Second Helpings by Megan McCafferty
(Jessica Darling #2)
Published: 4-22-03 by Three Rivers Press
Get the book: Amazon
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, including the hot creative writing teacher at her summer college prep program and her feisty, tell-it-like-it-is grandmother Gladdie. But most of all, readers will finally have the answers to all of their burgeoning questions, and then some: Will Jessica crack under the pressure of senioritis? Will her unresolved feelings for Marcus wreak havoc on her love life? Will Hope ever come back to Pineville? Fall in love with saucy, irreverent Jessica all over again in this wonderful sequel to a book that critics and readers alike hailed as the best high school novel in years.
Design – Jennifer O’Connor Photo – Kaz Chiba Rating – 4/5
The photo is simple but perfect. The red t-shirt that says “a novel” is even better once you’ve read the book, and the color scheme is nice. This cover is similar enough to the first book’s cover to make it look like they belong together, but different enough to stand on its own and not look like a copout like some sequel covers. (See: Carrier of the Mark + Shadow of the Mark which use the same exact photo, just flipped)
Jess is back and just as snarky as ever. I really liked this book, just not quite as much as the first one. My review of the first book, Sloppy Firsts, is here.
- Marcus – From his job at the old folks’ home to his day-of-the-week t-shirts, Marcus is such an interesting guy. Jess finds out more about his past, his family, and how unexpectedly caring he is. His trying to help Jessica and Len is so sweet. And his YOU.YES.YOU. shirt was an amazing moment. But, he’s still Marcus so not everything is easy.
- Bridget + Percy – Jess never gave Bridget enough of a chance to be a good friend to her, and she wrote off Percy because of his past crush on her. They both prove to be great friends to Jess when she needs someone. Plus they help Jess realize that other people have lives and issues of their own.
- the prom setup – Brilliant in all ways possible. I can’t even explain due to spoilers, but I loved it.
- Gladdie – Jessica’s grandma is hilarious. She lives like she’s going out in style and she knows how to have fun. Her friendship with “Tutti Flutie,” AKA Marcus, her active love life, and her great advice make her an awesome character in Jessica’s life.
- Len – I hate that Jess basically only dated Len because he was hot. I know it’s something that happens all the time, but why stay in a relationship you aren’t satisfied with? She never even liked him, which she admits. She’s thinking about Marcus and calls herself a bad girlfriend regularly.
- Paul Parlipiano – I don’t understand Jessica’s obsession with Paul. Even though she’s only talked to him maybe twice and she realizes that they will never be an item, she considers his opinions on her life to be important. They barely know each other, yet she tells him all the details of her college decision issues and basically worships everything he does. I really really liked when she finally told him off.
- “So much for quiet, dignified grace,” Marcus said, his lips pressed together, and his arms folded against the faded black ‘MONDAY’ on his chest. “Not my style,” I said. “I’m more of a loud, offensive mess.” “Yes,” he said, slowly breaking into the grin I know so well. “Yes, you are.” – Jessica + Marcus pg. 251
- “Well, you’re not my boyfriend.” “Being your boyfriend will not make this any more real, Jessica. I’ve been the boyfriend of dozens of other girls, and none of those relationships were real.” “Well, neither is this one.” He took a step toward me, and I back away. He leaned in so only I could hear him. “When are you going to stop doing this?” “Doing what?” “Pushing me away.” – Jessica + Marcus pg. 305-306