Perfect Fifths by Megan McCafferty

A few years ago I picked up the first book in a new series, called Sloppy Firsts: A Novel. Within the first few pages I had completely fallen in love with Jessica Darling and Marcus Flutie. And the fact that the story was set only a few minutes from my house on the Jersey Shore only made it better!  I immediately devoured the rest of the books and waited impatiently for the remaining books in the series.  When I came home a few days ago and found the final book in the series, Perfect Fifths: A Novel, on my doorstep, I was ecstatic! At first, I couldn’t bring myself to read it; the sooner I read it, the sooner it would be over. But I finally started it on my train ride home on Saturday, between Penn Station and my hometown station in the suburbs of Jersey (I thought it was appropriate, given the NYC and NJ settings of the books).

In a marathon reading session, I finished it.  And loved it.

Fans of McCafferty’s series will love this concluding chapter in the lives of Jessica Darling and Marcus Flutie.  Without spoiling it for anyone, I will say that the ending will leave fans very satisfied.  Taking place over only a few hours and told through both Jessica and Marcus’s eyes, this is a phenomenal story of love, friendship, and Barry Manilow.  Yes, I said Barry Manilow.  (I’ve had a playlist of his greatest hits on shuffle in my head since finishing the book!)

I will admit that I was at first unsure- really, hearing the story in Marcus’s voice?  I love Jessica and her voice rings so true.  That’s probably because I sometimes think Jessica is me!  But my fears were immediately assuaged when I read the first part from Marcus.  Actually, I believe my immediate reaction was, “Why has he not gotten his say this whole time?  I love him!”  The man is just dreamy.  I can’t say any more than that.

Like I said before, the story takes place over a few short hours, but boy does McCafferty make use of those hours!  We get to see both sides of the conversations between Jessica and Marcus, which is awesome.  I was cringing with embarrassment for them at some points while cheering them on at other points.  And the senryu’s written between them are just amazing.  My heart was pitter-pattering as I read them.  I still have goosebumps, which were only exacerbated by the ending.

Perfect Fifths: A Novel will be out on April 14th and you need to preorder it now.  It’s that good!  And on April 14th I will definitely be at the Princeton Barnes and Noble to see Megan McCafferty at her signing!


*this is a YA novel, and usually marketed as adult.  Not for middle grade readers!

Slice of Life #23

Tonight I made one of my favorite recipes for dinner and decided it would make a great slice of life.  

Gingery Marinated Beef Cubes Recipe


  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced (including tops) .
  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless beef sirloin or top round beef or boneless beef chuck roast, cut into 3/4-inch cubes .
  • 1/4 c soy sauce .
  • 5 tbsps oil .
  • 1 tsp vinegar .
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds .
  • lettuce leaves (optional) .
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced .
  • 1 tsp sugar .
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne .
  • 2-3 tsps minced fresh ginger

  • Toast sesame seeds in a small frying pan over med-heat/flame, shaking pan frequently until golden (about 3 mins).
  • In a bowl, onions, sugar, garlic, mix sesame seeds, ginger, vinegar, soy, cayenne & 1 T. of the oil.
  • Add meat, stirring to coat.
  • Cover up & put in the fridge for at least 2 hrs or until the next day.
  • Heat 2 more T of the oil in a wide frying pan over high heat.
  • Add meat, half at a time, stirring, and cook until done to your liking when cut (about 2 mins for medium doneness).
  • Repeat with remaining meat, adding remaining oil as needed.
  • Serve with rice and steamed broccoli for a delicious meal!