written by Megan McCafferty
While I did get a slight sense of growing up coming out of J. Darling (*gasp*, I know! I never thought it possible! She still had her moments of disgusting immaturity, and those moments were more disgusting than all the previous ones combined, but still...way fewer cringe moments), I still cannot believe that four books later, it's still one big massive "will they, won't they" between her and Marcus Flutie. Why can this girl not just decide already? I'm hoping the decision made at the end of this one sticks, but then again, that's what I said last time... I felt like the beginning of the book had the same immature tone as the others, but something happened somewhere around the middle. Jessica Darling somehow grew up. I'm not sure when it happened, or how, but something, somewhere, happened. Maybe it was her temporary falling out with best friend Hope? Maybe it was being asked to care for Marin if Marin's parents died? Maybe it was dealing with her own parents? I'm really not sure, but something changed, and I'm really glad it did, because for the first time, even though it was only momentarily, Jessica Darling became a tolerable character. There really are some characters in this whole ordeal that I have fallen in love with (Hope & Len, to point out two), and some that I have despised (okay, that honor has mainly been reserved for Jessica herself), but all of this, the intense emotions I have towards the characters, only demonstrates how amazing a writer McCafferty is, despite the annoyingness of her protagonist. I was really glad to finally have a book featuring Hope as an actual character, and I felt like she added a lot and fit in wonderfully with the existing cast, again proving how amazing a writer McCafferty is, blending a "new" character in seamlessly. One thing I had severe problems with in this book was the portrayal of Dexy. I was really glad to see a character with bipolar disorder treated as a real person in a McCafferty book, but this book, this book just tore that reflection to pieces and spit on it. What on earth? Why would McCafferty DO that to Dexy? That is not at all an accurate portrayal of a person with Bipolar. Bipolar Disorder does not cause someone to become a compulsive liar overnight. I have serious issues with her only showing the manic side of Dexy's life in this book, because that's just not the way that particular mental illness works. I'm really disappointed. Anyways, I'm really worried about what the 5th book may contain. Following the logical pattern of things, hm, more of Marcus Freaking Flutie. I really hope that's not the case. I've heard good things though, so I'll be looking into that soon.
Also in the Jessica Darling series: Charmed Thirds
I got this book from...:Carnegie Public Library of Pittsburgh, Squirrel Hill Branch