Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Review: Second Helpings

Title: Second Helpings (Jessica Darling #2)
Author: Megan McCafferty
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Publication Date: April 22nd, 2003
Genre: YA, Realistic Fiction

This review will contain some spoilers pertaining to Sloppy Firsts, the first book in the series.

It’s the summer before senior year and Jessica Darling is at a special summer camp for gifted youth. Jess’ writing for the school paper earned her a place, but in all honesty she’s only attending to help herself forget about Marcus Flutie. While Jess still doesn’t think she is a writer (no matter what her teachers say) the summer has helped her make a major life decision about her future. To Jess, deciding which college to go to is the biggest decision she will make in her young life, and she has finally settled on Columbia. But when school starts again and the unthinkable happens on September 11th, Jess isn’t sure if New York is safe anymore. As Jess and everyone else tries to move on and go back to normal, Jess is surprised by how quickly that happens. The Clueless Two are the same as always, although Sara managed to lose some weight and Manda found an unlikely new boyfriend. And, surprisingly, the one person that Jess wants to forget seems to be trying to set her up with the new and improved Len Levi. As senior year comes to an end, Jess will have to decide what she wants for her future, and who she wants to spend it with.

The second book in the Jessica Darling series takes place from the summer of 2001 to Jess’ graduation in 2002. I am often wary of sequels, but there was no need for that with Second Helpings. I liked this book even better than the first. A semester has passed since Sloppy Firsts ended, and Jess is still not talking to Marcus Flutie. Let me just say, I love Hope. We learn that she was okay with Jessica lying to her and liking Marcus, and actually wants them together. She’s the character we see the least of, but I love her to death. I also love Bridget, a former member of the Clueless Crew. While at first we see Bridget as just an insecure and beautiful girl, but we get to see her as a real person in this book. It was also sad to see how much Scottie has changed since the beginning of Sloppy Firsts. Jess is pretty much the same as ever, although a bit more sex obsessed in this book. This book was a smoother read than the first book, and it never felt like it was dragging along, unlike Sloppy Firsts. There were a lot of fun additions to this book, such as Gladie. This book takes place during the 2001 school year, and 9/11 occurs early on in the book. Jess is shocked and terrified when she finds out what happens, but it is one of the rare times that she is speechless. It wasn’t as heart wrenching as it could have been, but this book was more emotional than the last. I do think that some things were predictable, such as the identity of the writer of Pineville Low, but I suppose it makes sense that Jess doesn’t catch onto these things at first because she is pretty self involved. I’m interested in how Jess will change in the third book and what her college life will be like. Overall, this was an entertaining and quick read full of fun and drama.


“You, yes, you, linger inside my heart, The same you who stopped us before we could start.”

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