Darkened Days (The Firsts Book 4)

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The writing is pitch perfect, capturing the personality of Jessica Darling. Her mental landscape is a very familiar place, and it's frankly terrifying how much I still identify with so far as her insecurities go. Those easily offended by swearing or the use of terms like 'ho' or 'hoochie' will probably be offended by a lot of what Jessica writes in her journal, but McCafferty's not making a statement with those things.

This is how a lot of teens talk and think, and she uses these words not to be shocking but to be real. I love watching Jessica evolve throughout, working through things and changing opinions she previously held based on new information. As with many contemporary teen novels, Sloppy Firsts focuses on popularity and friendship in high school. Jessica's best friend, Hope, has moved away, leaving her to navigate the social minefield of high school alone.

Now, Jessica's actually in a pretty popular crowd, but she does not feel any less alone, because, really, she hates their guts. If she left she would have no one, and she's not brave enough for that and, honey, let me tell you, not having friends is worse. Where most stories would be about embracing your true self and finding perfect happiness as a result, a group of kindred spirits appearing to embrace you, Sloppy Firsts isn't. The themes of being true to yourself are, but sometimes your kindred spirit moved away or just doesn't exist, and it's sad but true.

However, she does find that maybe things aren't so bad as she thought they were, too, in that she can be more connected, even if the people here aren't Hope. Romantic relationships and sex are also a huge part of the novel. Most of Jessica's 'friends' are very sexually active, whether they've done the deed or not.

Jessica has had just one really gross kiss.

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Teen sex lives are very openly discussed, and I love McCafferty's frank attitude towards this topic. I'm especially impressed since the book came out in , not in the more permissive current YA landscape. Way to go, McCafferty.

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The Darling parents receive quite a bit of focus as well. They are present parents, but highly flawed ones.

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Due to the death of her brother from SIDS before her birth, they're both emotionally damaged. Her mother spends all of her energy planning Bethany's Jess' much older sister wedding. Jess' father only cares about her as an athlete, raising her like the son he didn't get to keep. Jessica struggles with her parents' treatment of her, feeling inferior both to the living and departed sibling. Their familial relationships ache with honesty and miscommunication, as well as naturally disparate personalities.

Marcus Flutie. Basically, I recalled that he eventually becomes the love interest, but that's about it. Imagine my surprise when he's a drug-doing guy with dreads. That threw some serious cold water on my memory. If the book has any weakness at all a point I'm undecided on, so I'm going for the full rating because this book is really good , it's how quickly Jessica becomes obsessed with Marcus when he's Krispy Kreme, when there's no way I could crush on a guy like that.

However, I am not Jessica, and she lives her life in fantasies, so, on a lot of levels, that really makes sense. He pays attention to her, even an irritating non-flattering sort of attention, when she feels incredibly alone. Thankfully, Marcus does evolve as a character, because he's super icky at first. I'm not fully sold on him yet, but I am desperate to find out what happens next because that ending was mean.

I am all for that. Thank goodness there are four more books and a prequel series in my future. The Final Verdict: You've probably heard of the Jessica Darling books by now, but, if you haven't, I highly recommend giving them a try. Sloppy Firsts is daring, funny, sad, thought-provoking, and unflinchingly honest. If you enjoy E. Christina Franke, Staff Top 10 Reviewer reviews.

Report this review Comments 0 Was this review helpful to you? User reviews. Already have an account? Log in now or Create an account. A promising start. April 10, As a character-driven reader, that created a bit of a problem. I mean, I still liked this book and was looking forward to the sequels, but at the same time, I often had to wonder WHAT exactly Jessica was doing because our brains do not function in the same way.

Not at all. Renae M Top 50 Reviewer reviews. Sloppy Firsts A Room with Books review. August 17, Since when is it okay for contemporary novels to end in a cliffhanger?! Not cool Miss McCafferty, not cool.

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Oh, wait, you actually wanted a review? Okay, I suppose. Honestly, for a little over half of Sloppy Firsts I was afraid I was going to come out feeling look warm about it causing half the YA blogosphere to throw virtual rotten fruit and hit me on the head with giant virtual books.


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But I was wrong. Oh so happily, wonderfully wrong.

Sure, I may not have been right there with her on everything she ever thought, but I could commiserate with a great deal. He had me all in a tizzy sometimes with his tension building and ear whispering and overly enigma status. And I hear it gets better.

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This is a book about dealing with your best friend moving away, boy problems and lack thereof , not-so friendly friends, how relationships grow and change from mother-daughter to best friend relationships , and so. I could never possibly sum up how great this book is. Just please, please, give it a chance. Jasmine Top 10 Reviewer reviews.

Darkened Days

Sublime YA Lit May 04, You know how there are some books and some characters you just fall in love with immediately? And you want to re-read those books and stay connected to those characters as long as possible? I think I'll settle for Megan McCafferty, because she's, you know, real. We start with Sloppy Firsts, the first of the five-book series. We meet sixteen-year-old Jessica Darling, the younger daughter of two parents who seem to continually disappoint her and us. Her mother, the only real caricature in the book, is obsessed with planning the wedding of Jessica's older sister, Bethany, to a guy called G-Money.

Jessica, meanwhile, is forced to navigate her junior year of high school without her best friend, Hope, who has moved from Pineville, New Jersey, with her parents shortly after the death of Hope's older brother. Jessica soon becomes acquainted with Marcus Flutie, a friend of Hope's brother, and engages in a push and pull attraction to him. She likes him, she doesn't like him. She wants him, she is appalled by him. Marcus, you see, is Bad News, or at least he appears to be.

He might or might not have engaged in some chemical extracurricular activities with Hope's brother, which might or might not have played a part in the brother's death, which might or might not cause some awkwardness with Hope. Told in a journal form, Sloppy Firsts takes us along for Jessica's voyage from "lost without my best friend" to "oh, wow, I might have friends after all. And she wants Hope back, because Hope, Jessica believes, is the only person who understands her.

Then there is Marcus Flutie. Oh, people.

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I think we all probably knew a Marcus Flutie in our time, and here we are confronted with him again. Marcus, aka Krispy Kreme, is every parent's worst nightmare, which makes him catnip for high school girls. Jessica crosses paths with him in the school office, and the two begin a relationship of sorts. Jessica is drawn to Marcus, but she can't figure out why.

Darkened Days (The Firsts Book 4) Darkened Days (The Firsts Book 4)
Darkened Days (The Firsts Book 4) Darkened Days (The Firsts Book 4)
Darkened Days (The Firsts Book 4) Darkened Days (The Firsts Book 4)
Darkened Days (The Firsts Book 4) Darkened Days (The Firsts Book 4)
Darkened Days (The Firsts Book 4) Darkened Days (The Firsts Book 4)
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