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“Megan McCafferty rocks! Her sharp wit and keen satirical eye make her books automatic must-reads.” —Meg Cabot, author of the Princess Diaries series and Size 12 Is Not Fat
“McCafferty captures the college years with incredible grace and insight. Charmed Thirds is a wondrous, heroically honest trip back to a time when you were two-thirds done becoming yourself, and tumbling head over heels the rest of the way.” —Joseph Weisberg, author of 10th Grade
“Megan McCafferty’s series about Jessica Darling (in college now) has only improved with age. Charmed Thirds is funny, smart, and irresistible.” —Valerie Frankel, author of The Accidental Virgin and Fringe Girl
“Megan McCafferty puts Jessica Darling through college in Charmed Thirds, and in the process turns her from a tart-tongued New Jersey high school philosopher into a heart-wrenching representation of all things uncertain. If she’s not careful, she might end up with a heroine for our times.” —Ned Vizzini, author of Be More Chill and It’s Kind of a Funny Story
"Sloppy Firsts, Second Helpings and now Charmed Thirds may be about a young woman's amusing and rocky journey to adulthood, but they are smart and accomplished enough to delight all readers. Jessica's an original, but her problems are universal, and McCafferty is formidably adept at channeling her self-deprecating, wise-guy voice. If you don't see yourself in Jessica Darling, you're not looking hard enough"
- Chicago Tribune
"It's Jessica, her wit and, especially, her utterly droll take on life, that draws readers (fans of the series include adult women as well as teens) into McCafferty's books. Entirely too smart for her own good, Jessica offers brilliant and cutting insights into the world of the adolescent about-to-be-a-woman"
- Chicago Sun Times
From the Hardcover edition.
I keep rereading Marcus's latest haiku, printed out precisely for this purpose. How did he come up with Poetry Spam? Where did he get the idea to turn his junk e-mail into poems? I marvel at his talent for revealing the hidden beauty in ordinary things.
I miss him and I know he misses me, too.
There's nowhere to sit in Port Authority unless you buy something. I got booted from Au Bon Pain because I stupidly disposed of my $4 shot glass of orange juice. The eagle-eyed Garbage Guard informed me that I was no longer allowed to occupy one of the umbrellaed tables. I left, dejected and dehydrated.
I'm now at Timothy's World Coffee, where there are no open indoor umbrellas to bring me bad luck. I'm sitting on a stool, breaking in my new journal, trying to take teeny-tiny sips from my overpriced bottle of Poland Spring water just so I can preserve my right to be here. I'm broke, and there aren't any water fountains for free, germ-ridden refills.
This is bad because I can chug gallons at a time. Accutane sucks every drop of moisture out of my body. I am one large flake of dandruff. The corners of my mouth are split open and bleeding, and I have to spread Carmex beyond my lip line, which makes me look like I've spent the morning sucking on a stick of butter. I hope that by the time I see Marcus my lips won't be so crusty/greasy.
Sahara skin and lips are just two of Accutane's side effects. According to the information booklet, I should be alert for any of the following:
• diarrhea, rectal bleeding
• severe headaches
• nausea, vomiting
• changes in mood
Well, if suffering from diarrhea, rectal bleeding, severe headaches, nausea, and vomiting doesn't swing your mood in some direction, nothing will. Because my mood crests and crashes just fine on its own, I went on Accutane only at my mother's insistence. As a firm supporter of any and all advancements in the cosmetic sciences, she believes that not providing one's child with flawless skin is akin to child abuse. Accutane cured Len Levy, who was covered in pissed-off, purple pustules back in high school, so it should work for me. My acne isn't nearly as allover and angry as his was, but I have to agree with my mother when she points out how my complexion is never completely clear. I always seem to have one knotty cyst somewhere on my face, and when it goes away, another takes its place. One after the other after the other.
My daily dose of Accutane is the standard prescription for a person twice my weight. Three squishy yellow pills. This is my third cycle of the drug--the first two times didn't work--and I feel strangely proud when my doctor says that in twenty-five years of practicing dermatology, he has never seen such resilient zits. I'm a medical freak of nature.
