Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Review #106: Second Helpings by Megan McCafferty

Second Helpings is the second installment in the Jessica Darling series by Megan McCafferty. Goodreads description ahoy!:

Jessica Darling is up in arms again in this much-anticipated, hilarious sequel to Sloppy Firsts. This time, the hyperobservant, angst-ridden teenager is going through the social and emotional ordeal of her senior year at Pineville High. Not only does the mysterious and oh-so-compelling Marcus Flutie continue to distract Jessica, but her best friend, Hope, still lives in another state, and she can’t seem to escape the clutches of the Clueless Crew, her annoying so-called friends. To top it off, Jessica’s parents won’t get off her butt about choosing a college, and her sister Bethany’s pregnancy is causing a big stir in the Darling household.

With keen intelligence, sardonic wit, and ingenious comedic timing, Megan McCafferty again re-creates the tumultuous world of today’s fast-moving and sophisticated teens. Fans of Sloppy Firsts will be reunited with their favorite characters and also introduced to the fresh new faces that have entered Jess’s life, including the hot creative writing teacher at her summer college prep program and her feisty, tell-it-like-it-is grandmother Gladdie. But most of all, readers will finally have the answers to all of their burgeoning questions, and then some: Will Jessica crack under the pressure of senioritis? Will her unresolved feelings for Marcus wreak havoc on her love life? Will Hope ever come back to Pineville? Fall in love with saucy, irreverent Jessica all over again in this wonderful sequel to a book that critics and readers alike hailed as the best high school novel in years.

For my review of Sloppy Firsts, click here

This book was such a disappointment compared to Sloppy Firsts. Admittedly, it was decent for the most part, there was a glaring issue with this book that disappointed me. Look, I know how High School kids are, being that I was in HS until June 2010. I know a good chunk of High School kids have sex, and/or are sex obsessed. But this is a book, and you shouldn't make roughly 80% of the book about sex and most of the characters sex-obsessed. It should not threaten to/overshadow the rest of the story. That brought this book down so much, which is such a shame. 

Jessica still retained her trademark snarky wit, great observations, and all around Jess-ness, despite also being extremely sex obsessed. I love her as a character and still relate to her. I loved her witty observations on everything. I especially loved the moments with Paul Parlipiano, and the culmination of that plot thread was excellent. I have to gripe to Ms. McCafferty for a moment: Megan, I love your work, and Marcus Flutie is one of my favorite literary crushes. So why, may I ask, is he barely in this book most of the time until the end when you bring him back full force? Why?? Sorry, whiny rant over with. But that was another issue I had, not enough Marcus! When he was there though, it was fantastic. The banter he and Jessica share is classic. The Clueless Crew returns in the book, and are great for who they are. Even Hope gets some development in this book! (I won't spoil that, but it was epic ^^). PS, Gladdie rocked my socks with her awesomeness :)

Megan, I love your books, but I'm issuing this now: I hope Charmed Thirds is a drastic improvement from this book. I would hate to stop reading this series due to one bad book, which is why I am waiting to test this with Charmed Thirds. You are a fantastic author, but I couldn't go on with this series if more than one book was not good. Here's to hoping!

I'll next be reviewing The Boyfriend Thief by Shana Norris

Until next time, viva la literature!

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