New weekly post : Favorite Titles Fridays! Every Friday I’m going to be talking about my favorite books. From when I first read them, what kind of impact they made on me, how excellent the writing is, and so on.
I picked up the first book in the Jessica Darling Series by Megan McCafferty in the summer of 2002, when I was about to become a freshman in high school. I fell in love with Jessica Darling, forced all my friends to read it, and Jessica Darling became like a real person to me while we discussed the books. She was the best friend to me during a time when I really needed one. As Jessica started to grow up, so did I, and I found myself facing the same life choices as my literary soul sister. These books are so unbelievably relatable, hilarious, and so comforting to read and realize that we all go through the same things during our teen years.
Jessica Darling is the heroine every high school girl needs. She doesn’t care that she’s not the most attractive, doesn’t buy into the notion that high school is the best years of your life, and has dreams and aspirations far bigger than her small town upbringing. The first book begins with Jessica’s best friend Hope, the only person in their small town of Pineville who sees the world the same way she does, moving away after her brother Heath overdoses on drugs and passes away. Even though Jessica is devastated by the loss of proximity to the one person in her life that understood her, she still has “friends.” There’s Bridget, the blond bombshell who is in some ways the stereotypical dumb blond, but is also smart, caring, and loyal to Jessica. Then there are “The Clueless Two” Sara and Manda. Sara is uber rich due to her father’s popular chain of fast-food donuts, and is constantly battling her weight and starving herself to be what she thinks is perfect. Manda claims to be a hardcore feminist, but that doesn’t stop her from banging every dude she can get her hands on and calling it being in control of her own sexuality. There is also Scotty, who Jessica has been friends with most of her life and who is inexplicably in love with her. Despite her rebuffs, he still tries to win Jessica over even though he begins to lose his nice-guy appeal when he becomes a full-fledged jock who is constantly trying to impress his buddies with the number of girls her can score with. Saving the best for last, there is Marcus Flutie. Jessica only knows him by his reputation of being a druggie and a man whore, and also as one of the friends Hope’s brother Heath would get high with. An odd encounter involving a nurses office and an empty container of yogurt begins a flirtation and later, a romance, between Jessica and Marcus that continues throughout the entire series (I heart Marcus Flutie. You, yes, you.)
Everything about this series makes you feel like you’re truly reading the diary of someone you know and identify with, and would be the BFF of your dreams. Jessica’s incredibly smart wit and clever remarks will make you laugh out loud, wishing you had the guts to say the things that she does to the people that annoy her. Her constant commentary on her daily life is impossible not to be drawn into, and by the end of the series has you begging for more answers as to what went down after the last book ended! Finishing the Jessica Darling series honestly made me feel like I was losing a close friend who’d gotten me through some awful times of my life, and I’m still not over it! That’s what makes these books so great. Megan McCafferty wrote Jessica’s voice perfectly and brilliantly explored high school life, then college life, then life as a twenty-something, and allowed us readers to go on Jessica’s journey with her.
To me, there is no age that these books will not appeal to. Every woman who has ever been in high school, or college, or dealt with the ups and downs of daily life will find a part of themselves in Jessica Darling. These books will always be special to me, and are among the books that inspired my love of writing and hopefully one day I will become a novelist in my own right. Until then, every time I’m feeling stuck in rut, I pull out one of the books in the series and re-read it, which inspires me to keep my chin up because it will get better.
I can’t praise Megan McCafferty enough for this series, and thank her enough for the gift that never stops giving, Jessica Darling.
I hope that no matter what your age you pick up a copy of the first Jessica Darling book Sloppy Firsts, and enjoy it, which leads you to buy and read the rest of the series.
I give this series a 10 out of 10 stories rating, pretty much the One World Trade Center (the tallest building in America according to Wikipedia).
Megan McCafferty has written other books, the middle school series about Jessica Darling that has been a hit over the past few years, and she has also delved into the dystopian genre with her books Bumped and Thumped. While I enjoy her style of writing and continue to read everything she publishes, Jessica Darling’s teenage years and beyond will always hold a special place in my heart. I don’t know what I would have done had I not had Jessica Darling’s voice in my head during my high school years, and she inspired me in ways I cannot even explain.
THANK YOU Megan McCafferty for writing the character Jessica Darling and allowing us to share her thoughts and feelings and connect with her on such a real, honest, and human level.
Hope you guys enjoyed my first weekly post of Favorite Title Friday! There will still be some more changes to this blog that will occur in the near future and I am so excited to give this blog the space it needs to live up to the idea of what I want it to be. I can only hope that with my passion and perseverance it will translate into the site that I hope this blog can become. Please feel free to subscribe to my blog below!
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