Saturday, September 15, 2012

Review: Charmed Thirds by Megan McCafferty

Title: Charmed Thirds
Author: Megan McCafferty
Published: April 11th 2006
Source: Purchased
Genre: Young Adult/New Adult
Buy: Amazon ~*~ Barnes & Noble
Add to your Goodreads shelf
Caution: WILL contain spoilers

Jessica Darling’s in college!

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 ├╝berhip 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.

~synopsis from Goodreads

My Thoughts:

I am a huge Jessica Darling fan. In Sloppy Firsts and Second Helpings, I was introduced to his amazingly hilarious girl with… a lot of drama going on. I remember when Charmed Thirds came out and the excitement I had to read it since I loved the first two books. For some reason, I didn’t enjoy it much back then. I liked it, but it didn’t give me the same feeling as before. This time around, it was a lot better. I don’t know if it was because I am older now, or maybe I’m viewing it in a different perspective, but it was good.

I think my main issue with the story was our protagonist. Jessica is very frustrating, she sort of loses a bit of her loveable angst. There were times she was still very much like the Jessica I remember and adored, but she kept doing a lot of super off the wall things. These things, while crazy, make a lot more sense reading with new eyes. She grows a lot in her perspective on life, on money, on family, on college, on love. Sure, she makes some poor choices, but they were mistakes she had to make. She had to learn.

Another reason why I was a bit annoyed with the book before was the whole Marcus is away and they aren’t together part. I can see now how important that was to the story. It may have proven to be a frustration to Jessica, but neither one of them could become who they needed to be without the time apart.

One thing I thoroughly appreciated more was the pointing out of the little things. There were a couple of instances where Jessica had said or done something in the first two books that tied into the third. I won’t specify what, but essentially the key point was that there are times when we can create a positive impact on somebody’s life without realizing it. And that impact is caused by just a few words or a small action, and we may never have contact with the person ever again. But it still happens. It showed me the importance of the little things we do, how one word can help somebody else move mountains. It’s pretty remarkable.

There’s so much going on in Charmed Thirds, it’s hard to narrow down a story. It’s Jessica’s journey. A five book journey. A great journey. Megan McCafferty has a great ability to tap into human feeling and senses of humor untouched by a lot of authors. While the third book isn’t my favorite, it does mean a lot more to me now than it used to. So I am very glad I’m rereading the series. Long live Jessica Darling in all her hilarious awesomeness!


My Rating:

Very Good: Stay up late

12 comments:

  1. Sigh, it looks like another series I need to read. I'm glad it improved the second time around. I love when that happens.

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    1. I'd like to say that it would have appeal to Kody Keplinger fans. ;) I was so glad I liked it more this time, I wasn't sure I would!

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  2. I can't read your review because I still need to read books 1 and 2 (which a superfantasmically amazing friend sent me as a gift and I STILL haven't read, for shame). BUT when the time comes, I will come back and read your review, I promise lol

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    1. No worries! You should put the first book next in line. Then when you read it, you'll have to read the second one because it's awesome. :D

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  3. I love the Jessica Darling series! Jessica definitely frustrated me a bit in this book but I still loved the book. Great review!

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    1. Yay! And I am so glad to see I wasn't the only one frustrated. Thanks! :D

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  4. Wow, another New Adult book...I actually didn't know the book was a series until I started reading your review (yes, the "third" in the title didn't tip me off). Looks like a good contemporary series to add to my wishlist, and now I have approximately 400 books on that list...LOL

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    1. Lol. I probably should specify somewhere that it is part of a series in my reviews. It is a good series. I think my list is at least as long too! ;)

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  5. This series sounds so cute. I can totally see why this one would have been your least favorite. Sometimes when our favorite book characters get older they go through changes we aren't fond of even though it's realistic. It takes me a while to warm up to change in characters I love as well. I'm glad you ended up deciding that you like the story more.

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    1. It is cute. :) You're absolutely right--seeing characters change can be irritating, but we have to realize that it does make sense in the end. I'm glad I did too! :D

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  6. I've read the first two Jessica Darling books and loved them, but I kind of stalled on reading this one because I heard lots of readers weren't happy with the way Jessica changed (the first 2 books also work really well as a two-part story, with Jessica getting together with Marcus and graduating high school, so if you wanted to leave it there, you could). Knowing that you liked it better with new, older eyes, makes me feel more positive about reading more. I'm pretty old, too, after all and should be able to handle change in characters!

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    1. That's so right, the story could end at the two books and it would be fine. I think people loved Jessica Darling so much they wanted more books. I'm glad I've convinced you to check it out! I still need to finish the next two books so I can see exactly where it ends. But I think the first two books will always remain forever perfect as they are. :)

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