My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Man, this book was supposed to be a clincher! I had heard so many good things: “Jessica Darling is a great character,” “the people are hot, “her experiences are hot,” “it’s sooo much better than 50 Shades of Gray” – well, at least they got the last part right. Mostly because 50 Shades totally sucks.
Mmm, but yes, back on track. I just couldn’t get into this book. I’d blame it on me not actually being a young adult anymore, but I can’t even use that as an excuse. These characters are just annoying. Maybe I didn’t have a normal high school experience, but were people really this dumb and catty in high school? Did anyone out there actually have all these groups with various names and stereotypes? Did I miss something here? Everything about this book is so cliche it’s sigh-worthy. And sigh I did, a lot, while reading.
So – Sloppy Firsts. Enter Jessica Darling: the entire book is a continuous spot light on this whiny teenager who “doesn’t have any friends” even though everyone seems to inherently like her. She’s the typical girl who claims to be unattractive because she is “too skinny” – oh, sure. She’s the girl who is so “totally awkward” but cracks out witty conversations all the time. She’s a young girl who has a talent for books and writing because – another heavy sigh on my part – the author can’t freaking come up with any other passion in life. Seriously, how many characters have to love writing and/or Jane Eyre/Jane Austen/Tolstoy/Insert Any Other Famously Good Novel Here in order to show they have hobbies and intellect? It’s old.
Obviously, I just couldn’t get into her. I’ll give props to McCafferty for doing a good job on depression, I think Jessica’s feelings there were very believable and well done. I know this review is going to sound like I hated it, but I didn’t. It had some gems of dialogue in there, though I never quite got the laugh. It’s the supposedly good and happy parts that are lame. Marcus is a useless love interest. I didn’t get him at all, or her attraction. Did McCafferty even describe him for us? I had no idea he was important until I had already missed everything. Not a good sign.
Plus, can we please talk about the lack of period piece? And how she’s totally not concerned? Or not enough? I mean – what?
Anyway, I checked out the second installment for the library because the book is not stand alone (a pet peeve of mine about series, but I’ll let it go). I doubt I’ll crack it open. I do want to give it a second chance because so many people love it but, for now, I’m just going to go with meh.