Review: Second Helpings


Title: Second Helpings
Author: Megan McCafferty
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
Date published: 2003
Type of book: Young Adult (Graduation, Love, Sex, Dating, Writing)
Pages: 368
I received this book from/at: local library
My interest in this book is: plot

Ideas expressed/message/plot: From Publisher’s Weekly: “Every day, I wait for that doomsday shoe to drop on my head and crush my spirit,” laments New Jersey high schooler Jessica Darling. This hilarious, candid sequel to Sloppy Firsts opens the summer before Jessica’s senior year of high school, when the precocious misfit is at a New Jersey academic enrichment camp whose competitive enrollment is belied by its acronym-SPECIAL. There, she meets Prof. Samuel MacDougall, a handsome writing teacher with “three novels, two works of nonfiction and one hot piece of ass to his name,” who challenges Jessica to imagine the world outside of her native suburbia. She also runs into her former “crush-to-end-all-crushes” Paul Parlipiano (he’s gay, of course), who introduces her to Columbia University-which she decides she must attend. Come September, Jessica works on her college applications, dearly misses her best friend, Hope, who has moved to Tennessee, and spends much of her time trying not to think about bad boy Marcus Flutie, who broke her heart last winter when he confessed that he only asked her out as an experiment. As her senior year progresses, Jessica starts dating Len Levy, her rival for class valedictorian, and becomes the subject of the school’s new anonymous gossip rag. The material is typical teen fare, but Jessica is a captivating, intelligent, acidly funny-but always believably adolescent-narrator who is unsparing in her sketches of Pineville High “society” yet touchingly alive to her own vulnerabilities.”

Favorite characters, quotes/lines: Jessica: she was just as sassy as ever – though I didn’t always really like the choices she made, it was important that she made them; Marcus: I was excited that he had a bigger part in Jessica’s life – and that we learned more about him. In Sloppy Firsts Jessica didn’t learn near as much out about him as he did about her; Bridget: I liked the new Bridget – and her new boyfriend!

When I finished this book I felt: I think I liked this book more than Sloppy Firsts because I felt like I knew Jess better – she was an old friend instead of an acquaintance. Jessica was closer to my age in this book too and I could relate to her even more than before. Yay!! for Marcus! Definitely one of my favorite guy characters of all time!! I’m excited to read Charmed Thirds next.

Other books to read by this author: see past post

I would recommend this book to: teens and their moms!

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