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Perfect Fifths (Jessica Darling Series #5) [NOOK Book]

Overview

Old flames are reignited in the fifth and final book in the New York Times bestselling Jessica Darling series.

Captivated readers have followed Jessica through every step and misstep: from her life as a tormented, tart-tongued teenager to her years as a college grad stumbling toward adulthood. Now a young professional in her mid-twenties, Jess is off to a Caribbean wedding. As she rushes to her gate at the airport, she literally runs into her ...
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Perfect Fifths (Jessica Darling Series #5)

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Overview

Old flames are reignited in the fifth and final book in the New York Times bestselling Jessica Darling series.

Captivated readers have followed Jessica through every step and misstep: from her life as a tormented, tart-tongued teenager to her years as a college grad stumbling toward adulthood. Now a young professional in her mid-twenties, Jess is off to a Caribbean wedding. As she rushes to her gate at the airport, she literally runs into her former boyfriend, Marcus Flutie. It’s the first time she's seen him since she reluctantly turned down his marriage proposal three years earlier–and emotions run high.

Marcus and Jessica have both changed dramatically, yet their connection feels as familiar as ever. Is their reunion just a fluke or has fate orchestrated this collision of their lives once again?

Told partly from Marcus’s point of view, Perfect Fifths finally lets readers inside the mind of the one person who’s both troubled and titillated Jessica Darling for years. Expect nothing less than the satisfying conclusion fans have been waiting for, one perfect in its imperfection. . . .


From the Hardcover edition.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

McCafferty's mixed follow-up to Fourth Comings begins with Jessica Darling running through an airport to catch a flight to her friend's wedding, only to trip over ex-boyfriend Marcus Flutie, fresh off the plane from New Orleans, where he was building houses. Jessica is reluctant to start things anew with Marcus, who had in an earlier book proposed to her and still longs for her. McCafferty does a terrific job of recounting her protagonists' pasts while keeping the story feeling fresh, and Marcus's friend Natty Addison makes for a charming foil, though the narrative really lags during part two, with 80 pages of nonstop dialogue-and a series of 54 haikus doesn't do the book any favors. Fans of the series might be hooked, but newer readers may find the intimacy irritating and even boring. McCafferty writes strong characters with rich, believable inner lives, but the attempts at formal cuteness don't allow the book to properly flourish. (Apr.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
VOYA - Ed Goldberg
When Jessica Darling rejected Marcus Flutie's marriage proposal in Fourth Comings (Crown, 2007/VOYA October 2007), this reviewer was happy with a fitting end to the series. Nothing in Perfect Fifths changed this opinion, although something did change Jessica's. After bumping into Marcus at the Newark Airport while rushing for a flight she ultimately misses, Jessica and Marcus take an eighteen hour stroll down memory lane as well as catch up on the intervening three years of separation. Stranded overnight at the airport, they share a hotel room. Much of their underlying thoughts relate to their hesitancy to resume a relationship (they still love each other) and whether or not to have sex (not make love). The stilted conversations revolve around trivialities in their lives. There is a silly Barry Manilow undercurrent—he sang the first song they heard on their first date and was a recurring theme in prior books. Not much new and nothing of interest is revealed. A fan of the Jessica Darling series, this reviewer is disappointed. The book seems like an afterthought. There is no witty repartee as in previous books. Jessica and Marcus are shells of their former selves. Secondary characters that readers had come to love play miniscule roles. The thoughts about sex are incessant and the two shower scenes involving Marcus are unnecessary (use your imagination). This installment is meaningless without the previous four series books. McCafferty's fans will likely want this book, which is likely to be included in the adult collection; however, abstaining from purchasing this book will not leave a hole in a YA collection. Reviewer: Ed Goldberg
School Library Journal
Adult/High School—In this final title in the series, Jessica Darling is now a professional at age 25. The series began with her as a sophomore, continued through her high school years, then college (and her long relationship with Marcus Flutie), and ends with her as the founder of a program in which she travels the country working with teens to encourage their creative expression. This episode begins with Jessica frantically running through the airport to catch a flight to her friend's wedding. She literally runs into Marcus, misses her plane, and spends the rest of the day (and evening) reconnecting with her old love. McCafferty employs some surprising literary devices, including an entire chapter told in haiku. This series has had a loyal group of followers, and though many were disappointed in books three and four, fans will be satisfied with this last installment. Though a bit predictable, the breezy style, great vocabulary, and wry humor make it an enjoyable, quick read. For libraries that have the previous four books, this is a must purchase and for those who do not, this book will stand alone and find a wide audience.—Jane Ritter, Mill Valley School District, CA
From the Publisher
Praise for The Jessica Darling Series

