The further adventures of Jessica Darling, she of the overly detailed journal.
The brainy and independent Jessica (Sloppy Firsts, not reviewed), author of this sequel’s journal entries, is one of the more endearing offspring of these post–Bridget Jones years. Jessica is in her senior year at Pineville High, just another horrible high school somewhere in New Jersey filled with all the usual cliques and adolescent idiocy. Jessica knows she should be getting her act together and not thinking about too-cute Marcus—who she almost lost her virginity to in the first Jessica novel—and how now he’s sleeping with every girl who looks his way. Her clueless “friends” embody a range of types. There’s Sara, a bubbly screamer who interjects “Omigod!” every three words; Bridget, a gorgeous but insecure blond who says “like” every three words (see the difference); Manda, who spouts pop-feminist babble when she’s not snaking other girl’s boyfriends; and so on. Jessica misses her best friend, Hope, who moved away, and she has to find out who’s behind the “Pineville Low” gossip e-mail that’s been making snooty comments about her virginal status. Then comes Len, a terminal geek who’s now devastatingly cute and seems to like her. Although one has to get past all the CAPITALIZING and EXCITING DEVELOPMENTS!!! (this is an adolescent’s journal, after all), Jessica’s less-than-earth-shattering life (What college will accept her? Will Len kiss her? What’s Marcus up to?) are tossed across the page with breezy bravado. Cosmo and Glamour writer McCafferty has the post-’90s teenage mindset down to a tee and can reference trash culture with the best of them, but problems arise when she ventures beyond the stereotype.
Sassy and packed with more plot twists than a Real World marathon: likely to be snapped up eagerly by teen and preteen McCafferty fans.