Monday, August 19, 2013

MG Review: Jessica Darling’s It List by Megan McCafferty

Release Date: September 3, 2013 
Publisher: Poppy 
Move over, Dork Diaries! Jessica Darling, star of Megan McCafferty's bestselling Jessica Darling series for adults, is back in a hilarious new series perfect for tween (10 to 14) girls.

I hadn't even gotten to homeroom yet and I'd already discovered five hard truths about junior high:

1. My best friend had turned pretty.
2. She didn't know it yet.
3. It wouldn't be long before she did.
4. That knowledge would change everything between us.
5. And there wasn't a thing I could do about it.

It's the first day of seventh grade. Is Jessica Darling doomed for dorkdom?

New York Times bestselling author Megan McCafferty's hilarious series opener will have you laughing, cringing, and cheering for Jessica Darling as she learns that being herself beats being popular, pretty & perfect any day.

Currently listening to: Summertime Sadness by Lana Del Rey 

After reading and falling in love with the entire Jessica Darling series earlier this year, I was ecstatic when I heard that Megan McCafferty was writing a middle grade series centered around Jessica Darling! I began reading Jessica Darling’s It List (no, I am NOT typing that ridiculously long title) the second it showed up on my Kindle and after about an hour and half, I was done with it. The snarky, hyper observant, opinionated Jessica Darling we first met in Sloppy Firsts is back but this time as a soon to be 7th grader and she’s just as fantastic, except younger!

Like many of us, Jessica Darling is scared to enter the 7th grade aka junior high (we had middle school form 6th to 8th grades) and obviously, the plot for this book deals with the ups and downs of Jessica Darling’s first year of junior high. But Jessica’s older sister Bethany has a plan: the IT list will not only help Jessica survive junior high but flourish! It consists of trying out and joining the CHEER TEAM!, becoming friends with the IT clique and choosing your first boyfriend carefully. As one can guess, things don’t always go as planned. Luckily for Jessica (and us!), she meets a group of friends that we all know and love (and hate) and can I just say: MARCUS FLUTIE!

As for the characters, I have to admit that I felt a little big of the spark that made Jessica Darling the character I loved in Sloppy Firsts wasn’t the same Jessica Darling and for me, that was a good thing. Jessica wasn’t as bright or confident or even snarky as high school Jessica but it obviously shows that she grows as a person. This is also where we first meet Hope, Jessica’s best friend, and it’s interesting to see how their friendship first began. And again, we see junior high Marcus Flutie and even though I knew it was him from the very beginning, it’s not as obvious (read the book, you’ll understand!).

Overall, I highly enjoyed Jessica Darling's It List. It is a middle grade so it won’t be for anyone and there isn’t kissing or anything; it’s all rather G but still great. I’ll also mention that while the writing and characters were pretty great, they aren’t exactly like the characters we remember from Sloppy Firsts. They obviously grow and change over time and I can’t wait to read the rest of the books in this series.
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