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Charmed Thirds

(Jessica Darling #3)

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  13,518 ratings  ·  686 reviews
Jessica Darling's in college!
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 boyfriend, 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,
Paperback, 359 pages
Published April 24th 2007 by Broadway Books (first published April 11th 2006)
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Average rating 3.79  · 
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 ·  13,518 ratings  ·  686 reviews

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Jackie "the Librarian"
This book disappointed me. I had a hard time sympathizing with Jessica this time. Maybe now that she's in college, among her intellectual peers, complaints about how she's surrounded by morons just don't ring true.
Not that we saw much of her in class, or in college. All four years were crammed into this one book. I was looking forward to Jessica's wry observations about her fellow students and classes at Columbia University. How would it feel to no longer be the smartest person around, but be c
Trina (Between Chapters)
This is the strongest of the 3 books in the series I've read so far. It covers the entire 4 years of Jessica's college life and this is the REALEST depiction of college I've ever read. Jessica sees friends come and go, struggles with holding on to high school friends and relationships, watches her parents move on to a new stage of life, and deal with the crushing pressure of being a broke college student with no idea what she's doing with her life.

I've said it before, this series is a product of
Rating: 4.5 Stars

When you finish a Jessica Darling novel, there is only one thing to say: "OMIGAWD" (Or, you know, quote oh my gawd! unquote).

Whether it be after Sloppy Firsts when that heart-breaking cliffhanger just makes you want to rip your hair out.

Or after Second Helpings after Jessica and Marcus finally, finally, finally get together.

Or after Charmed Thirds when you are simply unable to digest the sheer magnitude, truth, and scope of one book, four years, and so many journeys.

Quite hon
I normally don’t write reviews but I just felt that I had to explain my huge disappointment with this book.

First, I have to say that I LOVED Sloppy Firsts and Second Helpings. Perhaps that’s partly why I found the third installment in the series so disappointing. But there is more to it, I assure you! Indeed, when I began reading Charmed Thirds I had huge expectations but I as went through the first 50 pages I resigned myself to the fact that this wouldn’t be a 5-star book for me. But I wasn’t r
Nov 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
I waited like 3 years to finish this book and I'm honestly glad I did. So relateable for early twenty-somethings.
Aug 05, 2010 rated it it was ok
Dear Jessica,

You know what your problem is? You are ungrateful and selfish. You mock people, they way they live, and the decisions they make...and then you hypocritically do. the. same. things. For instance, how many times did you mock Manda for her promiscuous behavior? Do you think your behavior is any better? And I love how you try to justify your ways. Unfortunately, I'm not buying it. You're a spoiled brat without a clue. I feel no sympathy for you. I feel no pity for you. I thought, once u
Dec 14, 2007 rated it it was ok
Maybe it's just me but after Sloppy Firsts and Second Helpings I was pretty disappointed by this book.

The third in the Jessica Darling series, Charmed Thirds reads less smoothly (it took me a while to get used to the overly detailed -- and annoyingly wordy -- descriptions of everything) and is far less interesting than the previous books. I think the problem lies int he fact that Jessica is just much less likable for most of this book and the decisions she makes (about her college career and th
Mar 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Heather by: Lovers of Marchetta and Lockhart
Shelves: 2011
Oh how I laughed and laughed, cringed in shared mortification, laughed, despaired over mutual heartbreak, laughed, became over-wrought with neurosis, laughed, cringed, sympathized and laughed.

Jessica Darling says what most of us are shamed to think. She isn’t noble, far from it, but she’s deliciously flawed in a true, human way. We all say the wrong thing at inopportune times. Many of us, myself included don’t know when to shut up or back down. We may even jump in the sack with a subpar guy for
Jan 02, 2011 rated it liked it
Rating clarification: 3.5 stars

To be honest, I don’t have too much to say about this third installment in the Jessica Darling series. I enjoyed it, I still like Jessica and even if it might not reflect too well on me, I have to say that I can still relate to her extremely well. The things she goes through, the mistakes she makes...this all sounds so familiar to me!

