These days, I generally don’t reread many things. I feel like there are too many neThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
These days, I generally don’t reread many things. I feel like there are too many new novels that I want to read coming out and how can I justify reading something again when I have stacks of books waiting to be read as well as eARCs from netgalley that I myself requested to read and review? The answer is I really don’t know and yet some how I found myself unable to stop the urge to reread this novel. I should be reading Embrace by Jessica Shirvington that I borrowed from a friend or The Demon Catchers Of Milan by Kat Beyer from netgalley, both of which are very good and interesting and yet I can’t concentrate. All I could think about was Jessica and Marcus.
I know part of the blame is on my 80’s movie marathon this weekend. I had never seen all those John Hughes or Molly Ringwald or Brat Pack films I’ve heard/seen/read references to in numerous entertainment outlets and I finally decided I’d had enough of being out of the loop. I know, I know, I fail. A close friend of mine and I rented the most popular ones (The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Pretty In Pink, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and Dead Poets Society) and settled in for a night of big hair and bad graphics. But I loved them, well most of them. Shockingly I didn’t really like Pretty In Pink, which I have been told numerous times that I would adore. Nope, I liked Ducky and she doesn’t end up with Ducky, not to mention she is a bitch for the majority of the movie. Anyway, as soon as I finished them, all I have been able to think about is Jessica Darling and her love of 80’s films and the constant references and I wanted to reread this series so I could finally understand. But I knew I had too much to read so I told myself that I couldn’t. To try to appease myself, I rewatched Easy A because now I finally understand the majority of that quote about life being like an 80’s movie (and a few others). Even after that, I still couldn’t stop myself from searching for a copy of this to read since my little sister has mine. I finally caved and started reading and damn am I glad I did.
There aren’t many things that I love enough to read numerous times. I’ve probably read this novel ten or so times and it seems like I see something new every time I pick it up. At some point in 8th grade, a close friend of mine shoved this into my hands and said that I just had to read it. And since my high school career hadn’t even began yet, I was enraptured at this portrait of high school that was different than any I had ever read. It gave me an honest idea of what to expect in high school so thanks Megan for preparing me for that. I reread it several times while in high school to see how it measured up and I’ve got to say that it was pretty accurate. The irony is that for an accurate depiction of high school to be published, it had to be published as an adult novel because it was too vulgar for YA.
Okay, okay, enough gushing. This novel follows Jessica Darling throughout the second half of her sophomore year and the first half of her junior year of high school. She’s almost sixteen and the world is ending. Her best friend is moving away and since her other quote friends unquote are brainless idiots who have just happened to be grouped with her for a few years, she will truly be alone. No one gets her except Hope and now their relationship is reduced to monthly letters, weekly phone calls, and daily emails. Which anyone can tell you isn’t the same as face time. This takes place in 1999, before skype and video chatting and all that so she really doesn’t even get to SEE Hope. I can understand how that would be difficult. I have a hard time dealing with my friends being far away and I’m 23, so at 16 it’s like the world is ending. She continues to go to school and track practice and go through the motions, all the while being mopey and whiny just trying to keep it together. Enter Marcus Flutie. He’s the resident druggie/rebel/troublemaker at her school and he has singled her out to torment for whatever demented reason floated through his skull. I was a little shocked when I read this because the sexy smart guy I know and love in this series is not how he starts out. It was too easy to forget that in the beginning, he was just a smartass who was messing with Jessica for the hell of it. My baby sister is trying to read this book and is having trouble because she doesn’t like Marcus, which is a concept my brain just refuses to understand but now I do. What you have to understand about me is that Marcus Flutie is one of my all time favorite literary male heroes. He reminds me a great deal of Patrick in 10 Things I Hate About You (the film, not that horrid ABC Family tv show)…in fact the whole thing reminds me of 10 Things,
but that is besides the point. It really took me by surprise that for the majority of this novel, you really don’t like Marcus. He’s just this weird character that Jess can’t understand or figure out. Then she does something stupid (not to mention illegal) to help him and it just makes things worse.
