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Jessica Darling's It List 2: The (Totally Not) Guaranteed Guide to Friends, Foes & Faux Friends

(Jessica Darling's It List #2)

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  435 ratings  ·  63 reviews
Jessica Darling is getting the hang of seventh grade -- finally! While her old BFF, Bridget, is busy talking (nonstop) about her new boyfriend, Burke, Jessica tries to fit in with her new friends, Sara, Manda, and Hope. The IT List instructions from her sister, Bethany, and an epic slumber party may help Jessica secure her spot in the cool clique, but does she even want it ...more
Kindle Edition, 208 pages
Published September 23rd 2014 by Poppy (first published September 16th 2014)
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3.78  · 
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 ·  435 ratings  ·  63 reviews

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Tiff at Mostly YA Lit
Review originally posted at Mostly YA Lit

This is the second book in Megan McCafferty's middle-grade Jessica Darling series, and it's just as full of heart as the first. Jessica is just as innocent, witty, and feisty about friendship as she was about popularity.

The premise is similar - Bethany, Jessica's beautiful, much-older sister, has yet another list that guarantees that Jessica will be able to navigate friendships in her middle school years. The problem? The list is, once again, written in B
Jenny (Jen & Mel's Book Nook)
** 4.5 stars **

I liked this book even more than the first book and flew through this one so quickly. Jessica gets herself into trouble again by following another of her sister’s wacky It Lists but by the end learns a lot about friendship.

I found this book to be much more relatable than the first one and really liked that it tackled the topics of changing friendships, different friendship groups and keeping your old friends while making new ones.

This was a very young middle grade read and didn’
Mar 28, 2018 rated it liked it
100% fluff but 100% fun
Aug 20, 2017 rated it liked it
I watched the movie of book 1 last week on Netflix and loved it and was sad there wasn't more. Imagine my pleasure when I stumbled upon books 2 and 3 at the library today! Super cute and fun, but still kinda has something to say. I love juvenile fiction. Read this one cover to cover and immediately started book 3 right after
Nov 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade, 2014
This is the second It List book, featuring Jessica Darling (of Sloppy Firsts fame) in middle school. Seventh grade is underway and she's still trying to fit in, continuing on from where the first book left off. Her older sister provides her with a how-to list about making friends and being popular, and Jessica somehow ends up hosting a sleepover that doesn't quite turn out as planned.

As with the first book in this series, I enjoyed seeing appearances of characters who'd go on to be major players
michelle pham
Jul 09, 2014 rated it liked it
More like a 3.5 but whatever.

This book was a total letdown. I was seriously so sad. There was no plot, no problem, and therefore, no clear resolution. Okay- I like the storyline, but STILL.

There was a supposed turning point- but noooooooo; I found another scene afterwards that could've been a turning point as well. HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO KNOW WHAT THE PROBLEM AND SOLUTION IS?!

Bridget is annoying. So is Manda. So is Sara
Julie Seifert
Feb 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing

Another amazing IT List novel. How does Megan Mccaffetty capture middle school so perfectly? She got all the weird girl power dynamics and passive aggression exactly right. I loved the appearance by Gladdie! And more Marcus Flutie, of course, and I'm enjoying see Hope and Jessica's friendship develop.
Eve beinguniquebooks
May 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Learning her Grandma is staying over for eighteen days, Jessica is excited to be able to bake sweet treats with her grandma and get her advice on her friend situations.

While Bridget keeps taking Jessica's homemade sweets and classifying them as her own to impress Burke, Jessica is expected to always be there all the time Bridget and her many potential break ups with Burke may occur.

Jess then gets her own spell of boy trouble between her and Scotty as Dori thinks they like each other. Jess later
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
These are such fun, quick reads and they're making me want to reread the original JD series so bad (at least the first two books)!

Like mentioned in the first book's review of the spinoff, they're definitely not canon, but I think it makes it more enjoyable in a sense, because it gives you an idea of how Jessica and Marcus would interact at a younger age - still angsty, still flirty, still so entertaining to read about.

I also loved Scotty in this book and I find his reasons behind liking Jess re
Oct 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Must read next one! So sad about the falling out with with Bridget. Those two are meant besties!
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
For more reviews, Cover Snark and more, visit A Reader of Fictions.

