This is the second installment in the series centering around the growing pains of Jessica Darling. This book may be even better than the first one. As before there is plenty of angst as she finishes high school in New Jersey, and grapples with feelings towards a boy she thinks she should hate, while trying to decide what college to go to. Often minor characters in this book seem one-dimensional, but as soon as you think you have them figured out, they surprise you with some depth, which makes the story more realistic and is an important lesson to Jessica about her assumptions about people. All I can say is: I'm so glad I'm finished with being a teenager!
The year 2000 ended on a mixed note for Jessica. She got her period back and renewed her long-distance friendship with best friend Hope, sure, but she lost her close friendship with Marcus Flutie, the boy who broke her heart. Picking up in the summer before her senior year, Jessica attends a summer writing program with stereotypically goth/emo writers and decides to attend Columbia University. However, her parents won't let her go anywhere near the Big Apple, and September 11 also affects her decision.
Meanwhile, Jessica's trying to be a good girlfriend to Len Levy, her rival for valedictorian and Marcus Flutie's best friend. Which means that He Whose Name Shall Not Be Mentioned is around. A lot. And still sending mixed messages. On top of that, Marcus works at the "old fogues" home where Jessica's grandmother, the spirited and beloved Gladdie, lives. Will Jessica be able to experience some semblance of a happy ending to her high school years?
As with the previous book in the series, SECOND HELPINGS is a deliciously funny account of high school. Adults will be glad they don't have to go through the ordeal again, while high schoolers will want Jessica as their best friend. Megan McCafferty's books are well on their way to immortalization.
one of my absolute favorite books *ever*. not only is jessica's outlook on life poignant and witty, it makes you ache for the days when school dances were the most important, life-changing events and friendships were forever. always honest, always funny, and utterly, ridiculously romantic - you will fall in love with marcus just as much as you do with jessica. i have lost count of how many times i have read this book, and am eagerly awaiting the third installment in this series.
In SLOPPY FIRSTS, Jessica Darling dealt with adjusting to life without her best friend, Hope, having feelings for the school rebel, Marcus, and finding who she really is as a person. You know, typical teenager stuff.
In the sequel to SLOPPY FIRSTS, SECOND HELPINGS, Jess finds herself dealing with even more problems as she starts her senior year of high school. After spending the summer at SPECIAL, a summer writing camp for (you guessed it) special high school students, Jess decides that she wants to 1). become a writer and 2). attend the prestigious Columbia University in New York City.
The only problem is that she now has the tough job of convincing her parents.
With Len Levy, her brilliant competition for Valedictorian, crushing on her, and her determination to get over Marcus with only the help of her blonde Barbie doll neighbor, Bridget, Jess gets more than she bargains for as she struggles to plan her future and rediscover her past.
In my opinion, SECOND HELPINGS is even better than the terrific prequel SLOPPY FIRSTS. Through her shocking and entertaining observations about everything from her high school peers to "hot" writing instructors, readers identify with Jess's plights as she tries to reach her dream of getting out of New Jersey suburbia. Another touching book, another realistic story, another fantastic read from Megan McCafferty.
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 INTRODUCES 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 ANSWER 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, IRREVERANT 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.
Sal W. reviewed Second Helpings (Jessica Darling, Bk 2) on
I loved the first book, but this was seemed chock full of Urban Dictionary filler, and after ignoring The One Who Will Not Be Mentioned for most of it, had a sudden rather unrealistic ending that felt tacked on and glossed over.
I gave this book to my older teen but will definitely wait to give it to my younger teen. I loved this book and several times just burst out laughing. I really felt for Jessica and her high school troubles.