Review: Jessica Darling’s It List, and Some Others

★★★★★

Back when I started this blog, I was rereading the Jessica Darling series for the [insert embarrassing number of times here]. And I wrote some really gushy reviews for them.

I’m trying to keep the gushing to a minimum here. But Megan McCafferty’s done it again.

We’ve gone back in time, before Sloppy Firsts, before Pineville High. We’re in junior high, where everything is scary and everyone is worried about what the other kids will think about the color of their shirt or what lunch table they choose. Jessica Darling is, of course, the most paranoid of them all. Her older, preppy, pretty, perfect sister passed along “The IT List” of how to start off junior high on the right foot, but she fumbles her way through the first few months anyway. As only Jessica Darling could.

I’m usually not a fan of prequels, but this one is just too cute. We get to see what the Clueless Crew was like when they were just forming: Sara, Manda, and Hope coming from one school and instantly meshing (and clashing) with Jess and Bridget. We get to feel butterflies in our tummies the first time some lanky red-haired kid slouches into woodshop. We get sneaky references to Scotty Glazer, the dreamy jock. I felt like I was getting a glimpse of my old friends in their dorky days.

It’s a quick read, and perfect for the targeted age group: middle schoolers. It’s uplifting with little life lessons strewn about with that classic Jessica Darling snark.

Oh, and I won a copy of the book directly from the author (!!!) and she signed it for me (!!!) and I am NOT ASHAMED to tell you that I gasped, clutched my chest, and sobbed for about three minutes upon finding her note. THAT’S HOW MUCH I LOVE THESE BOOKS, OK?!

A must-read if:

  • Jessica Darling is and will always be your homegirl.
  • You’ve always wondered what a snarky little middle-schooler she was.
  • You want to read about a sassy girl who grows up even sassier.

***

In other news, only 20-something days stand between me and graduating college and being an adult or whatever, so I’ve taken this time to read books for fun rather than for class. Move over, Edith Wharton, YA coming through. I’m proud of myself for getting back in the groove of reading and reading FAST, so here are some quickie reviews:

annaandthefrenchkissAnna and the French Kiss lived up to all the giggly reviews I’d read — and, yanno, having John Green gush about it made it a must-read. I gave up all work and social engagements for two days to Snuggie it up on my couch and squeal about life at a boarding school in Paris, surrounded by beautiful architecture and history and people.

 

bonkBonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex was necessary after reading Mary Roach’s book about cadavers. It’s serious science told through the eyes of a hilarious journalist. You’ll learn way more than you ever thought you wanted to know about sex machines and erectile dysfunction. She’s fantastic.

 

attachmentsAttachments was my first Rainbow Rowell and “new adult” book. A million percent lives up to the hype, and I’ve spent the last week and a half glaring at the mystery person who’s had Eleanor & Park checked out from my library for TOO LONG. So, so good.

 

 

And now I shall go back to peeking from under the covers at my mountain of research for final papers.

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