Monday, March 23, 2009

Happiness is a McCafferty Novel

It seems like I've been waiting forever for this book and it still isn't April yet. Perfect Fifths, the fifth and final book in the Jessica Darling series is set to release April 14th (this day is also my youngest brother's birthday) and I am practically chewing off my hand waiting and waiting.
Jessica Darling is the smartest, most relatable, sarcastic protagonist in novels that I have seen in a long time. The subgenre of teen novels is not the best place to find a smart level-headed girl to look up to. This extends out to film and music as well. These girls are portrayed as self-absorbed with little else but Jimmy Choo kitten heels on the mind (Serena in Gossip Girl, the A-List by Zoey Dean series), completely willing to sacrifice everything in their lives for a handsome guy (Bella in Twilight, The Little Mermaid), or attempting too hard to be ironic and hipster cool (Juno. Need I say more?).
McCafferty writes her novels for the mature girl who can talk reunion sex and not feel compelled to tiptoe around the matter or burst out into peels of giggles. An intelligent scholar at school but one who is not in-your-face and smirking with pride about all of her accomplishments, she has friends that she doesn't like, a best friend Hope who lives too far away and she misses terribly and a father who dreams of her Olympic future with track.
And then there is Marcus Flutie.
Marcus is referred to as a dreg in the series, a guy who is very smart but doesn't "apply himself" in scholarly terms. He's a ladies man on the campus and occasionally gets a one Miss Darling to pee in an empty yogurt cup to fake his drug test. Jessica is fascinated with Marcus and throughout the four books, their relationship is largely a focal point. Will they get together or not in the end?
I can tell you I secretly hope that they will. That "You, Yes, You" will become "Us, Yes, Us." would not surprise me if Jessica chose to go her own way (to borrow some Fleetwood Mac philosophy). Her independence and self-assertiveness has always been something I've highly admired in her. Something that makes me desperately wish she was real to get to be buddies with and that on occasion, I can see traces of myself in her.
I'm also rooting for Bridget and Pepe to tie the knot and that maybe, Bethany will leave Grant who doesn't seem like a great husband or father to Jessica's niece.
These books have been with me during some interesting times in my life. I bought Sloppy Firsts when I was in high school and was on my solitude time (basically, my mind had already graduated from high school on the first day of my senior year and I spent that year reading than socializing), when I was at Meramec for a year and a half and now, finally in my third (technically second and a half) year at Cal Lutheran, I feel this is a good time to wrap it up and fall back in love with Miss Darling.
I even wrote my college entrance paper on Jessica for my acceptance (entitled "Oh! Darling) in Cal Lutheran. It was between that and Dazed and Confused (which I spent an entire summer watching repeatedly each day). Tough choice I know.
But you gotta love an author who uses a Barry Manilow toilet seat cover as a plot device.

Love to you all,

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