I'd like to think that Marcus would call me unique.
Dr. Rosen also says my condition is stress related. No surprise there. Two weeks ago, I wrote four term papers and filled nine blue books over the course of five exams. In the midst of finals, I impulsively (and stupidly) chopped off my ponytail to get rid of my elastic band scalp-ache. The fix-it-up Supercut was supposed to give me a short geek-chic bob with bangs, kind of like Jordan in Real Genius. But with my hair's trademark flyaway frizziness, I look more like Mitch. The only upside to this coiftastrophe is that in my state of scalp-ache-free concentration, I nailed a 3.85 GPA for the semester, which will make my parents happy, though only temporarily so. While my stellar grades help better my chances of postgraduation financial solvency, they do little to relieve my current money troubles. My parents give me minimal fiscal assistance because, in their own words, I made the choice to go into debt by selecting Columbia over my full scholarship to Piedmont. I still stand by my choice, though less passionately now that I have a much better idea of how long it will take to pay Sallie Mae the $100,000 I'll owe for my BA by the time I graduate. Not to mention the cost of the MA and PhD I'll have to get if I want my undergraduate psychology degree to be worth anything at all. I've only got about half a semester's worth of my grandmother's inheritance left and zero summer moneymaking prospects because no well-paying employer is willing to hire me, train me, then let me leave for the entire month of July for my incredible, albeit totally unpaid internship at True magazine. During my salary-free servitude, I'll be staying in New York with my sister, Bethany (with whom I have nothing but DNA in common); her husband, G-Money (who has earned his nickname through gaining and losing millions on the stock market, yet still having enough spare scratch to buy into a local frozen custard and donut franchise in the hope of taking it national); and my niece, Marin (who is very cute, but has projectile-pooping issues), enduring yet another separation from a boyfriend I haven't seen or touched for six months, one who lives down the hall from a nudist Buddhist (Nuddhist?) named Butterfly who thinks clothing is oppressive and can't understand why people think nakedness always has to be sexual . . .
So. Stress? Naaaaaaaaah.
Sitting in the booth in front of me is a cutesy young couple still in the honeymoon phase of their relationship. Or they're lovers recently reunited. They're annoying to everyone who isn't them and haven't stopped pecking each others' faces since they sat down. Back and forth and back and forth across the booth, peck and peck. I prefer juicy tongues to these passionless kisses that are as dry as my needy lips.
I just tried Marcus on my cell. Topher, one of his "cottage-mates," told me he was out "cleansing." He told me this the way other roommates at other schools would say someone is out getting shitfaced. Marcus's world is so foreign to me that I can't help but feel that the person who inhabits it is a stranger. I love when I reach Marcus on the phone and as he says hello, I can hear the music he's listening to in the background. That music is the sound of him without me. How he surrounds himself when I'm not there, which is almost all the time.
And will be for three more years.
From the Hardcover edition.
Posted June 4, 2006
I LOVED the first two books in the Jessica Darling series. But this was terrible. It was so boring I found myself flipping the pages. And when Jessica became kinda permiscous and blew everything with Marcus I wanted to die. I wish there were guys out there like marcus and he was this dream guy who i myself had fallen for. The ending was good though. I recommend you read it but it can get very confusing.
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Posted April 13, 2006
Personally, I think the author should have just stopped after Second Helpings. And rumor has it that she's now considering doing a 4th book. Readers be aware that the Jessica in this 3rd edition is not the same Jessica from the first 2 series. The whole thing was disappointing. Hope is nearly non-existant in the book and Jessica seems to midly dislike her college years. Also, I think the whole cramming of 3 college years into one book does not help the book or the story. And worst of all, the relationship between Marcus and Jessica is probably the most disappointing thing in the book!! I suppose its unrealistic for them to stay together for 3 years but Marcus and even Jessica's actions in the book just make no sense and seem so uncharacterstic of them. It just seems a waste to have spent the first 2 books developing their relationship with them only to have it end up being so flat and very disappointing in the third book. Stick with the first 2.