Oh, Jessica Darling, crusher of my middle grade shippy heart. Snarky voice that makes me know you’re a kindred spirit. Judgmental nature that makes me wonder if you are in fact me. I love Jessica Darling, though I have not yet gotten the bravery to venture past book two in her original series. I know it’s weird to call myself a big fan when I didn’t even read half of it, but I am so deal with it. The middle grade Jessica books ar
Kiana Cook
Like the first It List, this book is a sweet piece of fluff--it's nowhere near the level of its origin series, but it's still funny and different enough to stand out from other similar stories. I like it a little less than the first one, probably because the storyline feels a little more run-of-the-mill, but it's still a short, amusing read.

These books don't have all that much of a plot--this one has even less than the simplistic Guide to Popularity, Prettiness, and Perfection--and it's really o
Review originally posted on: Rather Be Reading Blog

While reading Jessica Darling’s IT List Part 2, I was reminded of how much Jessica marches to her own drum. Even though she gets comments on the old band t-shirts she loves to wear and how she wants to dress up like the Periodical Table of Elements for Halloween, she doesn’t change.

The fact that those things stay put when she is literally (I used it right!) questioning everything about her life? Totally admirable.

In the second book of this middl
Dec 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
I read this in one afternoon. As a fan of the original book series, I will read anything involving these characters. Honestly, I can't deny that fact. This one came in the mail the other day, and I couldn't resist picking it up right away. Jessica Darling was there for me during a tough time. Specifically, she was there for me the summer I graduated high school in 2003 and was moving away from everyone and everything I knew. This story was enjoyable, but I did have some minor issues with it.

Ms. Yingling
Jun 22, 2014 rated it liked it
After her tragic turn as the school mascot, Jessica gets another list from her older sister Bethany-- this one a little more cryptic than the last and dealing with the issue of friends and enemies. This is something that Jessica really struggles with. Since she isn't on the CHEER TEAM and her former BFF Bridget is. She also feels left out of Manda and Dara's dynamic duo, and is not as comfortable with boys as her friends are. When Jessica is seen talking to Scotty, Dori's boyfriend, rumors circu ...more
Mar 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
3.5 A fast, fun read, ideal for tweens and young teens, Jessica Darling's It List #2 is a realistic, not-too-sketchy portrayal of the transition from elementary to middle school. Jessica Darling, a 7th grader attempts to reconcile two rival friend groups as well as master an unexpectedly challenging woodshop.
Left behind by her elementary school friends, who've moved on to the social elite of the "Cheer Team", Jessica forges an alliance with the founders of the rival "Spirit Squad". Counting on
Andy Kornylo
Jan 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
See full review for Jessica Darling's It List 2 at: https://toomanybooksnotenoughshelves....

I think I said this with the first book’s review, but I’ll say it again. I love these books because of the over reactions of Jessica Darling. Usually in book I don’t like when characters get melodramatic, but for this series it just works. Especially because I remember being in junior high and being just that melodramatic. And in Jessica Darling’s It List 2, I actually had something to relate to. Jessica
Dec 03, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: library, 2014, 2-stars
I will religiously read anything about Jessica Darling, but I didn't love this book. It's very middle school drama, and it's infuriating how Jessica strives to be like Manda and Sara because they annoy me endlessly.

And, again, I'm annoyed with everything to do with Aleck. You think that when Jessica becomes obsessed with Marcus at sixteen (just over three years after this book takes place!) she'd mention Aleck/Clem and woodshop, that they kind of had a friendship, (view spoiler)
Kelly Hager
Jun 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
As you know, I am insanely in love with Jessica Darling and have been since I was in college. I love this whole MG series because I'll be able to give it to my goddaughter in a couple of years and my niece in 8-10 years. I'm so excited that they'll be able to grow up with her. (Although seeing as how I met her when she was in high school and we went through college and early adulthood together, you can make the case that I grew up with her, too.)

As far as the MG books go, I preferred this one t
Mar 19, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As much as I love being back in Jessica Darling's world, I am struggling a bit with how incredibly young this new series is. It didn't bother me as much in the first book, but this one felt even younger for some reason.

(view spoiler)
Mrs. Strudthoff
Jan 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Jessica Darling takes her older sister's advice once again . . . and once again, Jessica Darling messes up her chances to be popular like her older sister was.

