Recent Reads and the Beginning of the 40 Book Challenge


The last two books I read at the end of 2013 were the final two books in the Jessica Darling series written by Megan McCafferty. My love for Jessica Darling, these books, and the author have been strong for over 10 years now…hard to believe it! The best part is, I obviously wasn’t alone since she decided to write 5 books about our beloved Not-So-Darling, the elusive Marcus Flutie, and why growing up sucks (or doesn’t, depending on the day).

When I reached junior high, I lost the voracious appetite I had for reading. Then I read Sloppy Firsts when I was in 9th grade. I’m pretty sure the book was recommended in an issue of Seventeen or something. For the first time, it wasn’t a book about teenagers in some kind of dreamy situation, like sharing a beach house and reuniting with your old summer fling or the eventual arrival of Gossip Girl and rich bitches. Don’t get me wrong, I loved books like that, too. But they weren’t relatable. Jessica Darling, however, was relatable. Her best friend, Hope Weaver, had moved away, she was struggling with strange menstrual issues and acne and annoying clique-y friends and a crush who would eventually come out of the closet. Then, of course, she fell for the manwhore dreg Marcus Flutie, who played more mind games than anyone could actually handle. Sighhhhhhhh.

For some reason, it took me this long to close up the series. I was reminded of how much I missed Jessica Darling. In fact, I really wish I could’ve re-read the series from start to finish, but I have so many new books to read that it seemed silly. Besides, I’d already read the first three books at least twice a piece. Also, fun fact, I once wrote an email to Megan McCafferty after the release of Second Helpings and she responded!

Anyway, I enjoyed both of these books, as expected. If you haven’t read any, I suggest you just go buy them all and love your life. Perfect Fifths was my least favorite, but it still wasn’t bad. It was the first and only book written in third person, as the others were written in Jessica’s perspective, in journal format. In a way, it was helpful to the story because we got to know a bit about Marcus in a way we never did. It was also interesting that Megan McCafferty had Jessica explain a little bit about writing and storytelling in third person in the book, a little wink at it, I’m sure.

I’m jealous of anyone who hasn’t read these. They are some of the most important books in my personal library and I’ve grown with them. They come highly recommended by me!

In related news, my reading challenge has officially begun! Because I finished Perfect Fifths yesterday, it is considered the first book of the year on Goodreads. You may remember my attempt last year? I ultimately finished at 37 books, 15 books short of my goal. I decided to make my goal this year an even 40. It’s not fun feeling like I have to finish a book by a certain time. In the beginning, it didn’t feel that way, but as the year got harder, it felt like a chore.
I hope to read more than 40, of course, and I have plenty of books on my list to read!
But 40 feels like a good number. 1 down, 39 more to go!

I like to write about what I read, as you know, but if you’re ever curious about books I’ve read in the past, what I’m interested in reading in the future, and how I’m doing on my current book, please feel free to check out my
Goodreads profile! I’m off to start book 2!

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