Now a young professional in her mid-twenties, Jess is off to a Caribbean wedding. As she rushes to her gate at the airport, she literally runs into her former boyfriend, Marcus Flutie. It’s the first time she’s seen him since she reluctantly turned down his marriage proposal three years earlier–and emotions run high.
Marcus and Jessica have both changed dramatically, yet their connection feels as familiar as ever. Is their reunion just a fluke or has fate orchestrated this collision of their lives once again?
Told partly from Marcus’s point of view, Perfect Fifths finally lets readers inside the mind of the one person who’s both troubled and titillated Jessica Darling for years.
Design – Jennifer O’Connor Photo – John-Francis Bourke Rating – 3/5
This cover is ok. I don’t really feel that it’s true to Jessica’s personality, but it does show that she’s a young professional in a big city. The wing patch is much more indicative of the book’s contents and setting. Overall, the cover fits well with the rest in the series but is a bit dull for my liking.
Perfect Fifths is, in every way, a completely lackluster conclusion to the relationship between Jessica and Marcus. This series finale throws out most if not all, of the series’ characters who are not Jessica and Marcus out the window, leaving the two of them in a sort of strange limbo. This story is the shortest time span of all – a single day to sum up everything that has happened between Marcus and Jessica. Although the big draws of this book are the peek into Marcus’ head and the conclusion of the story, I found both of these things lacking and disappointing.
- Marcus – Marcus is a much more interesting character than Jessica sometimes. While Jessica remains confused about her life and Marcus, Marcus is sure of what he wants – and that’s Jessica. He seems to have grown as a person a bit more than Jessica. He’s gone from a druggie who just liked to tease Jess to a college grad who’s focused on getting her back.
- uncertainty – I really like that Jessica and Marcus are shown as confused and unsure rather than having everything put together. They’re young and still trying to measure how well they’re doing based on what they’re friends have accomplished. Jessica still doesn’t really know what she wants from Marcus, and she feels like a fraud because her friend got her a job.
- Marcus’ head – The small window into Marcus’ mind after all this time is underwhelming to say the least. The constantly enigmatic Marcus Flutie comes off completely different from the character that has been established. Marcus is, in this book, shown as little more than, for lack of a better word, a whipped young man. The mysteries surrounding Marcus seem completely swept aside. He thinks just like Jessica does. The only satisfying thing about Marcus’ point of view is his unwavering devotion to Jessica.
- sex – Alright, look. I know this is far from the 1st time Marcus and Jessica have slept together. I have been waiting for four books for them to both finally decide to be together permanently. I know that they are both consenting adults in their early/mid twenties. I have entered this story knowing all of these things. I do not want some pages littered with nonsensical sentence fragments instead of actual description. I’m not asking for smut here, just some sort of actual scene. It’s like the whole book was building up to something and then we got left out of that something. Why?! Anyone picking up this book will know and expect that there will be some adult content in a book about adults.
- secondary characters – Marcus and Jessica are the only characters physically and emotionally present in this book. Fitting, I suppose, since they are both quite self-centered. Anyone else in their lives is an afterthought here – a story of something far away that’s already happened and is only addressed so Marcus and Jessica can put off feeling any actual emotions that linger between them. The long-awaited conversation between these two is reduced to little more than Marcus asking about the people in Jess’ life and Jess telling him anything about anyone else to avoid saying something about herself.
- plot – I’m not sure if I can call it a plot. Marcus and Jessica run into each other, Jess hides among Barry Manilow fans, Jess and Marcus talk about anything besides their relationship, sexual tension, corny Barry Manilow ending. The entire book is one ridiculously drawn out conversation – a series reduced to a 200 page will they/won’t they dance. After all Jess and Marcus have gone through, I wanted them to have a better ending than Barry Manilow karaoke.
“No, this is not a security issue.” Jessica clutches a hand to her throat, clears it. “Yes, I know him,” she says more firmly. “His name is Marcus Armstrong Flutie.” She then turns to the first officer, switches on a smile. “And he’s with me.” She pivots toward Marcus, puts her hands on her hips, and says in perfect exasperation, “Where have you been? I’ve been waiting for you forever.”
“I was waiting for you,” Marcus says. “The whole time.” – pg. 69-70 Jessica + Marcus