“Megan McCafferty’s hilarious coming-of-age novels are getting better as Jess gets older. . . . Acidly funny, imaginatively profane and, above all, a sharp reflection of the what-do-I-do-now, postcollege dilemma.”
Miami Herald

“Judy Blume meets Dorothy Parker.”
The Wall Street Journal

“McCafferty looks at travails with humor as well as heart.”
People

“Jessica offers brilliant and cutting insights into the world of the adolescent about-to-be-a-woman.”
Chicago Sun-Times

“The books are a springboard for McCafferty’s hilarious pop-culture riffs. . . . The series has won her a legion of fans, from teens and college students to twentysomethings, mothers, and the occasional grandmother.”
Star-Ledger

From the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307452672
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/14/2009
  • Series: Jessica Darling Series , #5
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 152,039
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Megan McCafferty
Megan McCafferty

Megan McCafferty is the author of the hit novels Sloppy Firsts, Second Helpings, and Charmed Thirds, which was a New York Times bestseller. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and son. To find out more, visit MeganMcCafferty.com.

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Read an Excerpt

one

When Jessica Darling blindly collides into Marcus Flutie on this crisp, unclouded January morning, she can’t remember the last time she had imagined where she would be—and who he would be—at the moment of their inevitable collision.

For him, however, it’s a very different story.

two

Regrets. Jessica has so many regrets. She should have stopped pouring after that first glass of wine last night. Shouldn’t have watched the ceiling swirl for hours. Should have resorted to a narcotic sleep aid sooner. Shouldn’t have hit the snooze button one, two, three times before rocketing (I’m late!”) out of bed this morning. Should have skipped the shower, not breakfast. Shouldn’t have turned down her dad’s offer to drive her to the airport instead of proving her mother right about the unpunctual local car service. Should have chosen the security screening line to the right, not the left, not the one that put her directly behind the starving and savage middle-?aged trafficker of more than three ounces of the liquid weight-?loss supplement with the funny name, a name Jessica keeps repeating in her head in rhythm with her sneakered feet sprinting across Concourse C.

Hoodia. Hoodia. Hoodia.

So many split decisions and judgment calls and incorrect esti?mations have led to this. To being late. She’s late late late late for Gate C-?88. She likes the rhyme, especially when timed with the beat of her feet, and chooses this staccato incantation over the silly-? sounding appetite suppressant.

I’m late late late late for Gate C-?88.

She recalls how she used to silently mouth spur-?of-?the-?moment mantras back in her competitive high school running days. Hand-? slapping rhymes from her youth: Miss Mary Mack Mack Mack?.?.?.?All dressed in black, black, black. Boy-?band lyrics she would never say out loud: You might hate me but it ain’t no lie?.?.?.?Baby, bye, bye, bye. Even her own name: Jessica Darling?.?.?.?Darling?.?.?.? Darling?.?.?.?Jessica Darling?.?.?.?Darling?.?.?.?Darling. These invocations lacked deep meaning—even the song of herself—and were meant only to distract her from how much she hated having to pretend she cared about the outcome of the race.

Today she cares. And no matter how fast she sprints through this airport, there are too many people standing still. Standing in her way. Or stretched across the floor in carefree repose, smudgy fingertips plucking chips and curls and twists out of the bags of overpriced snacks in their laps. Seemingly in no hurry to get anywhere, which is funny if you think about it (but Jessica ?doesn’t have time to think about it), because this is the place where passengers pass time until they can be jet-?propelled across states and nations, oceans and continents, at six hundred miles per hour. Why are they standing still, standing in the way of where she needs to be? Surrounded on all sides by the drone of wheeled luggage buzzing across the concourse, she speeds up, slows down, stutter-? steps, and shimmies her way through the hive. Onward, onward, onward. She was wide-awake, wild-?eyed with worry, for most of the night, and this adrenalized marathon sprint is already taking its toll. She can feel fatigue settling into her muscles, her bones, her brain, her spirit. But no. No! She can’t slow down now. She can’t miss this flight. I can’t miss this flight. The concourse splits down the middle, and she must quickly consider yet another option. Should she hop on the human conveyor belt or just keep running?

