Title: Jessica Darling’s It List: The (Totally Not) Guaranteed Guide to Popularity, Prettiness & Perfection
Author: Megan McCafferty
Series: Jessica Darling’s It List
Date Started: October 13
Date Finished: October 14
Format: Hardcover from my own shelf
Jessica Darling is about to enter her first year at Pineville Junior High, so her college-age sister gives her a short list of guidelines to ensure her success in the seventh-grade social scene. When she arrives at school, however, Jessica quickly realizes that following the tips will be harder than she expected. Her best friend has had a makeover and attracts the attention of freshmen football players, her new classmates have outlandish and confusing methods for trying to gain popularity, and she has mistakenly been scheduled for Woodshop, which includes a class full of smart-aleck boys led by a ridiculously off-the-wall teacher. As Jessica navigates this strange new world, she inevitably finds herself in situations both amusing and awkward, and she eventually starts to accept the fact that her sister’s methods for surviving junior high might not work for her.
Back when I was in junior high the original books for Jessica Darling – Sloppy First, Second Helpings – had just come out and they were all the rage. There weren’t a lot of hallways at my school that you could go to class through and not see a copy of those books in some girl’s hands. I read them back then and loved them, and over the years I still read them – although trying to get my hands on book 4 was daunting – and eventually I had other things to read. However, when I heard McCafferty was going back to Jessica’s story, only this time the junior high years I was excited and thought what better way to put these books on my reading list than to read the early years first?
To break up the craziness that is A Storm of Swords, I brought this book with me to work on Thursday and let me tell you it was EXACTLY what I needed. While the Red Weddings abounded, I broke it up with Jessica Darling’s totally overdramatized first day of junior high and the craziness that ensues when you meet new people and try to blend the old with the new. I have to tell you though, finally getting to see how Hope and Jessica meet was amazing. I also liked how their little blossom of friendship started. I also loved the introduction of Aleck – or as we know him better as Marcus Flutie. I had no idea that they had shared Woodshop together back in the old days, before the big yogurt container incident. Or, at least, I don’t remember. However, I am curious to see what happens next for Jessica now that her sister is about to show her another IT list.
Final Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. I loved this book and its cast of characters. It was nice to see the familiar faces from the original Jessica Darling series, just younger and more pre-teeny. I only wish that this book had been set up like the original series, with journal entries instead of chapters. It would have given the whole ‘talking to the reader’ vibe a little bit more authentic.
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