Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty is a young adult novel, the first in a series, about Jessica Darling, a young girl whose best friend just moved away. Trying to adjust to life without her friend is difficult as she tries to navigate school. She’s on the track team and one boy has a crush on her but it isn’t the boy she has a crush on herself. Her older sister is getting married and the three girls she hangs out with are not especially kind to one another, let alone to her.
Then things get really messy.
I didn’t just read this book; I devoured it. Through journal entries and letters to her best friend, Hope, the reader the heart of Jessie, her aspirations and her dreams. The novel begins in January and ends with the upcoming New Year. Warning, don’t read this book if you can’t easily lay your hands on the next book because it does have a cliffhanger ending. Yes, I do not like cliffhanger endings. I think it’s lazy and suggests the author’s lack of faith in the story. For whatever reason, in this case, it works well enough that I can begrudgingly respect the choice McCafferty made.
I definitely enjoyed the story although I had some issues with the slut-shaming and, towards the end something happens that is not completely unexpected. The protagonist’s reaction, while contextually understandable, is distasteful, to say the least. I’m curious to see, as Jessica Darling matures, how her perceptions will change. I hope they will change for the better, that the things I found off-putting will prove to merely be the immature response of a young girl trying to make sense of her confusing world. Regardless, I am hooked enough to read at least one more book in this five book series. Unfortunately, my public library doesn’t have any of the other books in the series except for the fifth one so it may take me a while to get around to the next one. I really hate cliffhangers.