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Posted November 27, 2013
This review cannot even express the sensation of perfect contentment I felt while being invited to stay in the wondrous world of Jessica Darling, queen of sarcasm and protagonist extraordinaire.
In her five-book series Megan McCafferty allows us to follow Jessica on her way from being a teenager to a young woman, with all the responsibilities and decisions awaiting her in future. It was great to witness everything going on in her life over such a long span of time. I didn't want to miss one single of her thoughts. Because even though I am not a teenager anymore, it felt so good to read on page what makes these years so angstful and exciting at the same time.
Every character contributes to the masterpiece of fun and hilarity -without ever forgetting that there's also the serious side of life- the Jessica Darling series stands for. I loved them all! Marcus Flutie, Jessica of course, her best friend Hope, the parents, her sister and her niece, to name only a few.
Marcus Flutie is the main love interest and an extreme case of changeability. It's obvious that he hasn't found his place in life yet, always restless, always changing his mind and his heart about his future, his goals and even Jessica. I'd subtitle this series 'The metamorphosis of Marcus Flutie'. Alternative and surely not mainstream, he always seems to be on an experimental trip. We don't get him more often than we do, but when we connect, it's in all the right ways.
Jessica is witty and her humour is the best. I laughed, I cried. I can’t believe how she always said and thought exactly what I was thinking. I wish I read this series much sooner. A revelation to every young adult reader!
Jessica and Marcus make mistakes, get together, seperate again. Life comes in the way, wrong decisions play a part. It's just too much to point out every turn their relationship or lives make. There are so many scenes that need to be all time favourites! You. Yes. You. Marcus Flutie you stole my heart.
The first two books SLOPPY FIRSTS and SECOND HELPINGS are about Jessica's time in high school. CHARMED THIRDS covers her years in college, from 2003 to 2005.
We are very lucky, because Jessica is keeping a diary. And the writing is as appealing as it is, because the story is written in the style of numerous diary entries. It has a very personal character and feels like we are just inside her head, going through everything she experiences and feeling as much love for Marcus Flutie as she does. Her writing is changing over the course of the series, especially in the fourth book, which is great, because it's a fab way to express change in her person or her ways of thinking.
This series is a guide for all young, sarcastic, lovable and insecure girls out there! Megan McCafferty, I thank you for all the hours of laughter and tears your novels brought into my house. You are a marvelous writer and I'm expecting to see many more books of you on my favourite shelves in the near future. I hope that we can find a version of that incredibly admirable and lovely Jessica Darling in all of us.
5/5 ***** JESSICA DARLING series - Clever, romantic, sarcastic & so much more. YA at its best!
SLOPPY FIRSTS recently had its 12th anniversary. Unbelieveable, but true. This series is in no way inferior to contemporary YA relatives in its originialty or actuality. This is a series that needs to be handed down to your kids, they will surely love to read about that Jessica Darling when they are growing up. And for everyone who hasn't read this series, I suggest you catch up on it now. It doesn't matter if you are 13 or 30, you will get and love it!
