Monday, December 27, 2010

Book Review: Second Helpings by Megan McCafferty

Pages: 349
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: April 22, 2003
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

*New to this series? Read my review of the first book, Sloppy Firsts
Goodreads says, "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."

Jessica Darling is a senior at Pineville High and is really coming into her own.  She is continuing to write in her journal, which is filled with her snarky yet observant commentary on high school life.  Jessica is still avoiding Marcus, but can't deny her interest in him and writing her best friend, Hope, religiously.  It's senior year so her parents are really pressuring her about her college applications and Jessica must decide between colleges that she truly wants to go to versus colleges that her parents approve. To top it off, her sister, Bethany, is preggo, which her mom is elated about and now is focusing all of her attention on it.  This is an important year for Jessica; she even gets a boyfriend, much to her surprise. Readers will love to follow Jessica through her senior year of self-discovery and Megan McCafferty does high school better than anyone in the second book of the Jessica Darling series, Second Helpings.

McCafferty is so talented. She truly gets high school and young adults.  Her writing style pulls on your heartstrings one minute and sends you into a whirlwind of nostalgia.  Then the next moment she is crudely describing some promiscuous girl that Jessica has an inane conversation with, which causes you to die of laughter. It's laugh-out-loud funny and I love the way she presents it as a journal entries.  I have become extremely invested in Jessica's life and I honestly care about this character, thanks to McCafferty's way with words.

I adore her best friend Hope, which is strange, because she really isn't "in" the series much until the last half of this book.  She is the best friend a girl could ask for; she's perfect in every way.  I love their friendship and I love that they have each other's backs even though they live miles away.  There's something to be said of this and their friendship is a breath of fresh air in a YA lit. world that is full of backstabbing girlfriends.

Marcus Flutie? I don't want to say too much about him, but he is slowly creeping up on my literary crush radar.  Fans of Flutie will not be disappointed in this second book.

I already downloaded the next book in the series, which is called Charmed Thirds; I can't wait to see what happens to Jessica in college. One can only imagine the trouble that she will get herself into!  I'm sure it will send me into a tizzy of college memories that only McCafferty can conjure.  


  1. Interesting review! I haven't read this book yet. I haven't read the first book neither. I have the first one. I am waiting to read it! :)

    I hope it's as great as I heard it was!

  2. Great review! I read the first two books in this series a long time ago, and I don't remember much about them. Looks like it's time for a revisit!

  3. Great review. I haven't read the first book, but now I'm considering getting it. The characters sound really nice, especially the girls friendship. I agree with you that a lot of friendships in books are based on hate. No good! :)


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