Sloppy Firsts: A Jessica Darling Novel (Jessica Darling Novels) (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

SLOPPY FIRSTS, a book about friendship, family, and how damn confusing high school can be, will both break and warm your heart in equal measure. Jessica Darling tries to be smart around dumb friends, tries to get out of New Jersey, tries to figure out Marcus Flutie (the perfect book boyfriend), tries to get by after her best friend moves away, tries to convince her dad that she just isn’t into running... This is a book about trying to do all the things: high school in its simplest form. In case you aren’t convinced yet, I’ve pinpointed why you, yes, you, must pick up this book immediately:


If you are a teenager: Megan McCafferty gets you. She just does! Jessica Darling is a smart, funny nonconformist, who stands out in a world full of books about smart, funny nonconformists. This book is effortlessly cool and doesn’t resort to “hip teen talk” to be relatable.


If you are in your twenties: Jessica grew up with you. This book was published in 2001, and there are just enough pop culture references to make you nostalgic without feeling dated. The series also follows Jessica into her twenties, so you’ll see her make lots of college mistakes and give her particular brand of sarcastic wisdom to the mayhem that inevitably accompanies all quarterlife crises.


If you are a parent or actual adult: Do you want to get inside the mind of your teenager or young adult? Did you love high school and want to relive the politics, the snark, and the lame summer jobs? Or, did you hate high school and want a friend with whom to commiserate about the politics, the snark, and the lame summer jobs? Check, check, and check.

— From Mary-Catherine Kids Books Recommendations


The first book in the New York Times bestselling Jessica Darling series

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?

A fresh, funny, utterly compelling novel, Sloppy Firsts is an insightful, true-to-life look at Jessica's predicament as she embarks on another year of teenage torment. From the dark days of Hope's departure through her months as a type-A personality turned insomniac to her completely mixed-up feelings about Marcus Flutie, the intelligent and mysterious "Dreg" who works his way into her heart, this poignant, hilarious novel is sure to appeal to readers who are still going through it, as well as those who are grateful that they don't have to go back and grow up all over again.

"A hilarious trip down memory lane. You'll laugh out loud-and cringe-as this first novel by McCafferty takes you back to the soap opera that was high school."--Glamour.

About the Author

Megan McCafferty is a New York Times bestselling author of several novels. Best known for her Jessica Darling series, she was senior articles editor at Cosmopolitan and has written for Glamour, CosmoGirl!, YM, Maxim, Details, and other top magazines. She also wrote an ongoing serial from Hope's point of view on She lives in New Jersey.

Praise For…

“Such a sharp, funny, poignant heroine, with an inner world we can all relate to. I love it.”—Sophie Kinsella, author of Confessions of a Shopaholic

Sloppy Firsts captures, in spare, truthful prose, the exquisite pain and ecstasy of being besotted by your best friend. The reader may flinch, but Megan McCafferty never does.”
—Emma Forrest, author of Namedropper

Sloppy Firsts is a spirited, down-the-rabbit-hole adventure in the madcap subculture of high school. With remarkable insight, tenderness, and wit, Megan McCafferty offers us a compassionate, clear-eyed tale of how a sassy young woman survives teenage-hood.”
—Laurie Fox, author of My Sister from the Black Lagoon

“Sloppy Firsts perfectly captures the turbulent roller-coaster ride that is being a teenager. This is an (at times) intimate, painfully honest peek at a girl’s coming of age. Getting to know Jessica was like meeting a new best friend. I miss her already.”
—Atoosa Rubenstein, editor in chief of CosmoGirl!

Product Details
ISBN: 9780609807903
ISBN-10: 0609807900
Publisher: Broadway Books
Publication Date: August 28th, 2001
Pages: 304
Language: English
Series: Jessica Darling Novels (Paperback)