Charmed Thirds is definitely the wordiest book in this series and I must admit that there were parts I didn’t really care for and I e
Jun 07, 2010 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 14, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary, ya, ebooks, 2011
Original post at One More Page

One of my favorite books back in college was Second Helpings by Megan McCafferty, so when I heard that there will be a next book for Jessica Darling (even if I was really content with how the second book ended), I was thrilled. Of course, being the paperback lover and not having my own income back when it was released, I didn't get it until I just quit my last job. You'd think I'd read it immediately, too, but no. I ended up reading, stopping, reading, a
Marija *There's No Poetry In My Soul, Just A List Of Lies I've Told*
Can someone tell me how the hell did I give this the highest ranking when it deserves anything but?! Seriously! My explanation is that I was blinded by Marcus Flutie. Why is it that everytime I do something stupid about a book it's always male lead's fault?

I. Am. Disappointed. As much as I liked the first two books this was a huge let down. I admit that those books were great only because of Marcus, but really, this one was unbearable. How could I not realise how much I despise types of person s
Bookaholic (reads every mortal thing)
The first question that came to my mind after I finished this was: Is that it?

Where the hell is the humour of the first two books? Why the hell is Jessica having more hot and cold moments than that guy in Katy Perry's Hot and Cold video? I don't get it.

The first book was amazing, the second was...not so amazing, but it was hilarious, so I'm okay. But what the hell do I say about this one? Jessica did so many anti-Jessica things (I won't reveal them, because almost all are spoilers).

But ya know,
Dec 21, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya, contemp, 2010
Finally free of dull Pineville, Jessica makes her way to prestigious Columbia University full of wide-eyed enthusiasm. Well as much enthusiasm Jessica is capable of when her boyfriend Marcus is also heading off to college, just all the way across the country in California. And once again, Jessica, who over-thinks everything, begins to over-think their odd relationship. Especially after Marcus begins sending cryptic one-word postcards does she feel like losing her sanity. But financial and family ...more
Jun 22, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: genre-ya
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 05, 2011 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars. Not charming, unfortunately, just quite pointless. Oh, how I loved you in your first two books Jessica Darling.
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
This was my third time through books one and two of Jessica Darling. Every previous time, I decided I didn't want to know more and wouldn't ever read the rest of the series. However, because I'm a completionist, I changed my mind about that. I only read about 30 pages, but they convinced me I didn't, in fact, wish to read the rest of the series. Jessica's tone feels off to me, and I already dislike basically everything that's happened and I haven't gotten to the part where things really go wrong ...more
Apr 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Against all expectations, I am smitten with the Jessica Darling series. The series is probably considered “chick-lit” by most (a term I detest due to the gendered notions of literature it evokes but that I’m using due to its popularity). But while it’s ostensibly chick-lit, there are no treatises on shopping or one-night stands. It is not brainless and vapid. Instead, it flips the chick-lit tropes. It’s actually about a girl trying to find herself in a world that wants nothing more than for her ...more
L.E. Fidler
Apr 23, 2010 rated it liked it
i loved sloppy firsts and second helpings. charmed thirds? notso.

mccafferty apparently has never met a plot device she didn't like. siigghh.

in the first two installments, jessica's life is metered out slowly in months, each month's end marked by a letter to hope. as in life, time flies in college and here the format alters, marking more the periods in between learning. poor hope gets ignored for huge chunks of time and the letters now are more based between marcus and jessica, jessica and her
Nov 28, 2009 rated it liked it
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 ...more
Aug 11, 2007 rated it really liked it
Our Not-so Darling Jessica is off to college. There's lots of touching stuff with her sister and her parents and Marcus and blah blah and if you liked the others, you'll like this one.

