Thank you to Kelly Jensen at Book Riot for her gorgeous essay about what the Jessica Darling series meant to her growing up. This was so much more meaningful than the standard cut-and-paste-the-press-release book announcement. I cannot be happier that the 20th anniversary of the publication of SLOPPY FIRSTS will be commemorated with reprints of the entire Jessica Darling series by the wonderfully talented team at Wednesday Books.
The new edition of SLOPPY FIRSTS goes on sale May 4, 2021. SECOND HELPINGS launches on July 6th, 2021. The rest of the books will follow over the rest of the 20th Anniversary year. The whole series has been updated to reflect 2020 sensibilities, but the essence of what makes Jessica Darling special is unchanged. Oh! And there’s a beautiful forward written by blockbuster author, producer and the not-so-secret Mrs. Marcus Flutie, Rebecca Serle.
This reprint wouldn’t have happened without the enthusiastic support of my readers all these years. I cannot wait to introduce Jessica Darling, Marcus Flutie and the world of Pineville, New Jersey to a whole new audience.
“A hilarious trip down memory lane. You’ll laugh out loud–and cringe–as this first novel by McCafferty takes you back to the soap opera that was high school.”—Glamour
When her best friend, Hope Weaver, moves away from Pineville, New Jersey, hyperobservant sixteen-year-old Jessica Darling is devastated. A fish out of water at school and a stranger at home, Jessica feels more lost than ever now that the only person with whom she could really communicate has gone. How is she supposed to deal with the boy- and shopping-crazy girls at school, her dad’s obsession with her track meets, her mother salivating over big sister Bethany’s lavish wedding, and her nonexistent love life?
A fresh, funny, utterly compelling fiction debut by first-time novelist Megan McCafferty, Sloppy Firsts is an insightful, true-to-life look at Jessica’s predicament as she embarks on another year of teenage torment–from the dark days of Hope’s departure through her months as a type-A personality turned insomniac to her completely mixed-up feelings about Marcus Flutie, the intelligent and mysterious “Dreg” who works his way into her heart. Like a John Hughes for the twenty-first century, Megan McCafferty taps into the inherent humor and drama of the teen experience. This poignant, hilarious novel is sure to appeal to readers who are still going through it, as well as those who are grateful that they don’t have to go back and grow up all over again.
“There’s no reason this witty sequel, with an even more exhilarating and genuine take on teendom, shouldn’t reach the head of the class.”—Boston Herald
Jessica Darling is up in arms again in this much-anticipated, hilarious sequel to Sloppy Firsts. This time, the hyperobservant, angst-ridden teenager is going through the social and emotional ordeal of her senior year at Pineville High. Not only does the mysterious and oh-so-compelling Marcus Flutie continue to distract Jessica, but her best friend, Hope, still lives in another state, and she can’t seem to escape the clutches of the Clueless Crew, her annoying so-called friends. To top it off, Jessica’s parents won’t get off her butt about choosing a college, and her sister Bethany’s pregnancy is causing a big stir in the Darling household.
With keen intelligence, sardonic wit, and ingenious comedic timing, Megan McCafferty again re-creates the tumultuous world of today’s fast-moving and sophisticated teens. Fans of Sloppy Firsts will be reunited with their favorite characters and also introduced to the fresh new faces that have entered Jess’s life, including the hot creative writing teacher at her summer college prep program and her feisty, tell-it-like-it-is grandmother Gladdie. But most of all, readers will finally have the answers to all of their burgeoning questions, and then some: Will Jessica crack under the pressure of senioritis? Will her unresolved feelings for Marcus wreak havoc on her love life? Will Hope ever come back to Pineville? Fall in love with saucy, irreverent Jessica all over again in this wonderful sequel to a book that critics and readers alike hailed as the best high school novel in years.
“Smart and accomplished enough to delight all readers. Jessica’s an original, but her problems are universal…If you don’t see yourself in Jessica Darling, you’re not looking hard enough.”—Chicago Tribune
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, Hope.