Jessica tries to figure out the motives of her friends and because she doesn't understand her friends, she never gets their motives right. She also doesn't understand boys all of a sudden. And what's with her sister dating a computer geek?

And wood shop! How did Jessica get stuck as the only girl in wood shop when all of her friends are in
Sep 21, 2014 rated it it was ok
Honestly I am only continuing in this series due to my affinity for the Jessica Darling original series. It is nice to see the characters again, albeit at a younger age. I do think that McCafferty has morphed the characters into younger versions of themselves verses the Jessica Darling series rather well. I don't find myself questioning whether this or that character would actually grow into the ones in the other series.

Jessica Darling's It List 2 is cute and at times funny but ultimately shallo
Oct 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
This second book in Jessica Darling's IT lists series picks up a few months into seventh grade, right where the first book left off. When Jessica's much older sister Bethany hears about the friend issues Jessica is having, she gives her another, even more cryptic, IT list to follow. As in the first book, Jessica misunderstands the instructions and ends up with unexpected results. Most middle schoolers will be able to relate to the friend issues Jessica is having, caught between several groups, u ...more
Nov 24, 2013 rated it liked it
Still enjoying Jessica Darling and the trauma of her 7th grade year.

Still not sure if an actual 12 year-old girl would enjoy these. I enjoy them so much because I enjoyed McCafferty's first two Jessica Darling novels, which are not appropriate for 12 year-old girls (and the last three Jessica Darling novels are not really worth reading for anyone . . . just sayin'. They went downhill fast after the second one.), and it's fun to see younger versions of the same characters.

Plus, Jessica's combin
Oct 06, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy of this book through a Goodreads giveaway.

As a fan of the original Jessica Darling series, I am not the target demographic for this new middle-grade series. But because I like Jessica's character so much, I thought it would be fun to read them anyway. And it certainly is. Middle school Jessica lacks some of the acerbic wit and wry cynicism that I like so much about the original, high-school Jessica, but her take on her peers middle school antics and drama is fresh and fun to r
Khadijah R.
Jul 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I am absolutely loving this series. I can totally relate to Jessica in almost every single way because I feel like I went to all the same exact things she's going through in this book just a while before she did. In this second installment in the series, Jessica is struggling with her many friendships. She's having trouble building the ones that really matter, and spending too much time worrying about the ones that are making her life miserable. Then some complicated boy drama comes along to mak ...more
Gretchen Oates
Oct 20, 2014 rated it it was ok
I really liked the first It List book, but I can't say the same for this one. I was very distracted by many of the words written in all caps, the narrator's overuse of 'ack' and 'har dee har har' and other repeated sayings. Most of the characters are not likable but Jessica continues to be friends with them (even she realizes they are just really half-friends). Maybe I just wasn't in the mood for this book, but it has turned me off from reading the next book and any future installments.
Jun 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
I can't really say that it's a total fun reading this book, because it wasn't. It was fun, but not that fun. The message was clear, tho. It really got you, crystal clear, about all the friends drama and all. The story was well put, following the 'accidental-everything' that happened in JD's life. Cause who else could misinterpret a delicate and fine dinner with a pizza like JD? Exactly! J.D!

Overall score: 3.7 ⭐⭐⭐
Dec 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, fiction
Oh Jessica Darling. I love how hard she tries, how much she falls short of her intended outcomes, and how well things turn out anyway. I will say I am surprised by how much Marcus is in these books. I kind of got the idea that she didn't really have much history with him in the first book of the original series...but I suppose all these moments in middle school don't add up to "history". Either way, I am enjoying this series as well!
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Megan McCafferty writes fiction for tweens, teens and teens-at-heart of all ages. The author of eleven novels, she’s best known for SLOPPY FIRSTS and four more sequels in the New York Times bestselling Jessica Darling series. She's got two new books coming out in 2020: TRUE TO YOUR SELFIE (MG, Scholastic, 2/20) and THE MALL (YA, Wednesday Books, 7/20). Described in her first review as “Judy Blume ...more

Other books in the series

Jessica Darling's It List (3 books)
  • Jessica Darling's It List: The (Totally Not) Guaranteed Guide to Popularity, Prettiness & Perfection
  • Jessica Darling's It List 3: The (Totally Not) Guaranteed Guide to Stressing, Obsessing & Second-Guessing