There is pure goodness awaiting her in the Virgin Islands. Her best friends are all together to “celebrate the rarest love between two people, the flawed yet fearless union that everyone hopes to find but almost always turns out to be illusive if not elusive.” (Quotations needed because it comes directly from the speech Jessica has prepared for the occasion.) Jessica knows her friends will forgive her if she misses this flight—as they have forgiven so many of her unintentional slights and oversights—but she won’t forgive herself.

I can’t miss this flight, she silently says once more before choosing to trust her own two feet over technology, the last in a series of synchronistic decisions that contribute to everything that happens afterward.

three

“This is a final boarding call for passenger Jessica Darling.”

After Marcus hears it the first time, he makes sure to listen extra carefully the second time, just to confirm it is her name being called over the public address system and not a phantom echo in his mind.

“This is a final boarding call for Clear Sky Flight 1884 with nonstop service to St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Final boarding call for passenger Jessica Darling.”

Jessica Darling. It’s been years since he’s heard her full name spoken out loud. Not that Jessica Darling hasn’t been analyzed, assailed, or alluded to in conversations with family, friends, and near strangers from their shared past. As a subject of discussion, Jessica Darling has been elevated by—not reduced to—pronoun status. Have you seen her? What’s she up to these days? Whenever anyone asks these questions, there’s never any doubt as to whom the “her” or “she” refers. But those questions haven’t been asked lately, not since Marcus has—by all actions and outward appearances—finally gotten over her.

Even after hearing her name once, now twice, Marcus still needs a confirmation from somewhere outside his imagination. He seizes his friend Natty by the lapels and asks.

“Dude, no,” Natty insists. “I ?didn’t hear her name. And neither did you.” Natty’s sharp tone can’t burst the pop-?eyed, expectant expression on Marcus’s face. “And even if you did hear her name, there’s no way it’s her. Now let go of me, because I gotta take a piss.”

Natty strands Marcus between the entrance to the men’s restroom and the fiberglass Betty Boop sculpture boop-?boop-?be-?beckoning customers into the faux-?retro Garden State Diner for a greasy preflight meal. Marcus feels overexposed, overstimulated, as if his whole body is on extrasensory alert. Marcus’s nerves rattle and clang like the dirty silverware carelessly thrown into plastic takeaway tubs by the too-?busy busboys. He tries to calm himself with a series of deep inhalations and exhalations, but breathing cheeseburger smog only makes him more queasy and ill at ease. The alarms going off in his nervous system evoke the erratic animal behavior that precedes natural disasters: a mass exodus of elephants seeking higher ground, dogs wailing under door frames, rabbits clawing at cages, snakes shaken from hibernation slithering through the snow. His instincts, too, urge him to flee. He half jogs away from the diner and heads for the blue-?screened monitors announcing arrivals and departures.

As Marcus searches for Clear Sky Flight 1884 on the departures board, he makes an effort to accept Natty’s logic. After all, ?didn’t his Jessica Darling often joke about being confused with a porn star also named Jessica Darling? Perhaps it’s the X-?rated Jessica Darling being called over the public address system, or maybe even a third unknown Jessica Darling who shares nothing but a name with the other two. A newborn Jessica Darling. A granny Jessica Darling. An African-? American, Asian, Hispanic, Pacific Islander, or Other Jessica Darling. It must be one of these alternative Jessica Darlings flying out to St. Thomas on Clear Sky Flight 1884, not his Jessica Darling, not the one he proposed to over three years ago, not the one he hasn’t seen, spoken to, or otherwise communicated with since he quietly accepted that her answer was no.

He’s found it: Gate C-?88. Clear Sky Flight 1884 to St. Thomas is departing from Gate C-?88.

What harm could there be in wandering over to Gate C-?88 to see for himself which incarnation of Jessica Darling is being called out loud? None at all, save for the minor embarrassment of being suckered into a one in six billion long shot. But what if it turns out that the familiar name does belong to her familiar face? Marcus is incapable of calculating the risks of such an improbable outcome. Still, he knows himself well enough to understand how the powers of his masochistic imagination would make the coward’s alternative—never knowing, always wondering was it her? was it her? was it her?—a far greater punishment than any awkward small talk.

