Dear Jessica Darling...... what are you? This book has left me feeling extremely conflicted.
Jessica and I did not get along at first. In fact, when I was about a third of the way through, I was totally ready to throw the book across the room and just call it a day. This girl complains about everything. Her voice, and I should mention this book is written like a diary, is extremely whiny. Were they realistic complaints? Sure. Could I relate to them, looking back on my own experiences in high school? To a certain extent. But damn, this girl just carried on complaining about everything. After her best friend moved away, she seriously just hates everything, and that gets extremely exhausting to read about.
I mean, Jessica's the kind of girl who slut shames to a certain extent, who hangs out with "friends" and then calls them "The Clueless Crew" behind their backs because she actually hates them and thinks they're completely ridiculous. Oy vey. So yeah, I considered tossing it.
But I didn't. I picked it back up on my commute on the way home and suddenly... I was into it! I was really kind of enjoying it. Nothing had changed though. I think I really just needed to get used to Jessica's voice. Other people have said this was a "laugh out loud" book because of the realism and relatability... well, I wouldn't go so far. I honestly didn't really laugh at any of her annoying complaints. But after I got used to her voice, I did see where she was coming from, and the understanding I gained of her character made the story more enjoyable.
However, I should mention that this book is not what I expected. Honestly, I expected a fluffy romantic book, and this is not that at all. There's some romance, admittedly, but it comes into play really late and just serves as a lead in for the next book, which has me doing a *headdesk* because it means that I actually really want to read the next book, because Jess and Marcus are adorableeeeeeeee and I want more of that.
What Sloppy Firsts actually is is a, more or less, literal reality show. You watch Jessica go through her daily life. And to some extent, it is boring as fuck. But then I just kept reading anyway. I don't know. There's no logic to this, seriously. I was reading at a rapid pace because it's an easy and quick read, and at the same time I was questioning myself, "Where is the plot? What is going on? Whyyyyyy?"
Sloppy Firsts is a book you should only pick up if you want to reminisce about high school life - even if you hated it, or particularly if you hated it. Whatever. It's basically just a picture of average high school life. I can't say much more than that. The characters were okay. I loved Marcus, but his presence was limited, so alas. The writing was okay. The ending and the family dynamics that came into play there I actually really really loved. And I did see Jessica grow as a character at the end, so that made me look back on the book overall in a favorable way. But is it a book I would name a favorite and highly recommend to read? Not really.
But damn if I don't want to order Second Helpings soon. *sigh* I hate myself.