The majority of this novel is just about Jess finding her self and trying to figure out the Marcus situation, which is constantly changing. And then to top off everything else, this novel ends really badly. Things with Mr Flutie don’t end well and we don’t know how Hope is going to take all the Marcus info since Jess has been withholding it for fear of disapproval. It’s one of those annoying endings where the story just stops instead of ending.
Why, you ask do I love it when I hate bad endings? Because book 2 makes up for the bad ending. Book 2 probably has my all time favorite ending to a book. It’s just so perfect. In fact, as much as I loved seeing more of these characters in the rest of the series, I kind of wish it would have stopped there because there was no way to top that. I also just loved Jess’s character. I loved the fact that it’s a very realistic portrayal of high school. There is cursing and they talk about sex without shying away or censoring it like most authors do to keep their story on a PG-13 level. Jess is hyper-observant and brutally honest. This book reminds me why I like contemporary books in a world where paranormal is king. Jess felt very real to me, like a flesh and blood person. I think part of me really does think that she exists somewhere in New Jersey, living happily ever after with Marcus and Hope.
The bottom line is that this novel is amazing. I recommend it to every person who likes to read....more
So I’m sure I put enough mawkishness into the review from Sloppy Firsts that you guys don’t want to hear anymore, so I’ll simply say that rereading this novel made me endlessly happy. Now, to review this amazing book.
Second Helpings picks up six months after Sloppy Firsts left off. It starts off with Jessica at a educational summer camp for writing where she finds a new OOOH (Obsessive Object Of Horniness) who turns out to be just as gay as the last crush to end all crushes. Poor Jess, she just can’t find a heterosexual male besides He Who Shall Remain Nameless. For the first portion of this novel, she refuses to even write Marcus’ name in order to psychologically trick herself into believing that he doesn’t exist….yeah, that so doesn’t work. Then summer’s over and it’s back to high school. WHOO for being a senior. Mostly, this novel continues in the same fashion Sloppy Firsts did. We follow Jessica through her first real relationship (because Scotty and Marcus don’t count) and through more tough times ahead.
If you liked Sloppy Firsts, you’ll like this as well. If you loved Sloppy Firsts, but hated the ending, well this one makes up for that. You get to see Jessica grow and flourish with some stumbles along the way. I am really striving to write this review without gushing over how much I adore it and as you can see, without the gushing, it doesn’t add up to much. Basically what I’m saying is that these novels are amazing and every one should read them if they are at all interested in a honest look at what high school is really like these days. ...more
This is one of my all time favorite historical romance novels. I'd say that I was completely drawn into their world, but really that's not all that grThis is one of my all time favorite historical romance novels. I'd say that I was completely drawn into their world, but really that's not all that great a compliment for me to give a historical romance novel since I'm always drawn into their world even if the novel sucks (ie The Duke's Indiscretion by Adele Ashworth). I honestly can't tell you much about this book since it has been several years since I've read it, but I do remember that it is perfect. From the opening page to the last word, absolutely perfect....more
This book had good bits and bad bits. The biggest bad part is I abhor Zoey Redbird.The review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
This book had good bits and bad bits. The biggest bad part is I abhor Zoey Redbird. Seriously the girl irks me beyond belief which is hard to deal with in a novel written in first person. She's whiny and selfish (and trust me, it gets worse as the series progresses). BUT, I love the world around her. I loved her friends, her enemies, and the mythology of the House Of Night. This book also had enough mystery to keep me going when I really wanted to run screaming "Damn Zoey, shut up!". Would I really reccomend this book to anyone? Probably not. There are too many plot wholes and I have to many issues with the main character to submit a friend to dealing with her, but I am going to finish the series myself. I have a morbid curiousity to see how it ends. Oh, and for any Christians who are contemplating reading this, if you are offended by bad portrayals of the Christian faith, steer clear of this. They have a religion called the People Of Faith which will offend you to no end....more
This novel was very different than I expected it to be. I adore the film, so I was shocked to see all that had been changed from the novel. However, tThis novel was very different than I expected it to be. I adore the film, so I was shocked to see all that had been changed from the novel. However, this was a great read and I actually like Howl a little better in the novel than the film. ...more