Only six words need to be used to explain why this book-crush Wednesday is truly a book-CRUSH Wednesday:
If you don't know who I'm talking about, then you need to drop whatever book you're reading and hie thee to your local bookstore to pick up a copy of Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty. While you're there, you should go ahead and grab Second Helpings (because you'll definitely want them), Charmed Thirds (which will definitely leave you charmed), Fourth Comings (er...OK, I can't think of a good pun for this one...uhm, it will have you coming back for more?) and Perfect Fifths (SO FREAKING PERFECT U GUISE.) Because you'll want to read them right away.
I'll admit that this series was one of my first forays into YA in my own post-adolescent years. And it's a damn good thing it's so awesome, otherwise I may never have picked up another YA book, and I might be a very different writer today.
The main character in this series is Jessica Darling. But she's not really darling, she's more...sarcastic. And witty. And wonderful. I'm pretty sure we'd be BFFs, except probably not if we met in high school because even then I wouldn't have been cool enough for her. Jessica did a lot of things I never would have had the guts to do, such as THE CUP INCIDENT which I won't talk about much here for spoilers, but it's safe to say if I were in her situation, the next four novels would have gone a lot differently.
What's even better than Jessica, though, is the supporting cast. All of her high school friends, enemies, and frenemies are so well developed, each with their own little quirks and flaws and issues. Some characters just captured my heart, and others made me laugh because they were just so out there - but in a good, real way.
But although these books are so much about Jessica and her growing pains, they're really about the growing pains between Jessica and Marcus. Throughout the books, you really see the ups and downs and ins and outs of their relationship. Marcus reminds me SO MUCH of the hubs that I'm pretty sure Megan McCafferty was channeling him at one point to write him into the book. There are words that Marcus says (or doesn't say) that could have come right out of my husband's mouth.
And then...there's book five. OK, so the writing in the first four books is great. But the writing in Perfect Fifths KNOCKED ME OUT. The narrative structure is totally different, and it's perfect and amazing, and I love the alternate chapters because as a writer I know things like that are SO hard to do, and I think McCafferty did them just beautifully. The book is nearly flawless and the absolutely perfect ending to their story.
OK, so hopefully I have you convinced. It's really hard talking about five books in one post. But, just know they are amazing, funny, insightful, smart, and just good, and everyone - everyone - should read them.