Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Publish Date: August 28, 2001
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 just finished Sloppy Firsts and all I can think is “helloooo! Since when is it okay for contemporary novels to end in a cliffhanger?! Not cool Miss McCafferty, not cool.” But of course, the sequel was published years ago (seriously, I can’t believe this one came out 12 years ago) so I don’t really have to wait that long to read it, but that doesn’t change the fact that I do not, actually, currently have it in my possession. And I’m dying here. 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 luke warm about it causing half the YA blogosphere to throw virtual rotten fruit and hit me on the head with giant virtual books. But I was wrong. Oh so happily, wonderfully wrong.
As a 19-almost-20-year-old (not that this makes me sage or worldly or anything) a lot of Jessica’s problems seemed pretty trivial and sometimes I found myself wanting to tell her to just suck it up. But another part of me was right there with her screaming the “parents suck and my friends don’t understand me” mantra loud and proud for everyone [in my head] to hear. Sure, I may not have been right there with her on everything she ever thought, but I could commiserate with a great deal.
And then there’s Marcus. Freaking. Flutie. Sure, I’ve heard all about this guy since starting my blog, but I’ve always thought to myself “he can’t be that great.” Once again, I’ve been proven oh so very wrong. He had me all in a tizzy sometimes with his tension building and ear whispering and overly enigmatic status. And I hear it gets better. I’m really not sure if I can handle better, though. In fact, I’m slightly afraid :P
The Nutshell: Sure, the pop-culture references and the slang are outdated, but Jessica’s teenage feelings aren’t. She’s having normal (for the most part) teenage problems that most girls out there can relate to which makes Sloppy Firsts stand the test of time. 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. Much. More. I could never possibly sum up how great this book is. Just please, please, give it a chance.
Series: Jessica Darling #1
Series: Jessica Darling #1
Rating: Direct Hit