Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty

From the Trade Paperback editionSloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty
Published by Broadway, an imprint of Random House

Sixteen-year-old Jessica Darling is devastated when her best friend, Hope, moves to another city just before their junior year of high school. Jessica can’t figure out how she’s supposed to survive both at school and at home without her one and only confidant by her side. So she writes letters to Hope, and also keeps a journal of all the teenage drama she endures throughout the year.

I had been meaning to read Sloppy Firsts for such a long time, so when I finally picked it up it was with high expectations and a bit of trepidation. Jessica Darling is a much beloved character in fiction, and I was worried that I might not love her as much as some of my bookish friends have.

I shouldn’t have worried, because I was enamored with her from the start. Jessica is such a relatable teenager, she’s going through things that every girl has dealt with in high school – she’s trying to fit in, she’s trying to balance what her parents want her to do with what really makes her happy, she’s crushing on a guy she knows she should stay away from, and she’s doing all this without her best friend around for support. I completely “got” her and rooted for her throughout the novel.

I was surprised by the fact that Sloppy Firsts deals with some mature subject matter. This isn’t really a book for younger teens, but the way these things were handled was done appropriately and honestly. Many sixteen-year-olds have sex, do drugs, and engage in other illegal behavior, and even more teens know someone who does even if they don’t themselves. I like that Jessica was essentially a “good girl” but she had her moments, and more than that, she was portrayed very realistically.

This book is told in diary format, and that style definitely served its purpose. The reader gets to hear from Jessica directly – in fact, the reader is privy to her deepest, most innermost thoughts – and this allows the reader to get to know her quickly and without any emotional walls getting in the way. It also made for some very fast reading.

There were so many things I enjoyed about Sloppy Firsts. I can’t believe it took me so long to read this book, but I will definitely not be putting off the other books nearly as long. I would definitely recommend picking up this novel for a fun but realistic glimpse into the life of an average teen girl.

14 thoughts on “Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty”

  1. I don’t read a lot of YA that doesn’t deal with some sort of dystopian or paranormal elements, but you’ve made this sound really intriguing. I like that the character is so realistic and that you can get close to her quickly due to the authors skill with her narrative. It sounds like this might be a book that I could blow through on the beach and I am really glad that you enjoyed it. I am also glad that it portrays the issues that teens face in a way that is not sugarcoated or false. This was a wonderful review, and I got caught up in your enthusiasm for the book. Now I am going to have to check it out for sure!

    1. For sure! I think you would find it interesting, especially since you have kids of your own in the teenage years. I liked that this book was entertaining and had a bit of depth, but overall was just fun.

    1. Actually their lives these days does scare me too… I don’t have kids but that is the one reason why I feel like maybe that’s a good thing… I don’t want to have to deal with that stage of life nowadays, LOL!

    2. I so agree! I must admit, though, that I was in high school only about 10 years ago and I do remember it being tough. Although I was a “good girl”!

  2. This does sound good and like a quick read. I’ve always wondered what this series was about, LOL. Does she get older in the rest of the series? I think it sounds like something I would have LOVED if I were a little younger but I’d probably still like it now!

    1. Yes she does get older. For example, in the second book she is in college I believe. I’m interested to see how her character develops as the books go on.

  3. I read this my senior year of high school, when it came out, and I loved it. It didn’t feel like a kids book, which is what a lot of YA felt like to me. I loved the whole series.

  4. sloppy firsts is one of my favorites–i’m always trying to get my students, friends, and fellow bloggers to give it a read. to celebrate its 10th anniversary, i interviewed megan mccafferty this weekend AND took a ride to ‘pineville’ to photograph marcus’s ‘wonders’. 🙂 fun stuff!

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