by Megan McCafferty
Summery: “My parents suck ass. Banning me from the phone and restricting my computer privileges are the most tyrannical parental gestures I can think of. Don’t they realize that Hope’s the only one who keeps me sane? . . . I don’t see how things could get any worse.”
When her best friend, Hope Weaver, moves away from Pineville, New Jersey, hyperobservant sixteen-year-old Jessica Darling is devastated. A fish out of water at school and a stranger at home, Jessica feels more lost than ever now that the only person with whom she could really communicate has gone.
How is she supposed to deal with the boy- and shopping-crazy girls at school, her dad’s obsession with her track meets, her mother salivating over big sister Bethany’s lavish wedding, and her nonexistent love life?
I loathe the cover of this book. I think the title is awful. And those two points are important to mention because once again, it proved I was a total idiot to allow a title or cover (in this case, both) to make me avoid reading a book for so long. Something about the title/cover just put me off reading the book, they just gave the complete wrong impression of the book.
I was expecting something... trashy/cliche to be honest, based on the cover/title -- just your typical chick lit story set in high school with friend drama and boy drama and some attempts at being deeper that don't quite manage it. Jeez, even the characters name, "Jessica Darling", made it seem like that sort of book. Now, while it was chick lit-y, it was just... more. More than I was expecting. The book is brilliant and I so wish I had read it years ago and got to grow up with the character.
I could relate to Jessica in so many ways and I know that pretty much every girl will be able to relate to her as well in some way. She was really realistic, she was far from perfect, not always likable but she was always very real. (And, it's one of those YA books that actually has parents who are present and... parental. That's been kind of lacking in the books I've been reading recently.)
And Marcus, well... I will admit, he did play a big part in how much I loved the book (even though I wouldn't even consider this book a romance, just a book that happens to have romance in it because... well, life has romance in it). He was exactly the type of guy that I end up falling for in real life (well, one of the types -- I also have a thing for nerdy guys but that's a whole different story). The guy who maybe isn't the best one for you, maybe he's made mistakes and your parents would throw a fit if they knew who he really was... but there's just something there, that spark of something that you can't help but be intrigued by and find yourself craving. Marcus was my favourite character. He wasn't perfect, he was never portrayed as the perfect guy and I like that, again, it's realistic.
This was another one of those books that ended up filled with little paper place holders to keep track of pages with quotes I liked on them (quotes which I then proceeded to spam all over my tumblr blog, I liked them that much).
When I was finished the book, the little voice in my head did one of those over dramatic, slow motion, "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" screams, because I couldn't believe that it ended there. It ended there and I did not have the next book to immediately start reading. I huffed. I pouted. I sulked. I glared at the book for leaving me hanging... and then I switched on Margo (my laptop) and ordered the next two books off of Amazon. If they arrive tomorrow or Saturday, I swear I will cry happy tears.
I hope I've learned my lesson this time about not judging a book by it's cover, old habits die hard but if books like this keep proving my silly judgements wrong then maybe someday I'll break the habit. Although, I totally hope that the series gets a complete cover redesign anyway and is released in a lovely new boxed set so that the covers will match the awesomeness of the books. Seriously, if they had taken the Sarah Dessen or Elizabeth Scott or Susane Colasanti or Simone Elkeles cover route then I would've read the book as soon as I got it.
I... can't believe I spent so much of this review ranting about how awful I think the covers are. But really, the book is brilliant and if you haven't read it already then give it a chance (especially if the cover/title has been putting you off like it did with me, it'll prove you wrong).