Jessica Darling is back for a second funny and fluffy try at navigating the perils of seventh grade (Jessica Darling’s It List 1, 2013).
Her popular but ever-so-shallow older sister has provided a second short list—easy to misinterpret, it turns out—of pithy advice that is supposed to help Jessica identify true friends, foes and faux friends. Seventh grade offers a large collection of all of these. Her now-popular BFF Bridget has joined forces with their friend Dori, effectively excluding Jessica from their former threesome. Worse yet, Dori’s sure Jessica is making a play for her new boyfriend, Scotty. And Sara and Manda are sure to capitalize on any potential opening into the world of popularity, unconcerned, or perhaps even enjoying it, if Jessica becomes their hapless victim. Hope could be a friend; she’s hard to read. And then there are the boys: Both Scotty and Aleck may just have a thing for Jessica. The disastrous slumber party Jessica is cornered into hosting and her exclusion from two sets of group Halloween costumes worn by friends—or faux friends?—are so purely junior high behavior that if it weren’t all presented with ample humor, it might just be tragic.
McCafferty knows her way around this age group; her depictions are pitch-perfect and will loudly resonate with girls facing their own friends and foes. (Fiction. 11-14)