Posted February 16, 2010
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Posted July 27, 2009
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I would call the Jessica Darling series my guilty pleasure series but it's not all that guilty. There's wonderfully fluffy parts and then there are parts that make me want to go running to my mother and cry for hours.<br>
Something like this:
Jane was right about one thing: Marcus's T-shirts were a schtick. But so is everything we do when we exercis the free will that Kieran held so dear. And we're all guilty. We convince ourselves that these choices declare WHO WE ARE to whe world, and we hope that others - or just one person - will see these on-the-surface signs and somehow, suddenly understand WHO WE ARE down to the depths of our souls. But the cruel reality is that these choices serve a different purpose altogether. They act as cheery distractions from the only tragic Truth-with-a-capital-T that matters: We all die alone.<br>
I think the thing that's most provocative about Jessica Darling is how much she seems like me. Everything she does, everything people tell her, every experience that she goes through resonates with me. And I think that's one of the most amazing things about these books. Because I know that I'm not the only one who sees a bit of myself in her. I think every reader does. She's a universal kind of gal. Everyone wishes they were Jessica Darling.<br>
One of the things that still bugs me about this series though is how much I didn't like the first book. It just doesn't make any sense how the two next books could be so awesome. Maybe I just wasn't in the mindset of the books when I read that one. Because they do require a certain mindset - a type of mentality. Maybe it really was amazing but I didn't get anything out of it because I was too busy being cynical and teenager-y. I don't know. I guess all that matters is that I'm with it now. And I'm loving that I'm with it.<br>
This third book had a different tone than the previous two. Sloppy Firsts and Second Helpings took place in high school after Jessica's best friend Hope moved away. For those books she was really sullen and moody and sarcastic. She was also sort of big-headed. Graduating from high school changed her drastically. I don't know if it's "for the better" but it's a change for sure. Jessica grew up. In Charmed Thirds she's much more contemplative and humble. The real world smacked her in the face and she knows it.<br>
The way that she changed might be one of my favorite things about the series so far. Megan McCafferty is able to write with a different tone in each book so that you can see how Jessica is maturing and becoming a different person. That takes some mad skill - to be able to adapt your writing style with a character through a course of almost ten years. Pretty fabulous stuff.<br>
And the cherry on top of this already grand book? Marcus Flutie. *sigh* That is all.<br>
So the rare A+ for this novel. I adored it. Thank god I have Fourth Comings sitting on my shelf staring at me with puppy-dog eyes, begging to be read. Expect a review of that one real soon.<br>
Posted October 27, 2008
CHARMED THIRDS covers the college years of Jessica Darling, a character previously introduced in Megan McCafferty's novels SLOPPY FIRSTS and SECOND HELPINGS. I can't compare it to the other two, as I haven't read them, but I can say that this is a fantastic book! <BR/><BR/>Jessica has a wonderfully funny, original voice that resonates throughout her journals, kept over her breaks from going to school at Columbia. Jessica is just a girl from New Jersey who made it into Columbia, and her life, with all its trials and triumphs, seems very real. She's struggling to hold on to her old friends while making new ones at school, trying to survive in the big city of New York, and working to earn money for school. <BR/><BR/>There's not a real overall plot arc, unless you want to say it's Jessica's relationship with her boyfriend, Marcus Flutie. Marcus has gone across the country to California to attend a Buddhist college, and Jessica misses him like crazy. Jessica and Marcus reminded me a lot of another fictional couple, CC and Shrimp from Rachel Cohn's books GINGERBREAD, SHRIMP, and CUPCAKE. In both couples, the guy is an offbeat and untraditional hippie in California (and both explore Buddhism!), and the girl is living in New York and deciding if her life should be about her or about the guy. Both Marcus and Shrimp have older brothers, too. There are quite a lot of parallels! Readers who enjoy Rachel Cohn's books are sure to like CHARMED THIRDS as well. <BR/><BR/>The brilliance of McCafferty's novel does not lie in what goes on (though Jessica's internship at the magazine True is just one of many interesting and amusing experiences she has!), but in the strength of her characters. All of the characters are very real, and very interesting. Add that to Megan McCafferty's excellent writing, and you've got a wonderful book! I'll certainly be looking up the first two books as well--it was that good!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 14, 2008
i liked this book but it wasnt as good as the other ones...like when she was talking about her sexual expierences like she gets real cocky (no pun intended) and that annoyed me but that was about it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 20, 2007
