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Review: Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty

Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group (August 28th, 2001)
Reading Level: Young Adult
Paperback: 298 pages
Series: Jessica Darling #1
Rating: 3 of 5 stars
“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?


I really wanted to like this book. I had heard it was great and I had high hopes it would be. I just couldn't get into it. I kept waiting for it to really grab me but that just didn't happen. Sloppy Firsts is from Jessica's POV. She is a 16-year-old girl who just had to deal with her best friend moving. She doesn't know how to be happy anymore, or how to deal with her other friends at school.

The idea of this book was a good one. I usually enjoy stories where young girls are faced with new obstacles, especially when a lot of humor is involved. While this book is funny at times, it wasn't enough to really make me all that interested. I guess mainly I didn't understand why Jessica surrounded herself with people who she really didn't like. But Jessica was a really funny character.

She had a lot of great qualities and I completely believed how devastated she was after Hope moved. I also really liked her interactions with Marcus. Marcus may have had issues but he did seem very realistic. Their slight friendship seemed to really make Jessica question a lot of what was going on around her. I loved that. The situations were also true to what many teenagers go through: friends leaving, crushes that lead to heartbreak, questioning what you really want.

I think that if the story wasn't portrayed as journal entries I would have definitely been more invested in the book. But I just mainly felt like it was being told to me instead of really seeing the story from the character's point-of-view. I'm very visual and I just didn't get enough of that in this book. Megan McCafferty did do a great job portraying the obstacles a typical teenage girl goes through, and I could really see the differences in Jessica's personality by the end of the book.

I know a ton of other people who enjoyed this more than I did so don't count it out! It does have a lot of perks.

Recommended: Contemporary fans looking for a cute, coming-of-age story.

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Review: Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty + TIME