He looks away from the monitors because the orange font/blue screen makes his pupils vibrate. On the wall directly in front of him is

a changing digital screen advertisement for the Shops at Newark Liberty International Airport. Before he even realizes he’s doing it, Marcus impassively watches the images shift.

The picture: A gold-?foil box of gourmet chocolates.

The words: missing her.

The picture: A string of black South Sea pearls.

The words: missing her like crazy.

Marcus, wowed by the lack of subtlety, looks away and laughs at himself.

No. He can’t give in to narcissistic folly and read this sign as a Sign. It’s taken him three years to finally pull himself together, and he refuses to come undone by commonplace coincidence. In fact, he’s just about convinced himself that Natty is right, that there’s no way it was his Jessica Darling being summoned over the Clear Sky PA system, that there’s no need to head to Gate C-?88 to verify this impossibility for himself because it is not, it cannot be, her, not his Jessica Darling (why does his skin still prickle with premonitory anticipation?), when his Jessica Darling slams right into him and bounces onto the floor.

four

A body in motion. A body at rest. Forces coming together—CRASH!—in an instant. Energy spent, energy exchanged, and energy conserved. Jutting elbows, bared teeth. Elastic arms, slack mouth. To every action there is an equal but opposite reaction. This woman and this man, a living demonstration of Newton’s Third Law.

five

Jessica curses herself as she scrambles across the marble tiles. Clad in head-?to-?toe black, she resembles a desperate beetle stuck on its back, arms and legs flailing for her flung-?to-?the-?ground carry-?on bag. She finds it, scrapes herself off the floor, and decides that a curt give-?and-?take of apologies is the path of least resistance, the quickest way to get past this stranger, this nuisance, this object of interference with feet stuffed into scuffed Vans. There are already too many eyes on them, watching, wondering what will happen next. A combative confrontation will only attract more rubberneckers, and she ?doesn’t want anyone else slowing her down.

Marcus waits until she stands up before he takes a chance. “Jessica?”

It’s the voice that reaches her first, not the correct first name uttered by the voice. Her head bolts up, and when her eyes corroborate with her ears, her breath catches and her hands fly up to her face. She breathes in and out through her palms, once, twice, before taking them away. Miraculously, he’s still there. She is perfectly still for the first time since vaulting out of bed this morning.

“Marcus!”

He nods to confirm what should be obvious but is still too unbelievable.

“Marcus,” she repeats, softer.

He nods again.

“I?.?.?.” she begins. “I’m?.?.?.”

They are standing inches apart, not touching. Jessica clutches her ergonomic teardrop-?shaped carry-?on bag to her chest, sensing that the moment to embrace has passed. A spontaneous show of emotion now would be too conspicuous, too much, too late.

“Late!” Jessica blurts. “I’m too late.”

Hundreds of passengers swirl around and away from them, like so many snowflakes in a blizzard.

“Oh,” Marcus says. He’s contemplating whether he could get away with playfully swatting her arm in what he hopes is a neutral zone, between her shoulder and elbow. Behind her flashes the sign. The

gold-?foil box of gourmet chocolates. missing her. The string of black South Sea pearls. missing her like crazy. The sign. The Sign. He wants to make contact when he makes his confession, that he’d heard her name, and how he had hoped for the illogical, the impossible, to be true: that it was really her. And today of all days. He’s about to touch her, then deliver the befitting wishes, when she casts a nervous sidelong glance at his turned-?out palm, the part of him that dares to come too close. He drops the offending hand and stuffs it deep into the front pocket of his corduroys, knowing there’s no time for such intimacies.

He says nothing.

“We should—” Jessica starts. She’s rocking from side to side now, an anxious, joyless dance. “You should—” The pronoun change ?doesn’t go unnoticed by either of them. “E-?mail. Or, I don’t know. Text. Something?.?.?.”

“Something,” he says simply.

