“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.
Wow! When I was prepping this post, I came across the latest blog post that Megan McCafferty put up and it was to announce the tenth anniversary of this book. This book was published ten years ago and I’m just now getting around to reading it. I adored Jessica Darling. Her voice shined so brightly while I was knee deep in my reading of this book. She made me laugh, she made me feel bad and she made me miss Hope as well.
After Jessica’s best friend in the whole world, Hope moves away, Jessica goes through the process of trying to find out who she really is without her best friend at her side. She’s moody, she’s emo and she’s just your everyday, average teenage girl who thinks the world rises and sets with her. And I loved the hell out of her. She’s smart, she’s angsty and she’s normal. Jessica could have been any number of girls that I grew up with, hell myself included because who hasn’t gone through the same things? McCafferty could have been writing my own story since my best friend moved to the other side of the world (from California to Michigan) when we were in junior high school. The things that Jessica though, the letters she wrote all reminded me of myself back when Theresa’s Dad got that job that took her to Troy, MI leaving me behind to sit in Church by myself and to go through life by myself.
The difference between me and Jessica Darling was that I had other friends that didn’t exactly take Therese’s place but helped me get over Therese’s move. Jessica had three friends who she didn’t even like and another girl who comes in and pretends to be their friend, only to turn out to be someone completely different.
I really enjoyed getting to know Jessica because it was so easy to connect with her. I understood what she went through and seeing her thought processes and the way she saw the world was a laugh a minute. She was such a great character that I had to start the second book immediately (sorry to be reviewed pile). This book is a great contemporary story about a young girl living her life in New Jersey and wanting more. It’s a story with great characters and delivers a refreshingly honest protagonist that many a girls will identify with. I definitely recommend this book.
..and that’s your scoop!
Book cover and blurb credit: http://barnesandnoble.com