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Jessica Darling's It List #1JESSICA 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 McCaffertyMegan 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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Permalink Permalink Category Book Review, Two Stars - , , , , , , , | Words 867 words

You are here: Home » Genre: Humor

Anatomy of a Boyfriend by Daria SnadowskyANATOMY OF A BOYFRIEND by Daria Snadowsky Book Review
Series: Anatomy, #1
Publication Date: January 9th 2007 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Rating: – Exceeds Expectations |

Book Summary: Before this all happened, the closest I’d ever come to getting physical with a guy was playing the board game Operation. Okay, so maybe that sounds pathetic, but it’s not like there were any guys at my high school who I cared to share more than three words with, let alone my body.

Then I met Wes, a track star senior from across town. Maybe it was his soulful blue eyes, or maybe my hormones just started raging. Either way, I was hooked. And after a while, he was too. I couldn’t believe how intense my feelings became, or the fact that I was seeing—and touching—parts of the body I’d only read about in my Gray’s Anatomy textbook. You could say Wes and I experienced a lot of firsts together that spring. It was scary. It was fun. It was love.

And then came the fall.

Book Review Overview:

  • Humor makes up for the plot’s predictability
  • A laugh-out-loud story about a girl’s sexual exploration and first love

I’m not going to lie, the beginning, middle, and end of ANATOMY OF A BOYFRIEND by Daria Snadowsky is completely predictable. It’s not the kind of book that will keep you on the edge of your seat. But it doesn’t matter… because that’s not why you would read this book.

If you’re familiar with contemporary YA, the plot of ANATOMY OF A BOYFRIEND by Daria Snadowsky will not come across as a shock. Before Dom met Wes at her best friend’s track meet, all she ever cared about was studying and getting into med school. Next thing she knows, she’s falling in love with a track star and she’s getting first hand experience on the male anatomy. Up until Wes, her only experience with male parts were from playing Operation and reading Gray’s Anatomy. ANATOMY OF A BOYFRIEND explores Dom’s first love during her senior year in high school and first year of college. There aren’t any plot twists in ANATOMY OF A BOYFRIEND. I was pretty much able to guess beginning to end, but that didn’t really bother me because the book makes up for it in humor.

ANATOMY OF A BOYFRIEND tackles the serious issue of a girl’s first exploration of her sexuality but with a great helping of humor. Snadowsky covers a lot of questions girls may have about sex and the male anatomy in the novel. She never sugar-coats anything so don’t expect candles and rose petals. Dom’s experiences are messy and awkward which makes for a laugh out loud and very realisitc read.

ANATOMY OF A BOYFRIEND by Daria Snadowsky is a book I wish I had read in high school. I’m so happy to hear that a companion novel, Anatomy of a Single Girl, released earlier this year because Dom’s exploration of her sexuality has only just begun. I’m looking forward to another laugh out loud read.


About the Author

Daria Snadowsky is the author of the novels “Anatomy of a Boyfriend” and “Anatomy of a Single Girl.” She also contributed the essay “To Sir Anthony, With Love,” to the anthology “Crush: 26 Real-life Tales of First Love.”

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Permalink Permalink Category Book Review, Four Stars - , , , , , , , , | Words 871 words

You are here: Home » Genre: Humor

Scary SchoolSCARY SCHOOL by Derek the Ghost Book Review
Series: Scary School, #1
Publication Date: June 21st 2011 by HarperCollins
Rating: – Acceptable |

Book Summary: You think your school’s scary?

Get a load of these teachers:

“Ms. Fang,” an 850-year-old vampire
“Dr. Dragonbreath,” who just might eat you before recess
“Mr. Snakeskin”–science class is so much more fun when it’s taught by someone who’s half zombie
“Mrs. T”–break the rules and spend your detention with a hungry “Tyrannosaurus rex”


Gargoyles, goblins, and Frankenstein’s monster on the loose
The world’s most frighteningly delicious school lunch


The narrator’s an eleven-year-old ghost

Join Charles “New Kid” Nukid as he makes some very Scary friends–including Petunia, Johnny, and Peter the Wolf–and figures out that Scary School can be just as funny as it is spooky

Scary School by Derek the Ghost Book Review Overview:

  • A fun (and totally not too scary) book for young early chapter book readers
  • Loved seeing the various characters illustrated in each chapter
  • Reminded me of Louis Sachar’s Wayside School series

SCARY SCHOOL by Derek the Ghost is not my typical read. I usually don’t read this young, but I decided to give it a shot because his email pitch was so convincing and his website is so awesome. I have a younger sibling and a bunch of younger cousins so I wanted to give this book a shot and see if it was something that they might end up liking.

SCARY SCHOOL by Derek the Ghost had me feeling a little nostalgic. It reminded me of Louis Sachar’s Sideway Stories from Wayside School series – which i had read while growing up. Scary School is not your ordinary school. There’s a giant T-rex on the school faculty and a one-fanged teacher who teaches monster math… Dying is a daily occurrence – but don’t worry, you’ll probably end up coming back as a ghost. Each chapter focuses on a different character and by the end of the book, readers will have met a colorful (and frightening) variety of students, teachers, and faculty monsters – I mean, members.

I was afraid that I would be a little too old to get the jokes and the silly antics in the book, but I admit that I did end up laughing out loud a few times. I can only imagine just how funny this book would be to a younger audience. The playful illustrations only added to the fun. It was great seeing the different whacky characters illustrated in each chapter.

Overall, SCARY SCHOOL is a fun refreshing first in a chapter book series by Derek the Ghost. If Hogwarts and the Wayside School were somehow able to make a baby, Scary School is what you’ll get.

About the Author

Derek the GhostDerek is an eleven-year-old ghost who haunts the classrooms and hallways of Scary School, writing down all the spine-tingling often hilarious things that go on there. Despite his ghostly state, Derek still enjoys reading comic books and hopes to one day become a master ninja. If that doesn’t work out, he will continue to share the fun of this very special, very secret school, so all kids can experience the scariest school on earth. Derek the Ghost communicates through the first-time ghost whisperer Derek Taylor Kent, who is a writer and performer in Los Angeles, California.

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Website | Twitter | GoodReads

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Permalink Permalink Category Book Review, Three Stars - , , , , , | Words 877 words

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- Diana Gabaldon, Dragonfly in Amber

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