Marcus musters the courage to look Jessica right in the face. She still wears her hair like an afterthought, pulled back with a few quick twists of a rubber band. If she removed the elastic and shook it out, he would breathe in the fruity scent of shampoo, certain that the chestnut tresses resting against her neck are still damp from her morning shower. He finds some comfort in this knowledge, as well as the overall familiarity of her features, which haven’t changed that much since he last saw her. But he must admit to himself—only to himself, never to her, even if she’d had the time or the temerity to ask—that her casual loveliness is more than a little washed out. Her eyes are tired, tinged pink, and buffered by puffy purple undereye circles. Her lips are crackled dry, her nostrils chapped and flaking around the corners, perhaps from too many rubs with a paper towel, a wool coat sleeve, or some other rough tissue substitute. He hopes that her careworn appearance is an aberration, that her immune system is down but she’s not. He wants her to be sick or tired, but not sick and tired, or just plain sad.

“I’d catch up if?.?.?.” Her cheeks glow an embarrassed red, and her pale complexion is better for it.

“If you had time,” Marcus finishes for her, trying to determine from her voice whether she’s suffering from a cold or something worse.

“If—” she starts again, but ?doesn’t finish.

She can’t look up at him. If she looks up at him, she will see him. And if she sees him, she’ll be compelled to ask questions she ? doesn’t have time for. Instead, she concentrates on her own familiar Converses, but even that fails to bring her relief. That they both still wear their same favorite brands of sneakers after all these years is only a minor revelation, and yet even this tiny glimpse of his world going on without her—and hers without him—is almost too much for Jessica to bear. What else hasn’t changed? Does he still meditate for hours on the floor of his closet? Jessica braces herself with a deep breath. Would he still smell like smoldering leaves if she leaned in close enough? Does he still compose elliptical, poetic songs on his acoustic guitar?
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 90 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(57)

4 Star

(19)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 91 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2012

    U all suck ass haters

    I cant believe you people CAN YOU SAY HATERS

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Jaglvr for TeensReadToo.com

    PERFECT FIFTHS gives the reader the conclusion to the ongoing highs and lows of the relationship between Jessica Darling and Marcus Flutie. For those that have been with them from the beginning, you will recall that they met in high school. Marcus was the druggie best friend of Jessica's best friend, Hope's, brother. The couple, the most unlikely in the school, get together, and they make perfect sense. The rest of the series covers the ins and outs of their relationship. FOURTH COMINGS left the reader stunned when Jessica says "No" to Marcus's marriage proposal.

    So, in PERFECT FIFTHS, it only makes sense that the two will have to run into each other at some point. They're from the same town and know the same people. But currently Jessica lives in New York City and Marcus is an undergraduate at Princeton. It's in the most unlikely place that their destined reunion occurs - the airport.

    Marcus and his college roommate, Natty, have returned from New Orleans. They're in the airport when Marcus hears a Jessica Darling being paged for final boarding. He can't believe it could be her, but as he's checking the departure board to see where the called flight is headed for, he's literally run into. He's too stunned to discover that the person that has run him down is, in fact, HIS Jessica Darling.

    Out of breath, late for her flight, and too confused with everything going on, Jessica is struck dumb when she sees who she's about to apologize to. She mumbles a quick conversation and is off for her gate again. But it's too late, and her flight is gone. When she learns that the chances of a flight that night are next to nil, she and Marcus begin their cerebral dance once again.

    Marcus has no need to remain at the airport, but PERFECT FIFTHS seems to tell more of Marcus's side of the story than the past four novels. The reader gets to see his jumbled thoughts and undying loyalty to Jessica. His friend, Natty, tries to dissuade him from staying with Jessica until her later flight, but Marcus is too far gone.

    PERFECT FIFTHS takes place in the course of one day in the lives of Marcus and Jessica. It's in their time together that they recount the events of the past three years. And as the evening goes on, Jessica begins to second guess her reasons for telling him "No" so long ago.

    Personally, I found PERFECT FIFTHS a satisfying ending to a wonderful series. Both Jessica and Marcus have become like long-lost friends to me. I won't spoil the ending for anyone, but I think it's the right ending for the series. Some will say it's too tidy; others may think it's the wrong one. If nothing else though, Ms. McCafferty has finally tied up the loose ends that FOURTH COMINGS left out there.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 6, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Disappointed

    I love Megan McCafferty's writing style and I love the characters in her Jessica Darling Series. I do not love this book. It feels too contrived, the whole Jessica-Marcus thing is too played out at this point. I only read it because I wanted to know how it ended. And I'm disappointed. The entire book centers around this one day with Jessica and Marcus. Where are all my favorite characters? Barely a mention of any of them. If you only care about what happens to Jessica and Marcus (and, in my opinion, even that is a bit of a letdown after four books of this)then maybe you will like this book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 19, 2009

    Dizzying, beautiful, loved it!