But Jessica soon realizes that her bliss might not last. She lands an internship at a snarky Brooklyn-based magazine, but will she fit in with the überhip staff (and will she even want to)? As she and Marcus hit the rocks, will she end up falling for her GOPunk, neoconservative RA . . . or the hot (and married!) Spanish grad student she’s assisting on a summer project . . . or the oh-so-sensitive emo boy down the hall? Will she even make it through college now that her parents have cut her off financially? And what do the cryptic one-word postcards from Marcus really mean?
With hilarious insight, the hyperobservant Jessica Darling struggles through her college years—and the summers in between—while maintaining her usual mix of wit, cynicism, and candor.
“Acidly funny, imaginatively profane, and, above all, a sharp reflection of the what-to-do-now, post-college dilemma.”—Miami Herald
Is the real world ready for Jessica Darling?
At first it seems she’s living the New York City dream. She’s subletting an apartment with her best friend, working for a magazine that actually cares about her psychology degree, and still deeply in love with the charismatic Marcus Flutie.
But reality is more complicated than dreamy clichés.
When Marcus proposes—giving her only one week to answer—Jessica must decide if she’s ready to give up a world of late-night literary soirees, art openings, and downtown drunken karaoke to move back to New Jersey and be with the one man who’s gripped her heart for years. Jessica ponders this and other life choices with her signature snark and hyper-intense insight, making it the most tumultuous and memorable week of her twenty-something life.
“Required reading for anyone who has loved Jessica’s development from brainy, awkward teenager to successful, if still somewhat scattered, young woman.”—Miami Herald
Old flames are reignited in the fifth and final book in the New York Times bestselling Jessica Darling series.
Captivated readers have followed Jessica through every step and misstep: from her life as a tormented, tart-tongued teenager to her years as a college grad stumbling toward adulthood. Now a young professional in her mid-twenties, Jess is off to a Caribbean wedding. As she rushes to her gate at the airport, she literally runs into her former boyfriend, Marcus Flutie. It’s the first time she’s seen him since she reluctantly turned down his marriage proposal three years earlier–and emotions run high.
Marcus and Jessica have both changed dramatically, yet their connection feels as familiar as ever. Is their reunion just a fluke or has fate orchestrated this collision of their lives once again?
Told partly from Marcus’s point of view, Perfect Fifths finally lets readers inside the mind of the one person who’s both troubled and titillated Jessica Darling for years. Expect nothing less than the satisfying conclusion fans have been waiting for, one perfect in its imperfection. . . .
“Finally, McCafferty revisits Jersey girls Jessica and Hope, who were introduced in Sloppy Firsts and Second Helpings in ‘Fifteen Going On….’ Fans of those novels will appreciate this story, and will discover other delightful and different ones as well.” —School Library Journal
Dating! Drama! Driving!
Remember what it was like to be sixteen? Whether it was the year your teeth were finally free of braces or the year you were discovered by the opposite sex, that magical, mystical age is something you will never forget. Edited by Megan McCafferty, author of the runaway hit novels Sloppy Firsts and Second Helpings, Sixteen: Stories About That Sweet and Bitter Birthday is a compilation of short stories inspired by all the angst, melodrama, and wonderment of being sixteen.
Sarah Dessen’s “Infinity” is about a girl confronting two major milestones: getting her driver’s license and losing her virginity. The Dead Girls in Jacqueline Woodson’s “Nebraska 99” have already decided to “do it” and must now cope with being teenage mothers. And Carolyn Mackler’s “Mona Lisa, Jesus, Chad, and Me” explores whether friendship can survive when partying and prayer clash. Also included is a new Jessica Darling story by Megan McCafferty about the last fifteen minutes Jessica spends—or rather, doesn’t spend—with her best friend, Hope, who is leaving Pineville.
Featuring stories by Steve Almond, M. T. Anderson, Julianna Baggott, Cat Bauer, Emma Forrest, Tanuja Desai Hidier, David Levithan, Sarah Mlynowski, Sonya Sones, Zoe Trope, Ned Vizzini, and Joseph Weisberg, these hilarious, poignant, and touching tales are perfect for both those who have yet to reach that milestone and those who want to reminisce about their “sweetest” year.