Sloppy Firsts, by Megan McCafferty

Sloppy Firsts (Jessica Darling Series #1)Finished 11- 8-11, rating 4/5, YA, 280 pages, pub. 2001

Book 1 Jessica Darling series

Jessica Darling is facing a crisis of major proportion.  Her best friend, Hope, has moved away and left her alone with the rest of their brainless clique.  Jessica herself is the top student in her junior class and is known as a goody-goody.  Jessica, can’t sleep or stop thinking of Marcus Flutie, the druggie she surprisingly kept from jail.  Jessica is a mess, but aren’t most teens at some point?

I don’t read many young adult books even though so many of them look good.  For the most part I usually feel removed from the teen experience and this book was no exception.  I liked Jessica and her snarky take on high school, but only to a point.  She captured the heartbreak of being a teen, but her obsession with losing Hope gave her an excuse to consider everyone else beneath her. I know feeling smarter than everyone else is a high school rite of passage, but Jessica put me off a little with her attitude.  The distance I felt from her character may be age related, but it may also be that I never hung around with a Jess in high school so I didn’t quite get her.

Anyway, I thought this book was good and I’d recommend it to older teens.  There was swearing, drugs, sex talk and masturbation so I can’t recommend it to younger teens or even older ones who are not mature, I don’t think Jessica is necessarily a good influence.

High school is a hard place to navigate and McCafferty does a great job if capturing that universal experience, which I appreciated even if I had some problems with Jessica.

This was from my personal library.  I picked it up (and way too many other books from my wish list) from Border’s for practically nothing.