I was lent the first book in the Jessica Darling series, "Sloppy Firsts" by a friend last week. As soon as I finished it, I immediately tracked down and read the other four books in the series. I was positively hooked from the first few pages of the book.
"Sloppy Firsts" is a witty, fun, and yet still meaningful book that will bring you back to your high-school days, no matter how old you are. The book is written from the perspective of 15-year-old Jessica Darling; in fact, the book is her journal in which she keeps all of her secret thoughts. Jessica is a funny and sarcastic character, with a lot to say. It's no wonder she's earned the nickname of "Jessica Not-So-Darling" from her father.
Reading "Sloppy Firsts" is an adventure. Re-living the mindset of a 15-year-old girl is no easy task, and yet McCafferty has captured it perfectly. We stay with Jessica as she faces challenges with friendships, family, and yes, love. While some of the issues in the book may seem trivial (it IS high school, after all), I found myself all wrapped up in even the most trivial of issues simply because I was rooting so hard for Jessica. I think it's safe to say that she is not always the most likeable character, but who is at fifteen? Despite her character flaws, you can't help but love her and want the best for her.
I strongly recommend "Sloppy Firsts" (and the rest of the series) to anyone who is looking for a simple, enjoyable read. Once you've breezed through the first book, you'll find yourself reaching for the second... and the third... all the way until the fifth book, in which Jessica is an adult and the series comes to a satisfying end.