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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Perfect Fifths and the Jessica Darling Series

Perfect Fifths by Megan McCafferty (April 14th 2009—Crown)

Grade: 3.5 stars out of 5

Summary: “Captivated readers have followed Jessica through every step and misstep: from her life as a tormented, tart-tongued teenager to her years as a college grad stumbling toward adulthood. Now a young professional in her mid-twenties, Jess is off to a Caribbean wedding. As she rushes to her gate at the airport, she literally runs into her former boyfriend, Marcus Flutie. It’s the first time she's seen him since she reluctantly turned down his marriage proposal three years earlier–and emotions run high.

Marcus and Jessica have both changed dramatically, yet their connection feels as familiar as ever. Is their reunion just a fluke or has fate orchestrated this collision of their lives once again?”

Review: The Jessica Darling series has swept teens across the country and has a devoted, almost cult, obsession within this community. In some ways I can understand this phenomenon. The first book was decent, nothing substantial just a small peak at what’s to come for these two star-crossed lovers. The second was devoured! Ate it once, ate it twice, and I just could not stop! The third and fourth part was rather dull, total build-up. Marcus almost completely left and we were just left with Jessica. I mean, I wouldn’t have minded it as much if the books were shorter but it was far too long for just Jessica. I skimmed through both books and then twittled my thumbs for the final installment.

Perfect Fifths is a close tie for second favorite with Sloppy Firsts just inches away. Marcus makes a grand reappearance that leaves the women and men swooning. With their comedic bantering I can understand once again why these two characters sparkle. Separate they are bordering the tolerable line, but together we witness fireworks on some parts.

But I feel like I have to point out that (SEX!)* is everywhere in YA books now. Whatever happened to the chaste kisses? The hesitant hand holding? It seems (SEX!)* is what every teen has on his or her mind. Perfect Fifths may have a perfect* alibi because the main characters are in their mid-twenties but Marcus masturbates twice, Jessica dreams about having sex, and almost every awkward pause between the two is the result of sexual tensions (even their inner monologues are about “it’s a test…we are not going to have sex…). Pull the fire alarm people because things are about to get steamy! But of course, the exact details of the human mating ritual are written in a type of verse poetry. So sorry to the people who wanted hot, hard, throbbing (yes, I’m trying to use sexual innuendos in this sentence) scenes ‘cause you ain’t getting it! (Yes! for incorrect English and insert evil manically cackle here)!

Aside from Marcus and Jessica there are a lot of side-characters. Not all of them happens serve any real purpose separately but together they form the perfect* scenario where the main characters collide. In real life this probably would have never happened. Ever. So that I may have just contradicted myself entirely but on paper it sounds fantastic!

The point of view as you may have guessed is third person. It gave insight to Marcus’s thoughts which I’m sure all the readers are excited for. There was some flip-flopping of the way the book was told. In some chapters it was complete dialogue where the reader had to figure who was saying what. On others it was written through paper haiku messages which might have not been my favorite. School has ruined my sense of appreciation to the fine art of poetry. There were some chapters that were just regular plain chapters and one where the entire scene was in verse lines.

The ending, oh the ending. I actually happened to enjoy the ending. There seems to be some animosity about Jessica stating that she takes it back. The question lies whether she means the proposal or something else entirely (I’m thinking about the sex deal where they agree that they won’t have sex in the hotel. Ha!). I read it more as the proposal which then leads to the sex which in turn results in:
“Sunshine, lollipops and rainbows,
Everything that's wonderful is what I feel when we're together,
Brighter than a lucky penny,
When you're near the rain cloud disappears, dear,
And I feel so fine just to know that you are mine.”**

Overall: Elated, ecstatic, and in joy (tried and failed at a pun and alliteration. If you read it fast enough the “in joy” sounds like “enjoy” which might have made it worked but made the sentence a failure). This is what I felt when I finally finished the Jessica Darling series. It was a roller coaster from start to finish that left some wonderful stories.

Pulling a quote from the book:
"Thanks again. I appreciate your altruistic avoidance of acknowledging my annoying alliteration."

Cover C-
I was never terribly fond of the covers for the series. They were all pretty much blah-ish. Does anyone else think the suit is rather unflattering on her? We can do an extra inch on the pant and maybe a more tailored jacket. I do like the sling-backs though, cute. I don’t understand the air force badge though…

*I like to poke fun at the books sometime. (SEX!) is a direct reference from the book whereas perfect is just a redundant attitude to the title.

** Sunshine Lollipops And Rainbows by Lesley Gore


  1. Great review. I don't know if I want to start this series (I have so many I want to start :D). Thanks for an awesome review though!

  2. You're best friendJune 14, 2009 at 8:08 PM

    hey i think you're crazyyy lol
    you have to all this stuff to enter to win a book from you. What if i wanted to enter? I don't even know "following" is...? =} anyways, miss you<3

  3. Thanks, Yan. Do want to read series... sometime. LOL, you are too much.

  4. Thanks for yet another awesome review! I agree about the covers - especially this one. It seems that she threw on someone else's suit. Though I did like the titles.