    I was nervous about reading Perfect Fifths because I was so disappointed by Fourth Comings, since I'm a hopeful romantic and I hate when characters who are meant to be together aren't. But I'm sooo glad that I chose to read this book because it really is the perfect conclusion to the series. Everything comes full circle, I was reminded of the good/bad times in all the other books, and most importantly, Jessica and Marcus are perfect in their imperfection. Read this book! You won't regret it. The third person narrative is hard to get used to, but it all makes sense in the end. Can't wait to read more of this author.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Perfect Fifths was jsut PERFECT

    I loved this book! I was so anxious waiting for McCafferty to release this novel. I am 21 and i remember very vividly many of the things discussed throughout the novels. Perfect Fifths was a delicous ending to an amazing series. I could not put it donw, and I literally did not until I was done. It is a MUST! the entire series is a MUST. So relatable and enjoyable.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 27, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    This review cannot even express the sensation of perfect content

    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. FOURTH COMINGS is about time after graduation and what she wants to do for a living. And PERFECT FITHS is an exception, starting a few years after her college years. It's not often that we get a glimpse of the characters out of their original highschool habitat, having started into their futures. This fifth book is also the final test, the last proof showing if Jessica and Marcus are meant to be together. And so that we can reconstruct all of their feelings, and memories of the past, Megan McCafferty served us two perspectives in this last book in the series. This time, we don't read the story from a 1st person point of view from Jessica as in the previous four books, but from a third person point of view of Jessica and Marcus.

    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!

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  • Posted April 17, 2013

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    I have to say, when I first began to read the Jessica Darling se

    I have to say, when I first began to read the Jessica Darling series that I fell in love. I liked the concept of the novels and how they were told in a diary like fasion. Additionally, I really enjoyed how they were told in first person- we really got to know Jessica Darling and her feelings about everything that was going on throughout her life. However, after reading Perfect Fifths I found myself very disappointed. I miss the characters from the other novels. I miss the excitement and advernture from the other novels. And, I missed Jessica Darling and her wit. We saw NONE of this with Charmed Fifths. Everything took place in an airport conversation and I just kept waiting for her journey to continue. Aweful! However, I am happy with the ending even if it was a bit rushed. All in all I would give this book a C. Every other book in the series has gotten an A. Read it for the ending, but don't expect much.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2013

    Ok

    Not my favorite of the series. I feltlike it was a rushed closure to the series.

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  • Posted September 14, 2012

    Loved the whole series!!!

    You need to read this whole series! I loved it!

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  • Posted December 25, 2011

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    ehhh

    i loved the first four books- couldn't put them down even when i had to. unfortunately, this was sort of a disappointment. i hated the fact that this was written in third person, whereas the other four books were in first. i couldn't keep up with it. it was choppy and a bit plain, to be honest. i think she grew up too much for me to like her anymore. at any rate, a satisfactory end to the series.

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  • Posted September 27, 2011

    Happy ending

    Happy ending for Marcus and Jessica. A little too far-fetched of an ending for me, but at least they end up together and happy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2011

    A Great Ending

    While it seems as if some questions were left unanswered, Perfect Fifths was a great book to end the Jessica Darling Series. I expected Marcus and Jessica to cross paths, but Megan McCafferty still found a way to make their reunion captivating. I was a little shocked at first when I skimmed through the book before I read it. The writing style is completely different than any of her other books. Also, I was very skeptical about it not being told from Jessica's point of view. Nonetheless, it had a purpose. In this book, there's a section with only dialogue and nothing else. It's confusing at first because you don't really know what's going on, but the conversation between Jessica and Marcus flows smoothly enough (even with the occasional pauses) that you catch on quickly and figure out who's talking and what's going on in their surroundings. This is the one book of the Jessica Darling Series where you really understand who Marcus is and what he feels. While he isn't perfect and is hopeless at times, I found that I was infatuated with Marcus during this story. I'm glad that Marcus and Jess got together. This book is probably the best book out of the whole series. You've seen Jess grow from a high school student to an adult and it's nice to see how much she's grown. It's unique, a fast/easy read, and overall a good story. I'm sad that this is the last book of the Jessica Darling Series, but I'm excited to read any other books Megan McCafferty releases in the future.

