Julie's Reviews > Charmed Thirds

Charmed Thirds by Megan McCafferty
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Nov 28, 09

Read in November, 2009

This book was a bit of a disappointment after FIRSTS and SECONDS. Like a lot of other reviewers, I hated how all four years of college were crammed into one book. Not only were those years not fleshed out, we didn't even get a glimpse into those years. We're led to believe that Jessica Darling is only journaling on her school breaks? Because of this, most of her writing focuses on the people we knew in the first two books...Bridget, the Clueless Two, Len and of course Marcus. This feels like JD hasn't matured or developed at all since high school. She was so obsessed with getting out of high school and Pineville and she spends all of her college years obsessing about high school. The people that JD mentions in her college life are so thinly painted and boring.

I did like how we get a better glimpse at her family life. I love how we originally got such a one dimensional look at Mom, Dad and Bethany. As the books go on, we get a much better look at their lives and their problems. I do think McCafferty is good in this - she patiently reveals things about characters without jumping the gun. As a writer, it can be difficult to keep a secret when you know so much about the characters you're describing.

I both love and hate all the cleverness. I still think it's contrived and pretentious. And although I enjoy most of the pop culture references, it makes me feel like these books are bound to be a flash in the pan. How can these books survive time when they describe too much one moment in time. These books aren't timeless, even though some of the relationships could be seen that way.

Lastly, I do enjoy reading about Marcus. I love his games, his mystery, his intrigue. This book was almost empty of him. After SECONDS, this is inexcusable. The worst thing about this book is the lack of the one character that's the most interesting - Mr. Flutie himself.

One other thing that is getting distracting - McCafferty obviously loves the big ending. Each of the books are playing out the same way - a couple hundred pages of tortuous build-up followed by a half a chapter of BAM at the very end. Unfortunately, this makes it hard to think about sitting through two more books when all I really need to do is read the last chapter of each and save myself some time.
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