But what I really liked about this one is that it gave a really accurate picture of college life. There are a bunch of pissy reviews on Amazon of people who are obviously not in college about how Jessica changed to much and what happened and why didn't she stay in touch with blah blah blah... but that's what happen
Mar 29, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Steph Su
Feb 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing
CHARMED THIRDS, the third book in Megan McCafferty’s bestselling series, introduces a more insightful and pensive, though not necessarily more likable, Jessica Darling. Diehard fans of the first two books will have trouble coming to terms with Jessica’s growth, though personally I think it’s fantastic.

College is supposed to be better for Jessica Darling. After all, she has escaped Pineville to attend prestigious Columbia University in the greatest city in the world, and she is still with Marcus.
Sep 03, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 28, 2009 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 29, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This third book was an interesting departure. We know from TV and books alike that it can be difficult to transition a high school series to college as the characters age. McCafferty makes the interesting choice to speed-plot through all of Jessica Darling's undergrad years in one volume. I found myself with narrative whiplash multiple times, as whole semesters sped by in the space of a single journal entry. It made it hard to get attached to anyone Jessica met in college, including boyfriends a ...more
Sarah Hadd
Mar 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
I liked this one okay, but not as much as the two before it in the series. I was in the mood for total fluff and mindlessness, and this one had a lot more “early 20’s, existential angst” than the previous two.
Sep 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 stars

I’ve given the first two books 5 stars, I’m only giving this one 4 stars because it may have gone off the deep end in cynicism. Ever the pragmatist, Jessica experiences the life of a college student at Columbia while getting a handle of her finances, her academic future, her hit-or-miss friendships and relationships, her ties with family, and especially Marcus.

I wasn’t liking the person Jessica was becoming, I thought it went a bit too far from her personality. Although I get that she wa
Liz* Fashionably Late
Feb 16, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: People who already loves Jessica, it'd be painful, I warn you.
2.5 Stars

Megan McCafferty, why are you doing this to me??
Jessica is all about WRONG CHOICES. Selfish, stupid, immature, annoying, unsatisfied, weak, kind of a snob, always over thinking, scrutinizing, analyzing others, judging, taking people for granted (Bridget, i.e) and (view spoiler)
However, I get her. She's a mess, I've been a mess too. I've experienced the feeling that everything is fucked up and there's no light at the end of the tunnel. And even when there's
Oct 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Jessica Darling is finally in college. Her and Marcus go to school across the country from one another. Marcus goes to a Buddhist school in California while Jessica goes to Columbia in New York. Their relationship is still going strong. Jessica is making lots of new friends ,but none come close to competing with Hope. As always Jessica's life soon gets complicated. Jessica cheats on Marcus and Marcus takes a vow of silence and moves to a ranch in the middle of no where. Jessica now has to choose ...more
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Madison Mega-Mara...: Charmed Thirds 1 4 Sep 30, 2012 06:32PM  

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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, 6/20). Described in her first review as “Judy Blume ...more

Other books in the series

Jessica Darling (5 books)
  • Sloppy Firsts (Jessica Darling, #1)
  • Second Helpings (Jessica Darling, #2)
  • Fourth Comings (Jessica Darling, #4)
  • Perfect Fifths (Jessica Darling, #5)

News & Interviews

You know the saying: There's no time like the present...unless you're looking for a distraction from the current moment. In that case, we can't...
27 likes · 10 comments
“I thought Marcus was going to be in my life forever. Then I thought I was wrong. Now he’s back. But this time I know what’s certain: Marcus will be gone again, and back again and again and again because nothing is permanent. Especially people. Strangers become friends. Friends become lovers. Lovers become strangers. Strangers become friends once more, and over and over. Tomorrow, next week, fifty years from now, I know I’ll get another one-word postcard from Marcus, because this one doesn’t have a period signifying the end of the sentence.

Or the end of anything at all.”
“Most people talk when they have nothing to say. I’m not talking because I have too much to say. None of which I’d want you to hear.” 98 likes
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