CHARMED THIRDS covers the college years of Jessica Darling, a character previously introduced in Megan McCafferty's novels SLOPPY FIRSTS and SECOND HELPINGS. I can't compare it to the other two, as I haven't read them, but I can say that this is a fantastic book! Jessica has a wonderfully funny, original voice that resonates throughout her journals, kept over her breaks from going to school at Columbia. Jessica is just a girl from New Jersey who made it into Columbia, and her life, with all its trials and triumphs, seems very real. She's struggling to hold on to her old friends while making new ones at school, trying to survive in the big city of New York, and working to earn money for school. There's not a real overall plot arc, unless you want to say it's Jessica's relationship with her boyfriend, Marcus Flutie. Marcus has gone across the country to California to attend a Buddhist college, and Jessica misses him like crazy. Jessica and Marcus reminded me a lot of another fictional couple, CC and Shrimp from Rachel Cohn's books GINGERBREAD, SHRIMP, and CUPCAKE. In both couples, the guy is an offbeat and untraditional hippie in California (and both explore Buddhism!), and the girl is living in New York and deciding if her life should be about her or about the guy. Both Marcus and Shrimp have older brothers, too. There are quite a lot of parallels! Readers who enjoy Rachel Cohn's books are sure to like CHARMED THIRDS as well. The brilliance of McCafferty's novel does not lie in what goes on (though Jessica's internship at the magazine True is just one of many interesting and amusing experiences she has!), but in the strength of her characters. All of the characters are very real, and very interesting. Add that to Megan McCafferty's excellent writing, and you've got a wonderful book! I'll certainly be looking up the first two books as well--it was that good! **Reviewed by: Jocelyn PearceWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 5, 2007
I adore the first and second books in this series so much that I've re-read them various times but this was honestly a big disappointment. A once quirky somewhat self centered girl has now turned into some crazy even more self centered sex fiend. She's in college so that's more then to be expected but dear lord at times i felt like i was reading a dirty romance novel complete with all the cliches and too much information. It was ridiculous how the book trailed off from actual plots at times to only start telling in great length the details of her many ever changing sex partners. that's all the book seemed to be full of in my opinion. It lost all point and i almost put the book down completely but am glad i didn't because despite the horrid beginning and middle it had a wonderful ending. I still fully intend on buying the next book but i was really disappointed in this one and wouldn't recommend it to anyone. Read the first and second and just skip the third, it doesn't tell you anything you need to know to be able to keep up with the story.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 24, 2007
Posted June 6, 2007
Posted May 2, 2007
I really liked this book as well as the whole series. If your a teenager read this book every character in the book will relate to someone you know. Trust me its really goodWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 2, 2007
She's back, more candid and over-thinking than ever 'if that were possible!' After being disappointed by many other sequels, finally, here's one that's as good as the previous books. To prospective freshmen like me, it brings a refreshingly honest insight into true college life, telling a lot more than prospectus' and brochures ever could! The honesty is mixed with Jessica's trademark style of humour, so, all in all, Charmed Thirds is an extremely enjoyable read. And not just 'chick-lit'! Bring on the next one!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 9, 2007
Posted November 12, 2006
When I first read this book I honestlty didn't really like it. I was a high school senior and I hadn't really experienced any college yet. My first semester is nearly over and I know it's only the first one, but I feel as a college student I can relate to Jessica better. This was definately better the second time around.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 18, 2006
Posted October 23, 2006
This book is the third in a series. These books are pretty much the best books I have ever read and I am a HUGE reader. The charcters are so relatable and the book is hilarious. SOOO great!!! I recommend this book as well as the others to anyone...not just people in high school ( i have graduated college and still like them!!) Megan McCafferty is amazing!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 30, 2006
Posted November 4, 2006
I absolutely love this book (well i haven't exactly finfished it but i skimmed and Oh My Gosh!) I must admit it seemed a bit rushed what with covering three years and all and but i still love it. Its sad and surprising and full of total awesomeness.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 20, 2006
I first started reading the megan's books when the series first started and i have to say the story gets better and more intense as the books go on. This series is great for a girl going through high school and into college like myself. The story is so easy to realte too. The books are all just fun to read because it's easy to put yourself in jessica's place and understand how she is feeling. If you a young girl and are growing up in our society i would defintiely recomend this book. i have to say this is the best seires of books i have ever read. If you are debating getting this book i would say definitely get it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.