Monday, March 14, 2011

Charmed Thirds by Megan McCafferty

Book Jacket

Things are looking up for Jessica Darling.  She has finally left her New Jersey hometown/hellhole for Columbia University in New York City; she's more into her boyfriends, Marcus Flutie, than ever (so what if he's at a Buddhist college in California?); and she's making new friends who just might qualify as stand-ins for her beloved best friend, Hope.

But Jessica soon realizes that her bliss might not last after she lands an internship at an uber-hip Brooklyn-based magazine.  As she and Marcus hit the rocks, will she fall for her GOPunk, neoconservative RA...or the hot grad student she's assisting on a summer project...or the oh-so-sensitive emo boy down the hall?  Will she even make it now that her parents have cut her off financially?  And what do the cryptic one-word postcards from Marcus really mean?

With hilarious insight, Jessica Darling struggles through her college years--and the summers in between--while maintaining her usual mix of wit, cynicism, and candor.


And we get to college!  Jessica has matured, and her journal proves that she is concerned with bigger things than her old high school drama (see my reviews of the first two books in the series, Sloppy Firsts and Second Helpings).  Hurray!  I loved seeing Jessica struggle with many of my college issues--why did I choose a liberal arts major that is insanely interesting but will not get me a job unless I go on to grad school?  (Here's a hint, Jessica, become a librarian.)

What I did not struggle with was all the guys who are interested in Jessica.  I will be the first to acknowledge that I am a prude, but come on.  She considers, and is encouraged to, sleep with a married man?  I'm sorry, but that is never okay.

I loved my college years.  So I was a little disappointed that Jessica's entire time at Columbia was reduced to just one book.  Not only that, but we only read her thoughts from summers and winter breaks, when she is mostly at home in Pineville, NJ.  I love the old characters, but I wanted to hear more about her day to day existence at school in NYC. 

I devoured this book, but I thought it could have been better.  Still, Megan McCafferty brilliantly understands what it means to grow up--the angst and the hilarity, so I have to give it

Four out of five one-word postcards.

Release Date:  April 2007
Reading Level:  Grade 10+
Where In Dunlap Public Library's Collection:  YPL MCC

Don't believe me?  Check out these reviews of Charmed Thirds:

Liv's Book Reviews

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