Friday, 13 September 2013

Review: Jessica Darling's It List #1: The Totally (Not Guaranteed) Guide to Popularity, Prettiness and Perfection by Megan McCafferty

Jessica Darling's It List #1: The Totally (Not Guaranteed) Guide to Popularity, Prettiness and Perfection by Megan McCafferty

Publication Date: September 3rd, 2013
Publisher: Poppy
Pages: 228
Series: Jessica Darling's It List
Source: Purchased
Rating: 4/5 stars
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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 

Do you know how excited I was when I found out about this book? I think there may have been some squealing. I absolutely loved the Jessica Darling series (I need to re-read them ASAP)! And now I get read about Jessica at an even more awkward stage, middle school. *fist pump*

This book starts with the day before Jessica is starting 7th grade. Her sister Bethany, who is 10 years older then Jessica, has handed her a list of must do's for her to follow to become top of the middle grade social ladder. There's a big difference between Jessica and Bethany. Bethany was the "it" girl; cheerleader, popular, flirt, fashionista but didn't really bother with the academics. Jessica lives in jeans and t-shirts, is in the gifted classes, deep thinker, and loyal to her bff. So because of the age difference and hugely different personalities the sisters have never been that close. That makes Jessica pretty shocked to have her sister helping her, even if this list confuses her a little.

I'm so happy that this is the same Jessica I loved so much in the original series (she's in her later years of high school and beyond in those books). Witty, snarky, awkward, hilarious, sharp, adorable, confused, intelligent and loyal.

As a teenager you're kind of starting to figure out who you are, so of course as a tween you have absolutely no idea about anything. Megan definitely nails the awkwardness of this age. Jessica and her classmates are exactly as I remember 7th grade to be (ugh). You start to really notice boys, all the cattiness and backstabbing with the girls, your body not know what in hell it's doing. That shit was awful. And Jessica is realizing that too.

Characters: I love that we're seeing all her friends (sometimes that is a loosely used term) from before. We got hints of how Jessica came to meet these characters before high school. And this book pretty much provides the back story that I was craving on them. Bridget, her bff since they were little, who suddenly turns pretty and all the grade 8's notice her on the first day of school. Sarah and Manda, who she meets on the first day of school. I would classify them as the "mean girls." Hope, her bff in the original series, and now we get to see their first interactions. There also might be some guy named "Aleck," that I totally knew who he actually was. :)

This book is fantastic for fans of Jessica Darling and I would definitely recommend they pick it up ASAP.
If you are new to the Jessica Darling universe (what have you been doing with your life?!) you could definitely start here, but in my opinion it makes more sense to start with the original series (the first book being Sloppy Firsts) and then come back to this one.

I can't wait for the follow up book in fall 2014. So in the meantime I'm off to re-read the original series.

Happy reading!


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