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  • Posted May 28, 2011

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    Wherever the forever, Jessica & Marcus live on!

    (review for both FOURTH COMINGS & PERFECT FIFTHS)

    In the final 2 books of the Jessica Darling series, our wires-crossed, love-imperfect couple decide if they'll make it or break it for good. While Jessica enters the post-college "real world," Marcus finally decided to go back to organized education in the form of Princeton. Still physically distant in location, Jessica thinks she's too old to re-live the college scene again. Will she wait for Marcus to graduate? Will Marcus dump her for a fresh-faced frosh? Will they find their perfect endings finally together - or finally apart?

    Unlike its predecessors, fourth comings chronicles only 1 week of Jessica Darling's life - and yet it packs the most thoughtful and emotional punch of the series. Again, at the end, I find myself in deep contemplation of "forever" and "whatever" that play a role in Jessica and Marcus's romantic entanglements. Then comes along perfect fifths that gives us a whole fourth-wall phenomenon where we dive into third-person present instead of relying solely on Jessica's notebooks. Which means we get a delicious glimpse into the wonder of Marcus Flutie. perfect fifths is simply spot-on as far as reminiscing about the entire series and tying everything into a wonderfully bittersweet conclusion.

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  • Posted December 9, 2010

    great ending to the perfect series

    ive been along for the ride since sloppy firsts,through the ups and downs in marcus and jessica's relationship. and even though this book goes along with the cliche of the characters falling back together, it still makes you happy to think that 'true love' is out there.

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  • Posted February 16, 2010

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    Perfect Ending

    I was so pleased with the final book. It had its moments that made it seem a little like a cheesy sitcom reunion show but there was good stuff too. Seeing things from Marcus' perspective really helped me to love him more and get over the whole "meditating, philosophical, unable to give anyone a straight answer" issues that drove me to distraction in the last two books. The opening 70 pages of this book made me happy and laugh out loud. Overall, a good ending to a good series.

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  • Posted November 8, 2009

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    Jessica Darling Series: Perfect Fifths

    This one took me a bit longer to finish than the past books in this series as I felt it didn't hold my interest as much, but I still enjoyed reading it... I will miss reading more about Jessica and Marcus' adventures.

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  • Posted May 13, 2009

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    Pretty Good

    Overall, the book was a great ending to the series. i LOVED the last lyrics of Jessica's, they were just amazing. I thought the book had a bit to much symbolism in it though. Everything had a double meaning and it got a bit tiresome after awhile. Marcus was a great character in the book. He has come so far. Natty was also a great addition to the series. The ending was really predictable, but that was to be expected. The story stayed true to both Megan's writing style and the characters. The third person style was odd, but it all makes sense in the end. Overall, this was a great book and a perfect ending to the series. (ignoring the cheesy last paragraph)

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  • Posted May 11, 2009

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    Good Ending to the Series

    This book is really good. I finished it in a couple of hours...I couldn't put it down. The second part is strange because it consists of ONLY dialogue between the two main characters (Jessica and Marcus) without saying who is saying what. However, the characters have been so well set up in the previous books in the series that it is easy to tell who is saying what. I love all the references to the first four books. It is refreshing to read a book at the end of a series that doesn't recap everything in the beginning....I find that super annoying. Megan just assumes you know the history if the characters which is good (more realistic for a book whose narrator is usually one of the characters).

    Overall, a very good book and it ends WAY better than book four! :)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2009

    Horrible Ending to the Series

    I've never written one of these reviews, but I had to share how much of a waste of money buying this book is. I read and loved the past four, and couldn't wait to read this. McCafferty could have summed up the entire book in one long chapter, and instead decided to charge us $17 to read what happens to Marcus and Jessica- meanwhile, we all knew what was going to happen. I wish I could get my money back. Please do not buy. Wait to get it from a friend or library, although you'll be disappointed anyway.

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  • Posted May 9, 2009

    Perfect Fifths is the perfect ending fanatic readers like me were looking for in the Jessica Darling series.

    This book kept me turning the pages late into the night with it's shocks and twists. The storyline was well developed and incredibly satisfying. The characters were true and realistic, but also completely perfect. The overall enjoyment I got out of this series has left me waiting for Megan Mcafferty's new book, which hopefully comes out soon.

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