JESSICA DARLING’S IT LIST #1 by Megan McCafferty Book Review
Series: Jessica Darling’s It List, #1
Publication Date: September 3rd 2013 by Poppy
Rating: – Poor |
Book Summary: Move over, Dork Diaries! Jessica Darling, star of Megan McCafferty’s bestselling Jessica Darling series for adults, is back in a hilarious new series perfect for tween (10 to 14) girls.
I hadn’t even gotten to homeroom yet and I’d already discovered five hard truths about junior high:
1. My best friend had turned pretty.
2. She didn’t know it yet.
3. It wouldn’t be long before she did.
4. That knowledge would change everything between us.
5. And there wasn’t a thing I could do about it.
It’s the first day of seventh grade. Is Jessica Darling doomed for dorkdom?
New York Times bestselling author Megan McCafferty’s hilarious series opener will have you laughing, cringing, and cheering for Jessica Darling as she learns that being herself beats being popular, pretty & perfect any day
Jessica Darling’s It List #1 by Megan McCafferty Book Review Overview:
- Jessica Darling’s It List #1 was just a big disappointment
- I never actually laughed out loud while reading, unfunny
- The book is a bummer but it made me want to reread Jessica Darling all over again
It really just pains me to say this, but Jessica Darling’s It List #1 was just a big disappointment.
You know, maybe if I hadn’t read the Jessica Darling series all those years ago, I probably would have liked this book. Jessica’s funny, I guess. I can see the similarities in her younger self in her older self – which is pretty important. But I never actually laughed out loud when it came to reading. Which is a total bummer because Megan McCafferty can totally make me laugh in her other books. I’m also not attributing this to “middle grade humor” because I’ve read other middle grade books that managed to make me laugh out loud (example: Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series). The fact that Jessica Darling’s It List was unfunny was extremely disappointing.
I guess it’s nice to see how the characters developed from their middle school days to their high school days… but was I the least bit curious about it before I read Jessica Darling’s It List? No, not at all. In fact, when I first found out about the series I just wanted to cringe. I’ve enjoyed Megan McCafferty’s other series (Bumped) so it felt a bit like a sell-out to me when I found out that she was doing a spin-off of Jessica Darling.
On the upside, the only two characters that I really enjoyed reading about were Hope and Marcus Flutie – yup, the Marcus Flutie. I guess they were the only normal characters that never talked in CONSTANT CAPITALS AND EXCLAMATIONS!!! — which could get pretty tiring.
The only good thing that came out of reading Jessica Darling’s It List is that it made me want to reread the whole Jessica Darling series all over again. I did not get the warm fuzzies with this book that I got when reading the Jessica Darling series. I wish that Jessica Darling’s It List was able to prove me wrong, but this is just another spin-off series that should not have happened.
About the Author
Megan McCafferty is the author of BUMPED, a satirical dystopian YA novel published by the Balzer + Bray imprint of HarperCollins. She also wrote the bestselling Jessica Darling series: SLOPPY FIRSTS, SECOND HELPINGS, CHARMED THIRDS, FOURTH COMINGS and PERFECT FIFTHS.
Megan edited a short story anthology called SIXTEEN: Stories About That Sweet and Bitter Birthday. She has contributed to several fiction and nonfiction anthologies including DEAR BULLY, MY LITTLE RED BOOK, DOES THIS BOOK MAKE ME LOOK FAT? and EVERYTHING I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT BEING A GIRL I LEARNED FROM JUDY BLUME. Her work has been translated into eleven languages, including German, Chinese and Hungarian.
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DARE YOU TO by Katie McGarry Book Review
Series: Pushing the Limits, #2
Publication Date: May 28th 2013 by Harlequin Teen
Rating: – Acceptable |
Book Summary: Ryan lowers his lips to my ear. “Dance with me, Beth.”
“No.” I whisper the reply. I hate him and I hate myself for wanting him to touch me again….
“I dare you…”
If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk’s home life, they’d send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom’s freedom and her own happiness. That’s how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn’t want her and going to a school that doesn’t understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn’t get her, but does….
Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can’t tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn’t be less interested in him.
But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won’t let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all….
Book Review Overview:
- Katie McGarry got me to care about Ryan and Beth’s problems
- The cover says it all: steamy romance, no insta-love
- Despite my initial misgivings, I ended up enjoying Dare You To
When I first started to read Dare You To by Katie McGarry, I just wanted to do eyeroll after eyeroll. I must have been craving a lot of diversity in my reading at the moment because I kept thinking to myself: #whitepeopleproblems. Basically, everyone in Groveton, KY sounds white… there’s a dash of minorities when the main character goes back to Louisville, but that’s about it. I just felt distanced from the main characters because of this.
But you know what? Katie McGarry actually got me to care about the main characters, Ryan and Beth, so that was a big check plus in my book. I was able to empathize with Ryan and Beth and their not so perfect life. I even felt myself getting teary-eyed at some parts. McGarry knows how to get readers at their heartstrings. They did have legitimate reasons to be a bit whiny about their problems, but after a while it did start getting repetitive.
In terms of the romance, the cover says it all. Katie McGarry knows how to write a good kissing scene, and afterwards, you’ll just want to find your own boy to make out with. Though there’s instant attraction between Beth and Ryan, there’s a build up to their relationship. It doesn’t feel like insta-love, even if you know very early on that the two characters are bound to get together.
Despite my initial dislike for the setting and characters, I ended up liking Dare You To by Katie McGarry – definitely enough to check out the rest of her books.
About the Author
KATIE MCGARRY was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, and reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.
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MARCO IMPOSSIBLE by Hannah Moskowitz Book Review
Publication Date: March 19th 2013 by Roaring Brook Press
Rating: – Acceptable |
Book Summary: Thirteen-year-old best friends Stephen and Marco attempt a go-for-broke heist to break into the high school prom and get Marco onstage to confess his love for (and hopefully steal the heart of) Benji, the adorable exchange student and bass player of the prom band. Of course, things don’t always go according to plan, and every heist comes with its fair share of hijinks.
Marco Impossible by Hannah Moskowitz Book Review Overview:
- Marco can be a bit overbearing by the end of the book
- The sibling relationships are a highlight of MARCO IMPOSSIBLE
- A speedy read with a satisfying ending
Stephen is going to help his best friend, Marco, break into the high school prom so that he can declare his love for Benji in MARCO IMPOSSIBLE by Hannah Moskowitz. The recent middle school graduates are going all for nothing with a crazy plan for a declaration of love. While Marco is figuring out the last minute plans for their heist, Stephen learns that someone may be out to get Marco – someone who is uncomfortable with the fact that Marco is gay. Stephen must help accomplish Marco’s plan while uncovering who might be behind all of the hate crimes.
I know that part of the point of this book is to hate Marco quite a bit. After all, it is Stephen who is our protagonist and we want him to finally step out from Marco’s shadow. I know Marco is being bullied and all, but I really hate how he takes it all out on Stephen. He can really be a brat sometimes. His character was starting to get overbearing towards the end, and it made relating to Stephen a lot easier.
What I love most about MARCO IMPOSSIBLE by Hannah Moskowitz is the endearing relationships between Stephen and all of his siblings. As the middle child, he has such different relationships with each of his five siblings. I love that even if they are all different, they clearly love each other. I thought that the sibling relationships in MARCO IMPOSSIBLE by Hannah Moskowitz were truly genuine.
MARCO IMPOSSIBLE by Hannah Moskowitz is a pretty speedy read with a satisfying ending. Despite my fallbacks with Marco, I’d still be willing to try other Hannah Moskowitz books. In fact, this one has just made me more curious about her young adult novels. I’d recommend this book to middle grade readers who love strong friendships and familial relationships.
About the Author
Hannah Moskowitz wrote her first story, about a kitten named Lilly on the run from cat hunters, for a contest when she was seven years old. She was disqualified for violence. Her first book, BREAK, was on the ALA’s 2010 list of Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults. She is a student at The University of Maryland.
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