I certainly plan to try for that anyway 😀

  2. January 17, 2010 9:20 pm

    I seriously want to memorize every word of this book.

  3. January 18, 2010 2:25 am

    I’m a proud Flutie fangirl. I am on board with any and everything Marcus and Jessica related. God Bless Megan McCafferty…and Manilow.

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