Second Helpings (Jessica Darling series #2) by Megan McCafferty
Release Date: April 22, 2003
Age Group: Young Adult
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
Length: 349 pages
Jessica Darling is up in arms again in this much-anticipated, hilarious sequel to Sloppy Firsts. This time, the hyperobservant, angst-ridden teenager is going through the social and emotional ordeal of her senior year at Pineville High. Not only does the mysterious and oh-so-compelling Marcus Flutie continue to distract Jessica, but her best friend, Hope, still lives in another state, and she can’t seem to escape the clutches of the Clueless Crew, her annoying so-called friends. To top it off, Jessica’s parents won’t get off her butt about choosing a college, and her sister Bethany’s pregnancy is causing a big stir in the Darling household.
With keen intelligence, sardonic wit, and ingenious comedic timing, Megan McCafferty again re-creates the tumultuous world of today’s fast-moving and sophisticated teens. Fans of Sloppy Firsts will be reunited with their favorite characters and also introduced to the fresh new faces that have entered Jess’s life. (from goodreads)
I was super excited going into reading this book because of how much I enjoyed reading the first book in the series, Sloppy Firsts. And I'm pleased to say that I wasn't at all disappointed. Jessica, the main character, has a wonderful voice and she's always clever and funny and awesome. Her reactions to everything are so realistic that even the qualities I find annoying about her seem like they have to be that way.
The story itself worked well, also. In fact, I think I liked the plot of Second Helpings better than that of Sloppy Firsts. It covered more ground in the same amount of time and the minor characters were fleshed out more than they were in the first book, breaking apart some of the high school stereotypes that bothered me in Sloppy Firsts. It was a little bit predictable--the end was pretty clear from the start of the book--but the way the ending was reached worked perfectly. The build-up of the romance was excellent, too, and totally realistic to the characters and their personalities.
I flew through this book and would recommend it to anyone looking for a fun read with great wit and characterization. After reading this, I can't wait to see Jessica in college in the next book, Charmed Thirds.
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