It thrills me to no end that middle school girls are going to get to grow up with Jessica Darling. Somehow, this gives me optimism for the future. Like many of you, I did not read the Jessica Darling books until high school — well, for me, the were published in high school and I actually totally only read ‘Second Helpings‘ because of course, my school library did not have them. Sigh. ANYWAYS, needless to say, I eventually read the series in kind of a fever pitch a few years ago. Keeping with tradition, I read Jessica Darling’s It List #1: The (Totally Not) Guaranteed Guide to Popularity, Prettiness & Perfection in a sort of frenzy as well, all in lines at Book Expo America 2013, because instead of making friends and talking to people in line, I would rather do my own thing and read my book.
Jessica is about to start seventh grade, middle school. She does not want to be a total dork so she turns to her older sister Bethany for advice, LOL. And oh, the advice Bethany writes down for Jessica is HILARIOUS, well it will be hilarious if you’ve read the adult books. Those new to the series probably won’t get why it’s funny (because Jessica is so radically different from the advice she tries to follow). So, Bethany gives Jessica an ‘It-List’ telling her to: “Wear something different every day”; “Make the CHEER TEAM!!!”; “Pick your first boyfriend wisely”; and “Stick with the IT clique.” And of course, we the readers get to see all the cringeworthy outcomes as Jessica tries to follow the list. If you were that awkward kid in middle school or if you totally already are RIGHT NOW, Jessica Darling’s It List by Megan McCafferty is totally the book for you.
I think if you’ve ever been curious about what has made JD the way that she is, this book kind of explains it. Like, she isn’t cynical yet. She has not even become best friends with Hope yet, but SOON. Soon that will happen and readers, I know I can’t wait to read that. It’s kind of funny to see Jessica a bit clueless as to how the popularity thing works, even when she is sitting at the popular table, she’s still on the fringes. I know that I keep using the terms hilarious and funny and you guys the whole reason behind that is I can still relate to Jessica, even middle school Jessica. I mean, heck even fitting in at work sometimes feels like it requires an It List. Also? Megan McCafferty seems to be great at writing the experiences of a smart girl who might not have the greatest social skills.
This review is totally short yes, but honestly do you need thousands of words telling you how great Jessica Darling’s It List is? Or would you just rather read it for yourself? Seriously in the time that you have spent reading this review, chances are you could have finished a couple chapters of the book OR at least ordered it or purchased it. Honestly, if you can’t get enough of Jessica Darling, the Clueless Crew, Marcus Flutie and Jessica’s journaling, you need to get your hands on this book. AND IF YOU ARE NEW TO THE SERIES, if you are an adult or a teenager, read the Sloppy Firsts books first, if you are an actual middle schooler, read Jessica Darling’s It List, there’s something here for EVERY contemporary fan.
Disclosure: Obtained At BEA 2013